If you’re looking for a little something special, to surprise your Thanksgiving guests with, consider this idea to kick off the holidays. Placing one at each person’s place setting would be a wonderful new tradition you could start this year!
This Christmas Scent Simmering Potpourri is a great gift idea because it is inexpensive, all natural, you can make it yourself, and it’s a gift that lasts all season long! And you can create several of these scent mixes to help you cross several people off your Christmas gift list also… at once!
Consider it for – friends, relatives, neighbors, co-workers, teachers, babysitters, nail techs, hair stylists, favorite postal worker or restaurant server, etc.
First, you will need to gather the following ingredients, in a large enough quantity to make the desired amount of gifts.
- CINNAMON STICKS
- DEHYDRATED ORANGE SLICES
- CRANBERRIES (optional)
Look for inexpensive sources for these products to keep costs down. Here’s where I found mine:
- Cloves at The Christmas Tree Shop (57 cents per jar)
- Cinnamon Sticks (check out the Spanish section of the grocery store for a large bottle of Badia Mexican Cinnamon Sticks – typically under $10)
- Dehydrated Orange Slices (Home Goods -$2.99 for a bag of 16 slices. Remember – Home Goods, Marshalls & T. J. Maxx are all the same owner, so you have 3 places to look for them! 😉
- Cranberries ($2.50 in the grocery store produce dept.)
And if you prefer to save even more money and have a little time to devote to the process, here’s the directions to make your own, oven-dried Orange Slices (makes apx. 18 slices)
- 1 navel orange, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees
- Cut the orange into thin, round slices
- Line a cookie sheet or jelly roll pan with parchment paper or a (nonstick) baking mat and lie orange slices (on top) in a single layer. Do not place them directly onto the baking sheet or the slices may discolor when they react with the metal
- Gently pat the orange slices dry with an absorbent kitchen towel to remove most of their moisture
- Use a sifter to lightly dust one side of the orange slices with confectioners’ sugar. Flip and repeat this process on the other side of the orange slices. (the sugar creates a slight “candied” look, which is great for presentation purposes or if you decide you’d like to hang some from a ribbon in your tree, wreath or garland.
- Bake apx. 2-1/2 hrs, turning half-way through (more often if you feel ambitious! lol) until the peels are dry and their flesh is translucent
- Remove the baking pan from the oven and allow the slices to cool completely
- If you would like to reserve some of your orange slices to create “orange-aments”, use a sharp knife to open a small slit (between the peel and flesh of the orange slice) and slip a skinny length of ribbon through. Tie both ribbon ends into a knot and hang… they look great when hanging in front of tree lights or a window’s light and smell great!
To assemble your Christmas Scent Potpourri: add 1/4 – 1/3 cup of Whole Cloves, 3 – 5 Cinnamon Sticks, 2 – 3 Dehydrated Orange Slices and 10-12 Fresh Cranberries in each bag. I also have suggestions for ways to give this gift: in a small bag (plastic or paper), with instructions included. Click HERE to download and print the “INSTRUCTIONS” tag I created so you can add it to your package also.
Give the Christmas Scent-filled Bag by itself -or- add it to a holiday theme take-out container
or place inside a mini potpourri crock. I found the electric crock below at The Christmas Tree Shop for only $4.99:
but they are also available at Bed, Bath & Beyond for $9.99 and if you use a 20% off coupon, they will cost you only $8!