In an ideal world, the holidays would offer a chance to slow down, get in tune with the rhythms of Nature, and exchange simple but thoughtful gifts with one another. Too often, though, they're just the opposite: a time to stress out, to keep ourselves busy way past dark, and to buy extravagant gifts that stretch our budgets. This holiday season, consider a return to simplicity with these lovely herbal presents that are made by your hands and given from your heart.
Handmade & Inexpensive Heartfelt Holiday Gifts
Golden Milk Cookies
Golden Milk is a warm traditional Ayurvedic beverage made of milk seasoned with Turmeric, Ashwagandha, and other herbs, plus a touch of honey. A jar of Gaia Herbs Golden Milk makes a nice stocking stuffer on its own, but you can also bake with it! A tin of these Golden Milk shortbread cookies are sure to delight any of your friends or family members with a sweet tooth.
Indoor Herb Garden
For loved ones who enjoy cooking, how about making them an indoor herbal garden so they can have fresh herbs on hand throughout the winter months? An herb garden can be as simple as several terra cotta pots planted with seedlings to set on a sunny windowsill. For a more creative presentation, check out these ideas from Architectural Digest.
Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, and Thyme are popular choices for indoor herb gardens, though Basil may need to be re-planted frequently, as it requires strong sun. Chives, Parsley, and Mint are hardy herbs that thrive almost anywhere. For more detail on individual herbs, read about these 10 indoor herbs in Good Housekeeping.
Herbal Face Masks
Who doesn't need a little extra TLC after the hullabaloo of the holidays?
This Healing and Calming Herbal Face Mask is delightfully aromatic and therapeutic, too. Oatmeal, Aloe Vera, and Lavender are soothing to irritated skin, Thyme and Tea Tree oil promote a healthy balance of microbes, and Rosemary helps protect skin from free radicals.*Ingredients:
- ¼ cup oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon dried Lavender
- One small bottle fresh Aloe Vera juice
- 1 tablespoon Rosemary
- 5 drops Tea Tree oil
- 1 tablespoon Thyme
Grind the oatmeal and herbs using a food processor or mortar and pestle until they form a fine powder. Mix in the Tea Tree oil, then store in an airtight container. Keep the Aloe juice separate. Include the following instructions on a card: Scoop 1 teaspoon of powder into your hand and mix with enough Aloe juice to form a runny paste. Apply to your face and leave on for at least 15 minutes, then rinse.
This Nutmeg and Milk Exfoliating Mask couldn't be simpler, consisting of two ingredients you probably have in your kitchen. Nutmeg is mildly exfoliating, while milk is moisturizing.
- ½ cup Nutmeg
- 1 cup whole milk
Mix the Nutmeg and milk. Put in a small glass jar and keep refrigerated until it's time to give to the recipient. Include the following instructions on a card: Massage into your freshly washed face and leave on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing with warm water.
A box of herbal tea makes a great stocking stuffer. If there's an expectant or nursing mom in your circle of friends, she might appreciate Lactation Support.* If a relative has occasional difficulty drifting off to sleep, Sleep & Relax Tea makes a thoughtful gift.* And the tangy, citrusy taste of our Organic Hibiscus Tea is perfect for almost anyone.
Herb Infused Oils
For the foodie on your list, consider making a set of three herb-infused oils. Potatoes go from bland to bold when they're roasted with Rosemary-infused Sunflower oil. Stir fry dishes elevate when they're cooked with a Garlic or Ginger-infused Sesame oil. And pizza becomes instantly gourmet when topped with a Red Chili Pepper-infused Olive Oil, an authentic Italian tradition.
Making these oils is ridiculously simple. Start with a sterilized, completely dry jar. Place your chosen herb in a jar and cover with your desired oil. Place the jar in a saucepan that has been ¼ filled with water, and simmer for 4-6 hours. Let cool and label with the date. Herb-infused oils stay good for about a month.
True Holiday Spirit Comes from the Heart
At the end of the day, it's important to remember what the holiday season is really all about. Heartfelt gifts are incomparable; they show those in your life that you love and care about them.
Instead of buying something just for the sake of giving this year, we hope that you find inspiration to do it yourself, with these thoughtful, sincere herbal holiday gifts.
Happy gifting and happy holidays from all of us at Gaia Herbs!