There’s something very special about receiving (and giving) a homemade gift on Christmas Day. It undercuts all the rampant commercialisation of the festive season and takes us straight back to what lies at its heart: spending time with loved ones, and showing them – and others – that you care. Homemade edible goodies are the perfect present for foodie friends and family, plus these recipes can be made from a few days to up to three weeks before Christmas.
1 Preserves, jams and pickles
Make the most of summer's bounty of fruit and veg by creating your own preserves. They're easily made in bulk and when prepared and stored properly, can be opened and enjoyed at any time of the year. This capsicum chutney makes the perfect Christmas gift - not only is it a delicious addition to all of your summer cheese platters, it's a must with leftover Xmas ham!
2 Give the gift of chocolate
This decadent New York brownie is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. You can easily whip this recipe up two days before Christmas. Wrap in cellophane, place in jars or have a batch handy to keep those visiting relatives happy. It freezes well, too!
Chocolatey fudge is also a winner!
3 Christmas bark
Christmas-themed chocolate 'bark' is sure to be a lifesaver this festive season! Quick, easy and requiring just a few ingredients, creating bark involves simply melting your favourite chocolate then topping it with your choice of goodies.
This white choc bark recipe not only looks stunning, it also tastes delicious with minty candy cane, summery coconut and sugar pearl toppings.
4 Make your own tea blend
Nothing beats a cup of tea - so why not give the gift of a good cuppa?
Creating your own tea blend is easier than you think. Try our warming, beautifully spiced chai mix or Mexican hot chocolate for a great gift that's sure to go down a treat with all that leftover Christmas cake, mince pies and shortbread.
Spoon your tea blend into an airtight tin or jar along with a small note explaining any important flavours or brewing instructions.
5 Refined sugar-free snacks
After all the indulgence of the silly season, a thoughtful gift might come in refined sugar-free form. Try creating a batch of rich homemade chocolate hazelnut spread. It has all the flavour of commercially made versions minus the refined sugar and nasties.
If you loved the idea of Christmas chocolate bark but wanted a slightly healthier recipe - try these amazing refined sugar-free versions:
6 Flavoured popcorn
As possibly the most moreish snack on the planet, popcorn is sure to be a Christmas goodie bag hit. These crunchy morsels are also wonderfully economical and make a great gift for kids and adults alike.
Our favourite recipe is this vanilla dulce de leche popcorn which can easily be made in advance and popped into cute festive bags.
7 Gingerbread in every way
Whichever way you choose to share this gently spiced treat, be sure to decorate festively.
8 Homemade muesli or granola
Ensure your loved ones rise and shine with this thoughtful gift. Creating muesli or granola from scratch takes just a few simple steps, plus you can really personalise it with your choice of fruits, nuts and grains.
We love this luxury vanilla and malt toasted muesli recipe - especially because it can be made up to three weeks in advance!
9 Get creative with candy canes
Minty, sweet candy canes are a Christmas essential. Pluck them from their natural Christmas tree habitat and turn them into creative edible gifts.
Try crushing them up and adding them as a crunchy coating to these pinwheel biscuits, or as a pepperminty topping for these cute cupcakes. The kids can lend a hand creating this simple, tasty candy cane fudge as presents for their friends!
10 Give a bliss kiss
These gorgeous nuggets of goodness are basically a cross between an Italian cookie and a bliss ball. Bliss kisses make a wonderful Christmas gift that's suitable for your gluten-free friends and family. These can be whipped up two or three days ahead of giving.
11 Surefire shortbread
You'd be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn't enjoy crumbly, buttery shortbread. Simple and with a short list of ingredients, shortbread makes a great gift at Christmas time (especially because it's kind on your pocket).
Keep it traditional or add a modern twist with these fantastic recipes:
• Traditional shortbread wheels
• Espresso and cranberry shortbread
• Chocolate pistachio shortbread
• Parmesan and walnut shortbread
12 Bite-sized tarts and pies
Is there anything more festive than a mince pie at Christmas? Treat your family and friends to traditional favourites, or try a more modern flavour combination and give these pecan raspberry tarts a go!
13 White Christmas rocky road
Give rocky road a festive make over! This rocky road recipe swaps regular chocolate for white chocolate and dots it with cranberries, marshmallow, nuts and Turkish delight. Chunky, chewy and easily made in bulk, this is a must-try.
If you're looking to give a homemade gift with a sophisticated edge, look no further than truffles. By using thoughtful packaging like jars, pretty boxes and plenty of ribbon, you can end up with a gift that looks like a million bucks - minus the price tag.