Friday, 18 December 2015

The Simple Christmas - guests make their own gifts

It’s hard sometimes to know what to buy family for Christmas, and I am loath to buy little trinkets for the sake of getting something ‘nice’. I’ve decided therefore to help my family make their own gifts this year:

Rosemary is delightful in a herbal oil - it lasts well too because of the low water content in the leaves.
  • herbal oils - each person can create their unique blend picked fresh from the garden. I’ll provide the jars, oil, scissors, labels and of course, herbs - they just do the making.
  • herbal tea blends - self-selected herb blend which can dry in the food drier before packing to take home. Similarly, I will provide the things they need to make it.
The very versatile Tulsi makes wonderful teas.
I’m also considering setting up a table for them to make their own natural tooth cleaning powder, calendula or comfrey balm and pot of mixed herb cuttings.

There's something really satisfying about making things from scratch - whether it be cooking, craft, dressmaking, woodwork, building or growing food for that matter. 

It's not just the quality of the items, but the meaning that is constructed during the making process, and the skills developed too. It's no surprise the maker movement is so popular, and people love receiving or buying handmade unique gifts.

At the many workshops I have led around Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, I have certainly noticed that the most popular are the ones where people have the chance to get hands-on to make something of value they can take home.

Quite often I take along dozens of plants to teach people how to take different sorts of cuttings. Everyone goes home with their selection of plants to add to their garden.  I see lots of people coming back again and again for more cuttings - different ones (and replacements!). I love hearing the stories of how well their edible gardens are growing and how much they enjoy sharing their produce and plants with others.

Other workshops I run involve making personalised blends of herbal teas, herbal oils, herbal vinegars, herbal balms and lotions. This one has been particularly popular. People who come along love creating their own special blends and are amazed at actually how simple this all can be.  

So hopefully the family will enjoy ranging through the garden harvesting herbs and making some lovely smelling personalised oils and teas to take home this Christmas day.


  1. Hello Morag
    I have just discovered your site and wanted to say that I love it! It's so inspiring to read peoples blogs, who are already living my dream and are happy to share their knowledge and wisdom. I'm in the UK and are just starting my permaculture journey so I have a long way to go. I'm looking forward to reading and learning from your future posts, thanks again for sharing your wisdom :) Christmas wishes from a bleak and wet UK xxx

  2. Hello Irene, Thanks for visiting my new blog and best wishes on your permaculture journey. I look forward to meeting you again here. Happy Christmas from the Antipodes.