Jar mixes make thoughtful homemade holiday gifts and are so simple to put together that even the smallest of Santa's little helpers can be part of their preparation. They're ideal gifts for hard-to-buy-for relatives, teachers, or neighbors, and to have on hand in the event you need a last-minute host or holiday gift. Below we've gathered 11 jar mix recipes with a holiday theme—while steering clear of the most tooth-rotting candy-laden ones! Naturally, we recommend using organic ingredients whenever possible, and instead of splurging on brand new Mason jars, you can keep things green and use an eclectic assortment of recycled jars too. Many of the recipes below include handy printable labels, and the kids can make the jars even more personal by adding their own artwork and decorative touches. Happy homemade holidays!
Image: The Yummy Life
1. Pumpkin pie spice mix
Pumpkin pie spice mix is so easy to make, you’ll never be tempted to buy it again with this recipe from The Yummy Life. TYL’s Monica also provides free printable jar labels and an inspiring list of all the other things you can use the spice mix for besides pumpkin pie. If you prefer, you could also layer the spices in the jars, sand art style, as shown on Oh She Glows.
Image: Food for My Family
2. Gingerbread cookie mix
Gingerbread cookies are so festive, and Food for My Family has a wonderful cookie mix in a jar recipe for them, plus free printable labels. Blogger Shaina also has a separate post with plenty of suggestions for types of gingerbread cookies to make with the mix, including some spectacular mini tart cases.
Image: Oh My Veggies
3. Whole wheat chocolate chip pancake mix
The holidays equal lazy, indulgent breakfasts, so this whole wheat chocolate chip pancake mix from Oh My Veggies will be a half naughty, half nice treat for your gift recipients. If you want a not-so-sweet pancake recipe, Good Life Eats offers a 5 grain pancake with flax mix in a jar. Both recipes come with free printable labels too.
Image: The Kitchn
4. Chai tea mix
Cold weather calls for comforting hot drinks, and The Kitchn delivers on its claim that this is the best chai tea mix ever. The recipe’s addition of red peppercorns and green cardamom pods adds to the festive theme of this gift—perfect for those you know who aren’t so into baking.
Image: Love Grows Wild
5. Hot chocolate mix
This sublime hot chocolate mix from Love Grows Wild (second item in the linked list) is definitely the most indulgent recipe in this roundup, but if you stick to organic ingredients and perhaps even make your own vegan marshmallows, you can stay in Santa’s good books. For vegan options, simply swap out the milk powder for soy milk or coconut milk powder, or any other milk substitute powder you prefer.
Image: Skip to My Lou
6. Cinnamon spice muffin mix
Muffin mixes are gift in a jar staples, and this cinnamon spice variation from Skip to My Lou has just the right seasonal touch. Cindy from Skip to My Lou also has a Christmas-y Peppermint Brownies in a Jar recipe if you really want to pull out all the stops, and both recipes come with free printable labels to add the final flourish to your gifts.
Image: The Happier Homemaker
7. Seasonal simmering pot
OK, here’s a twist: this simmering pot recipe from The Happier Homemaker is designed to make your loved ones’ homes smell festive, with no baking involved. The contents of these jars are simply simmered gently on the stove to spread a wonderful, spicy, citrus smell throughout the whole house. If you have access to a food dehydrator, you could also try this non-liquid version, Christmas in a Jar, from Dandee Designs.
Images: Cul de Sac Cool
8. & 9. Cranberry winter cookies & Pumpkin cranberry bread
Whether at Thanksgiving or Christmas, cranberries are a thing come the holidays! These two cranberry-laden jar mix recipes from Cul de Sac Cool (numbers 1 and 4 on the linked list) will spread the holiday cheer in no time flat. Yum!
Image: 30 Pounds of Apples
10. Homemade mulling spice mix
Non-alcoholic, hot, spiced apple cider? Or perhaps some warming mulled wine? Either way these gorgeous handmade sachets of mulling spice mix from 30 Pounds of Apples will get everyone in party mode. The packaging suggestion given by the blog is to put the sachets in little cardboard gift boxes, but of course a recycled jar with some wonderful bespoke children’s artwork will be just as sensational!
Image: Vegan Richa
11. Vegan pumpkin chocolate cake in a jar
From Vegan Richa, in this recipe pumpkin plus chocolate plus vegan-friendly equals hurrah! All the recipient of this gift has to do is mix in pumpkin puree and non-dairy milk and they are good to go. Gifting a tin of organic pumpkin puree on the side will probably be helpful too. Vegan Richa also has a couple of exhaustive lists of gluten- and soy-free ideas for gifts in jars that are worth checking out, including ready-baked and savory recipes.
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Lead image via Food for My Family