The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

On The Table

December 19, 2012

Amanda Stone: Food makes great gift

JOPLIN, Mo. — There's still time. You have a few days left to wrap up your shopping -- pun intended.

Whether you think you're done or you haven't started yet, don't fret. I have some great ideas for you.

I would always rather receive a personal gift. I'm delighted to unwrap a thoughtful little something that someone has made for me. Think outside the box and the mall. If you're not feeling the spirit of Martha Stewart this year, try shopping around at a flea market. They're a dime a dozen and full of treasures. Don't worry about looking cheap. If you purchase thoughtfully, you will impress. Maybe they will do the same for you next year.

Repurposing items is all the rage. Jump on the bandwagon. Consider it recycling. Just yesterday I became the recipient of a used Leon Redbone CD with a cracked case that I wouldn't want any other way.

Presentation is what makes a handmade gift extra special. Make it pretty. Use a fancy ribbon and take care in making a personalized tag. Follow through with your homemade, thoughtful gift. See it through till the end. They will appreciate your effort.

I love the gift of food. Because I'm sentimental by nature, I really make an effort to avoid collecting stuff. I have to save room in my little house for the stuff that counts, like every single piece of paper with a scribble on it from my child. And trinkets from my travels. And trinkets from my childhood, along with my mom's, brothers, best friends and whoever else's it seems sometimes. Therefore, I love a little treat to eat, and then it's gone.

With that in mind, consider making a few batches of the following. Package them in a fancy manner and you're good to go. If you've already purchased your gifts, tie a little bag of something handmade to their name tag. You can't lose. Try one of these suggestions. I know I would be thrilled to receive any of them. Hint, hint.

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