|Several years ago a friend of mine, who
knows my interest in all things British, picked up an old book at a yard
sale for less than $1. It was "In Search of England" by H.V.
Morton. She gave it to me for my birthday, and I loved it so much that I
have now read many more of his books, which were written in the 1920s
and 1930s. (You can find them on the out-of-print site at Barnes and
Noble.) Keep your eye open all year for book bargains to use as gifts.
If you know the interests of your gift recipients, you can surprise them
with something they will really love. A handmade tote bag makes a nice
gift bag. Include in it a handmade bookmark – you can make them out of
ribbon or needlepoint them. There are a lot of kits available for them.
Also in the tote, include a mug and a jar or tin of homemade hot
chocolate mix or spiced tea mix. Or, if your recipient is a
coffee-lover, you might like to include a package of flavored coffee or
flavored coffee creamer.
Hot Chocolate Mix
1 (8 qt.) box powdered milk
1 (12 oz.) jar Coffee Mate
1 (1 lb.) box Nestles Quik
1 T. cocoa
1 c. powdered sugar
Mix all ingredients well. To make hot
cocoa, add 1/3 cup dry mix to 2/3 cup boiling water. Mix well. Makes 40
Spiced Tea Mix
1 c. orange-flavored drink mix (Tang)
2 T. pre-sweetened lemonade mix
1/3 c. instant tea powder
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
Mix together and store in airtight
container. When ready to serve, add 1 or more teaspoons (according to
taste) to 1 cup of hot water.