Holiday Gift Guide for Homesteaders
Updated: Jun 10
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The holiday season is a beautiful season for spending quality time with family and friends. It makes the short, dark, cold days feel cozy and special. However, here in America, the holidays bring on a surplus of spending and materialism! It can feel like a time to run up a credit card bill and buy lots of unnecessary stuff for the people in your life. I’m 100% not opposed to giving gifts, but I am opposed to the mindless consumerism that seems to come with the season. That being said, if you’re a homesteader (or a crafty person or gardener), there are plenty of alternatives that are easy on the wallet and special for your loved ones! Personally, I LOVE receiving a handmade gift!
Here are 7 gift ideas for homesteaders:
1. Homemade candles
Who doesn’t love a good candle? One that’s homemade is even more special. DIYing candles gives you so much creative license. You can scent it however you want, add herbs or flowers, make taper candles, or use unique containers such as crystal glasses or the bottom half of a wine bottle. Get creative! Make it different! I like to use thrifted coffee cups personally. I recommend scenting your candle naturally with essential oils as opposed to conventional scents you can buy online. Most conventional scents are endocrine disruptors and actually lower the quality of air. Here are my favorite essential oils. The only other thing you need for candle making is beeswax (ethically sourced is best) and wicks. A double boiler also makes the process easier but is not necessary. I encourage you to thrift the containers for your candles or recycle cans or bottles.
2. Luffa soap
Luffa soap is such a fun gift to make and receive! If you plan ahead, you can grow your own luffas! You can scent your soap however you want (again, I recommend essential oils), and add herbs if you like! See my post here for how to make luffa soap!
3. Homemade Jam
Homemade jam is a classic homesteader's gift! If you’re like me, and grow a ridiculous amount of fruit, I usually have too much jam for my family to eat by ourselves. Gifting jam to friends and families is an excellent use and an excellent present! Wrap a ribbon around it, and add a cute label, and it looks like something you might buy in a gift store! Making your own jams also ensures that you’re getting good produce and skipping any ingredients like preservatives or colorants. I personally like to gift fig jam, blueberry jam, and apple butter. One of my all-time favorite jams to make and gift is the elderberry, mixed berry jam! See my recipe here!
Note: If you’re giving jam as a gift, it needs to have been water-bathed canned to make it shelf stable. Here is an excellent kit.
4. Sourdough starter
A sourdough starter is an excellent gift! Especially paired with dry goods and a recipe, like sourdough blueberry muffins, or sourdough banana bread! However, just a jar of plain sourdough starter is a good gift. Be sure to give this gift only to your friends and family who love baking! A sourdough starter does require regular care, so not everyone would enjoy this gift. Did you know that you can actually start your own sourdough starter from scratch? That’s how I made mine, and it’s now over a year old! See my post here for how I did it!
5. Herb bath salts
A good soak in the tub with salts is my absolute favorite way to relax! Adding herbs (especially ones you grew and dried yourself) only adds to the relaxation and healing properties! I love to buy bath salts in bulk and then add handfuls of dried herbs. You can also add essential oils and/or magnesium! My favorite herbs to add are mint, lemon balm, basil, and/or lavender. I like to grow all of these in my garden, and then dry and store as much as I can for the cooler months for cooking, teas, and DIYs like bath salts! Package the salts nicely, like in these bags, and you’ve got yourself the perfect present for your holiday party or gift exchange! I like to pair bath salts with my homemade luffa soap or a homemade candle.
6. Loose-leaf tea
Homegrown loose-leaf tea makes an excellent gift! I love to create my own blends from the herbs I grow in my garden! I like to use mint, chamomile, lemon balm, dried blueberries, rose hips, or fennel. My advice would be to test these tea blends before gifting them to someone else. Be creative in your blending though! Package the tea up in a cute container, like these, and you have the perfect gift! As a bonus, you can do a little research on the benefits of various herbs and write the benefits on your label. For example, raspberry leaf tea is known for speeding the metabolism, regulating bowel movements, supporting the uterus in pregnancy, and helping to balance women’s hormones.
7. Moisturizer/hand cream
Moisturizer or hand cream makes an excellent gift, and is actually not too difficult to make! There are MANY recipes online for this, but I personally prefer to use Tallow for my moisturizer. Tallow is all-natural, very nourishing, and anti-aging! Tallow is made by rendering beef fat. Many farmers actually consider beef fat to be a waste product, so you can oftentimes buy it in bulk very cheaply! Try to find a farmer with good farming practices, and raise their cows on pasture, free of hormones and antibiotics. Tallow is also good for frying, and MUCH healthier than conventional vegetable oils. Don’t worry, once beef fat is rendered, it’s completely odorless. If you're making this at home, use about 1 cup of tallow, and 1 cup of another oil. Olive, coconut oil, or jojoba oil. You can add essential oils if you’d like to add fragrance. This makes a great hand cream or face moisturizer. Conventional lotions and moisturizers often contain harmful sulfates, parabens, and fragrances. I have a very hard time finding anything in a store that has real, clean ingredients. Making your own is the way to go. Here are some cute containers you can package your moisturizer in.
And that’s it! 7 gifts from the homestead to give to your friends and family this holiday season! If you plan ahead a little bit, you can grow luffas, and herbs, and can extra jam during the summer months to prep for gifting during the Holidays. Thrifted items also make excellent gifts! See my list here of 10 things homesteaders should thrift! What is your favorite DIY gift? Let me know in the comments!