Christmas is the best time to share food gifts with friends and family. They are personal in a way a store bought gift will never be. You don't have to admit to being naughty or nice to receive one of my gifts. You need only live close enough to receive it in person. That, of course, is the part I like best.
Now for a spoiler alert. I give the same foods year after year with few exceptions. The mini-brioches and jars of cranberry jam I prepare have become a holiday ritual in my kitchen. I look forward to it. This combo became our family's Christmas morning breakfast treat as we opened presents around the tree. I've tried new recipes on occasion that was clipped from a magazine or newspaper. One year it was a healthy dried soup mix and a toasted granola mix. Another year, cranberries became the star ingredient in a jam and biscotti recipes.
Once you've experienced the pleasure of giving a homemade gift, their preparation doesn't feel labor intensive. Just put on some Christmas music, enter into a state of 'flow' as you work, and don't answer the phone. I've tried to make recipes for the foods I enjoy as accessible as possible. Hopefully they will save you time by being clear and easy to follow. Keep in minde, each batch will produce enough treats for several gifts.
There's no time to lose. Here are photos and links to my favorite holiday gifts.