A great way to stretch your holiday budget is to create homemade Christmas gifts for co-workers, teachers, coaches, and other important people in your life. I love the scent and taste of vanilla and also love sharing it with others- so here are 4 homemade Christmas gifts using vanilla!
Truly I would love to give all of these amazing people trips to the spa or a gift certificate to a fancy restaurant to show how much I appreciate them- but with 6 kids that is just not in the family budget! Homemade Christmas gifts can be a great way to show how much you care about someone and give a gift that is really wonderful (especially when it's something you would even love to receive yourself!).
Homemade Gifts Using Vanilla
It all starts with buying good quality vanilla beans, and when you look around you'll find there are different grades of beans and that they come from different regions of the world. For all of my recipes below, I used these Grade A Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans .
Be sure to make a little extra of each to keep for yourself!
Homemade Kahlua Recipe:
When I first published this post, I received several reader comments that there is no way you should use this much coffee- that the mixture would be like sludge! But I've made this recipe dozens of times- and it is absolutely delicious!
- 4 cups water
- 1½ cups instant coffee crystals
- 4½ cups vodka
- 8 cups sugar
- 2 vanilla beans
- Mix water, sugar and coffee crystals. Heat and stir until dissolved.
- Cool the coffee mixture to room temperature. Add in the vodka and stir to combine.
- Pour Kahlua mixture into bottles for "brewing".
- Cut each vanilla bean into thirds and drop bean pieces into each bottle and cap the bottles.
- After 2-3 weeks, strain the liquid to remove the vanilla bean pieces and then re-bottle into decorative glass containers for gift giving.
Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe:
I first made homemade vanilla extract four years ago- and I swear I'll never use store-bought again. The aroma is so rich and the flavor it gives to my baked goods is fantastic!
- 5 vanilla beans
- 1 cup of vodka
- Use a knife to split the vanilla bean in half, leave about a ½ inch at each end intact. Put your vanilla beans in your glass bottle or jar and cover with vodka.
- Close jar or bottle and store in a cool, dry place for at least 8 weeks. Give the bottle a shake every week or so.
Homemade Brown Sugar and Vanilla Body Scrub
This is so decadent to use in in the shower and bath!
- 1 lb. light brown sugar
- ⅛ cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon of vanilla extract (use homemade vanilla extract- see recipe above!)
- 1 cup olive oil
- Mix together all of the above ingredients until well blended.
Homemade Vanilla Sugar
We love to use this in coffee and tea for that extra hint of vanilla flavor!
- 3 cups granulated sugar
- 4 vanilla beans (split and scraped)
- Combine the sugar and vanilla bean scrapings in a medium bowl.
- Using your hands rub together the sugar and the vanilla bean scrapings until all the scrapings have been distributed throughout the sugar.
- Pour into decorative glass jars. The vanilla and sugar will age over time and become more fragrant and delicious.
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Looking for Some More Holiday Ideas?
- 50 Christmas “Would You Rather” Questions for families (free printable game)
- 3 Printable Christmas Mad Libs
- The 16 Best Christmas TV Specials and Movies for Families
- 10 Great Stocking Stuffers for Busy Moms!
- 15 Gift Ideas for the Organized Mom
- 10 Great Travel Gifts for Road Trip Warriors!
Which vanilla gift above is your favorite?