This year, almost everyone is creating their holiday shopping list with their budget in mind. For many, this means they are baking cookies and breads to give as gifts. There are many options to wrap the Christmas baked goods for delivery, from purchased tins to recycled containers.
The easiest way to package cookies is to buy holiday tins and boxes at a craft store. You can find a variety of packaging ranging from Chinese take-out style boxes to large, round metal canisters. These containers usually cost from one to three dollars apiece. Make sure you wash the tins or line the boxes with parchment paper before filling them with food. Whatever type of goodies you plan on baking, you can find the right size of container, with no need for wrapping paper.
Another possibility is to purchase inexpensive plastic containers for your cookies. During the holiday season, many plasticware companies issue containers in special, seasonal colors specifically for this purpose. However, less costly regular plastic containers can also be used, and then wrapped in gift paper and ribbons for decoration. A four-pack of small plasticware containers should cost approximately $2 at your local grocery or super store.
If you are giving someone a selection of baked goods, you may consider purchasing a basket to hold the gifts. A small basket usually costs around $3 and can hold several different goodies such as half a dozen cookies and a small fruitcake. Of course, baskets are best when you are hand-delivering the gift, and can look like a professionally prepared arrangement. Wrap the entire packed basket with cellophane or plastic wrap to make sure the food stays in place.
Repurpose Glass and Metal Containers
A creative and environmentally-friendly option is to repurpose glass and metal containers you already have. For example, empty coffee cans are the perfect size for a tall stack of large cookies. Candies and snack foods fit into glass jars that once held pasta sauce. You can remove the labels and decorate the jars and cans with ribbon or small pieces of material. Simply use craft glue to attach the decoration to the outside of the jar. Of course, you do not want to use any glue or paint inside the container because of the danger of contaminating the food. If the jar or can originally held a strong-smelling food, such as coffee, pour a tablespoon of baking soda in and let set for a few days before rewashing and filling with food.
A tight budget does not mean that you cannot give gifts to friends and family during the holidays. With some effort and creativity, your loved ones can receive charming gifts that show how much you care.