Homemade gifts can be both fun to make and thrifty and gift jars are always popular. Not only do many people enjoy receiving Christmas gift jars, they enjoy making them. Having a Christmas Gift Jar-Making party is a different way to spend time with family or friends. You can share responsibilities for gathering supplies, picking supplies and splitting up the work. I planned such an event a couple of years ago and here’s what I learned.
Pick the Recipes
So many recipes can be packaged as jar gifts, it can be hard to choose just a few. Talk to the people who will be involved. Decide what kinds of recipes you want to work with. To keep costs down, I recommend sticking with one food category so ingredients can be similar. If you do too many different types of recipes, the shopping list will become enormous. Some possibilities are cookies, breads and muffins, soups and seasoning mixes.
Set a Limit
Once the recipes are selected, set a limit on the number of jars each person can prepare. Homemade gift jars work well for teachers, mailmen, music teachers and others who kindness and service you want to appreciate with a gift. To keep the party manageable, I recommend each person prepare no more than 10 jars.
Compile a Shopping List
Someone in the group who is good with math should do this. If there will be 8 participants, each making 10 jars, you will need enough of each ingredient to fill them all. If you are doing more than one recipe, for example 2 or 3 different types of cookies, then the total ingredient calculations need to allow for this. Compile a list of everything that will be needed. Don’t forget the jars and lids.
Determine How It Will Be Paid For
The ingredients can be divided among the participants, with each person bringing an equal amount. Another way is to have one person do the shopping and everyone can chip in an equal amount to cover the cost. The idea is to make it as easy and fair as possible.
This type of party needs a good deal of room. The host or hostess needs plenty of table or counter space. Set up stations for the major ingredients like flour, sugar, brown sugar. Prepare another station for specialty items like chocolate chips, nuts, etc. You’ll also need plenty of measuring cups and spoons. You can handle this by asking each person to bring their own set. When the guests arrive, each person is assigned to one station. The jars are passed from one station to the next, layering the ingredients in the order called for by the recipe. This causes the least confusion and commotion in the work area. Put some Christmas music on and have some fun.
Quilt squares or fabric scraps in holiday colors and patterns can be cut in circles about 8 inches in diameter. These are placed over the sealed lids and tied in place with decorative ribbons, cords or raffia. Hand written index cards or computer generated tags with the recipe preparation instructions are threaded onto the ribbon before tying and the gift jar is complete.
Make sure everyone takes their Christmas gift jars, measuring equipment and other supplies home. Decide what to do with any extra food supplies. Perhaps the person who shopped or hosted can keep them as a thank you for their efforts. This type of party takes a little planning to pull off but the actual assembly of 80 jars can be done inside 2 to 3 hours. You will have created memories and maybe even a new tradition.
Source: Personal Experience