Eating healthy is pretty easy January through September (with a few indulgences on Valentine’s day and summer vacations). But once Halloween time hits, eating healthy takes more self control than I sometimes have. Last Christmas I was working very hard to eat healthy and was proud of my success. Then my neighbors came over with my favorite treat; Mexican wedding cookies. Those delicious, buttery cookies doused in powdered sugar were more than I could take. That was the beginning of the end for me. I, of course, had to repay the favor with a batch of homemade fudge. I tried to resist, but the spoon really does clean better if I lick it clean before putting it in the dishwasher. I realized, Christmas is going to have its splurges, but I can alleviate some of them for myself and my friends and neighbors by changing up neighbor Christmas gifts. After my fudge episode, I decided to deliver non-treat Christmas gifts. So many people thanked me specifically for not bringing in sugary treats. So you can also be a hero to your neighbors, here is a list of 11 thoughtful gifts for your neighbors that won’t require you to buy a 20 lb bag of sugar.
- Stove Top Potpourri – This is my favorite non-food gift. It’s inexpensive, easy to put together and brings in the Christmas spirit with amazing smells.
- Wrapping Supplies – Rather than deliver a plate of cookies, deliver a roll of Christmas wrapping paper, a roll of tape and a bag of bows. This is always useful during Christmas time. To save money, prepare for this a year in advance by stocking up on discounted wrapping paper the week after Christmas.
- Favorite Family Christmas Book – Our favorite Christmas book is The Polar Express. Deliver your familiies favorie Christmas book with a bow and a card.
- Mini Nativity scenes – This is one of my favorite crafts. It’s easy to make several of these at a time and a homemade gift is always appreciated.
- Homemade Cinnamon Ornaments – I love to make these because they smell amazing and make me feel like I’m making sugar cookies without actually having cookies around.
- Christmas spices package – Everyone uses spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and allspice during Christmas time. Tie these bottles of spices together with a ribbon and a tag and deliver them to your neighbors.
- Homemade fruit basket – Fill a basket with apples, pears and oranges. Or make it easy on yourself and deliver bags of Cuties mandarins.
- Favorite Family Christmas movie – Like the book, deliver a family Christmas movie. Our favorites are “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “A Muppet Christmas Carol” and “A Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol.”
- Caroling and a card from the family – Gifts for all the neighbors can get pretty expensive so consider caroling to each of your neighbors and writing a personalized card.
- Bundle of Firewood – This may only work for some neighbors as electric fire places are all the rage now… but if you have any neighbors with a wood-burning fire place, a small bundle of firewood would be very appreciated.
- Reindeer Food – This is a fun gift for families with small kids. Instruct the kids to sprinkle the “reindeer food” on the front steps on Christmas eve for Santa’s reindeer. Kids have a great time seeing the food is gone (instructions for mom and dad) on Christmas morning.
I especially like the Christmas spices idea. Good blog.