Whether giving or receiving Christmas presents, for me, there's often food involved. Or, even better, there's often food and booze involved.
For my boyfriend's mum, this year I decided to go for a mixture of both - a big bottle of gin, and some homemade biscuits. She lived for a while in Denmark, so I thought I'd mix up some Danish biscuits, using this recipe from The Observer.
For a lovely friend of mine that I've spent several happy hours making and drinking our own booze with, I made some homemade clemencello (it's like lemoncello, but you use clementines not lemons). Basically, it's a mix of clementine rind, vodka and sugar. It's not hard to make, but it does taste wondrous - what more can you ask for? The recipe's here - I subbed out the star anise for a couple of cloves for bonus Christmas flavour.
I made one bottle as an experiment. Only said booze-making friend got a bottle to herself - what remains I'm keeping to get myself through a cold and rainy January in London!
For my parents, there was pear and dark chocolate jam. It ended up more like a rich chocolate spread, and again, I didn't make enough of it. (Yeah, who knew? The recipe I used was from Vegetarian Living magazine, but doesn't appear to be available on the web, but there are a few similar ones elsewhere out in the ether.)
You need to make this one yourself to believe me about how good it is. Get ready to make it, then double the quantity you're making because otherwise you won't have enough. Seriously, this stuff is so good, you'll be trying to bathe in it.
Here's my jar, nearly half empty. That's one happy Christmas right there.