I saw my first Christmas advert on TV yesterday, nearly a full month before Halloween. I don’t know about you, but there is something about Christmas advertisements which makes me feel anxious, unprepared and slightly depressed, and I’d like to smack retailers for bothering me in October. Consumption for consumption’s sake gets to me, and I don’t like feeling pressured to buy things that my friends and family neither want nor need just because the calendar hits a certain date. So this year, I’m not going to do it. This year is going to be different!
This year I am putting together hampers for everyone on my Christmas gift list, and my plan is to make everything in them myself (save a bottle of wine – I’m not that crafty). So far, I have soaps, lip balms, home-made jams and jellies, and some gourmet tablet (www.fablet.co.uk) made by my lovely and talented husband. I’m also including some of my hand-blended chai, and thought I’d share the recipe for anyone interested in making some. It’s dead easy, and it looks gorgeous packaged in a Kilner or Mason jar.
1 part black tea - I use organic Assam, but you can use whatever you like. Just make sure the leaves are whole and not pulverised or tea-bag cut.
1 part spice mix - whole cloves; cardamom pods; broken cinnamon sticks; dried, sliced ginger; vanilla pods (snipped into small pieces); pink peppercorns; and a few pieces of star anise.
The spices are chosen for their colour as well as flavour, but if there is something in there you don’t like, feel free to leave it out. I’m not crazy about anise, and only use a small amount because it’s pretty. I love cardamom, though, and really pile that into the spice mix.
You can blend it all together or layer it in the jar. Either way, it looks beautiful.
Do you have a recipe or craft that would work for hampers? And if you do, would you share? :) I thought we might do a little pre-Christmas exchange of ideas. I bet we could come up with some fabulous Christmas hampers!