Looking for an affordable gift that is SURE to be a win? I loved making these "Christmas in a Jar" gifts with my 5 year old and 2 year old grandchildren. I felt like Oprah at work - not quite cars but I LOVED giving out these heart-warming gifts to all who entered my library..."You get a Christmas in a Jar...You get a Christmas in a Jar"...yep - it was a hoot!
Step 1: Gather Supplies
Purchase pint size wide-mouth jars. I found mine at Kmart for less than one dollar per jar.
Step 2: Purchase Fruit
Buy one orange for each "Christmas in a Jar" gift. I bought a dozen wide-mouth pint jars, so I purchased a large bag of oranges with at least 12 oranges. I bought fruit from Walmart. Add a whole orange to each jar (do not slice). Instruct the recipient that they should slice the orange BEFORE adding to their small simmering saucepan.
Step 3: Add Cinnamon Sticks
I could not believe how lucky I was to find packets of cinnamon sticks at the Dollar Store. I put 4 sticks in each jar.
Step 4: Grate Nutmeg
It's fine to take a shortcut (trust me - I understand) and sprinkle on a teaspoon of ground nutmeg - but the scent and look of freshly grated nutmeg is amazing! I bought whole nutmeg at Kroger and grated about one third of a nutmeg per jar.
Step 5: Cranberries Galore
I bought fresh cranberries on sale at Walmart. I added approximately 15-20 berries to each jar to fill up the space.
Step 6: Whole Cloves
Cloves are wonderfully aromatic. I found the best price at Kroger. Sprinkle a teaspoon of whole cloves over the cranberries.
Step 7: Finishing Touches
I used the inner lid to draw a circle on my favorite Christmas wrapping paper. I cut the circle and covered the metal lid - fitting it by tightening the outer lid ring (no glue necessary). I have since used old book pages to decorate "Christmas in a Jar" gifts - music sheets or favorite pages from discarded library books are perfect ways to personalize a gift (I even used a French to English dictionary lid cover for a favorite World Language teacher).
Step 8: Tag You're It!
I love these Christmas Tree tags that I found at Michael's. I typed some keywords into Pinterest, and found free printable tags for similar recipes for simmering potpourri but because I customized my own recipe, I just added a fun tag and told friends: to empty contents into a small saucepan; to slice the orange and add it; to fill empty pint jar with water; to add the pint of water to the saucepan; to bring content to a boil; and to reduce heat to simmer.
Step 9: A Warm Christmas Welcome
I keep my "Christmas in a Jar" pint filled with water next to the saucepan and top it up as needed. This all natural recipe makes great calorie-free, vegan gifts for teachers, neighbors, friends, family, and back-up "I didn't expect a gift from you" gift givers. I keep mine for 3 days on a slow simmer whenever I'm close by to keep an eye on it. My whole house smells like CHRISTMAS. These homemade "Christmas in a Jar" gift are SCENT-sational! Enjoy :-)