This time of year, between those people who toe the line between friend and acquaintance and the number of holiday parties we all go to, it’s nice to have a stash of gifts to hand out. Last year I bought a case of champagne and a spool of ribbon and took a bottle whenever I needed a gift. It worked, but it was expensive and not exactly original or personal.
This year, I wanted to do something different. Starbucks gifts cards are boring, and cookies & candy require a lot of effort and even more willpower not to eat all of them. Then back in November, LearnVest Daily’s Homemade Holiday Gifts article showed up in my inbox, including a recipe for homemade salt scrub using Epsom salt and a mix of avocado and grapeseed oils.
I bookmarked the article, thought on it a few weeks, and came to the conclusion that what I really wanted was a sugar scrub (not salt) with a different oil (nothing green) and in a more viscous medium (larger ratio of oil to scrub). After searching through about 9000 recipes online that call for Wesson oil and vanilla extract (for your FACE. Come on!), I finally hit on this great recipe from Care2.com that has all natural, non-cooking ingredients. In the end I decided to just wing it anyway because that’s how I roll.
My sort-of recipe:
2/3 cup Turbinado (“raw”) sugar – $1.79 a pound bulk
2/3 cup organic cane sugar – $2.25 for a 4 pound bag
12 ounces almond oil – $13.99 for a 16 oz bottle
Tangerine essential oil – $4.99 for .5 oz
Rose essential oil in jojoba – $8.99 for .5 oz
Ribbon – $1
I mixed the sugars, added as much oil as would fully absorb into the sugars, divided the mixture, and added individual essential oils to each batch. I love tangerine and my mom loves rose so that’s what I bought. In hindsight, I probably should have done warmer and more wintery scents, maybe cinnamon & clove or vanilla. Oh well. Next time.
I bought these little snap top, watertight jars at Michael’s:
“Celebrate It” 2 oz glass jars
18 for $19.99
Michael’s, bridal section
I filled the jars, topped them off with almond oil until saturated, and added another drop of essential oil. The jars are tiny, so it doesn’t take a lot of scrub to fill them up. Finally, I printed a tag on a basic clear address label and added ribbon: pink for rose and tangerine for tangerine. POW. Done.
I am now the proud owner of 18 event and holiday neutral hostess /friend /coworker /unexpected-gift-exchange gifts, at around $3 each.
Also, my hands are super soft from the scrub, and I still have enough cane sugar left over for cookies.