I'm back with the dreaded C word again.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
I'm back with the dreaded C word again.
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 1:36pm
It's not charge - it's Christmas. My plans for Christmas gifts. I was given a huge amount of delicious plums and got my MIL's help making plum jelly. We made 36 pints Sunday afternoon. It is so good. So now to my Christmas gift idea. We had almost a gallon of juice left that we still need to make into jelly. I'm getting some decorative 1/2 pint jars for the next batch. I'll get some cute gingham fabric to decorate the tops. My gift to extended family and co-workers will be a jar of homemade jelly and homemade bread.

Just an idea to plan ahead while fresh fruit is in season.

Don't let this Christmas be stressed because of a lack of time or funds. Plan now and don't charge.


Avatar for mquin73
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 2:38pm
You are absolutely right. Actually I have been thinking a little of what to get others for Christmas. Funds are VERY tight this yr, unlike past yrs, so it's time to be really frugal. I personally, like to get gifts that I can actually use, especially since doing Flylady I don't want my house filled with more STUFF I don't need! lol I wish I knew how to make jelly and canned stuff. Last yr I did some baking for a few family members, made cookies mainly. I would still like to do some of that but also add in a few homemade things.

Thanks for the idea!


signature 2008

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 2:51pm
Making the jelly was really easy. It only takes three ingredients - fruit juice, sugar, and Sure-Jel. The Sure-Jel package has instructions for all types of jelly and jam.

Good luck on your Christmas plans.


iVillage Member
Registered: 05-30-2003
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 3:00pm
This sounds like a good idea. I've never canned, etc in my life. It's odd, though, I'd totally forgotten that one of my favorite things to get from one of my Grandmas for Christmas was jelly made from the berries that I'd picked for her when I was visiting for a week during the summer.

I'm starting to think about Christmas also. And was sort of dreading it-last year it was one of the things that helped to derail us from The Plan, and I am *really* not anxious for a repeat this year.

Keep the good ideas coming...Thanks, Julie!


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-26-1999
Tue, 06-10-2003 - 3:12pm
I was just thinking of making jam!! I LOVE making jam--which is bizarre, because I usually end up standing over a boiling pot of fruit on the hottest days of the year...

I agree that jam is very easy to do. I use Certo crystals (or a generic brand) and all the instructions you need are in that box. The key thing to remember is to make sure that your jars are clean and STERILE...I wash the jars, rinse well, and then I keep them hot in the oven while I wait for the jam to be ready. Also key is to make sure there are no splatters of jam on the rims of the jars because that will prevent a good seal. My favourite jam is plum jam made with Italian/prune plums. I don't peel them, just pit, chop in blender or food processor, and make the recipe.

Also great for christmas gifts is home-made wine. One year we made pear wine (my idea, with my ideas for spices/flavourings) and it was fantastic. Blackberry wine is also wonderful too. It doesn't take much fruit to do wine--mostly with wine it is just the time that is a big commitment.

Hope that helps someone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 2:56pm
Even though I'll be 40 years old this Christmas, my family still generates Christmas lists, as if we were writing to Santa, except we email them to each other! I usually ask for gifts to charities, but last year got 'selfish', and also asked for gift jars of food mixes - I got fabulous cookies, brownies, soups. My sister, who I think is secretly Betty Crocker, made them by hand for me!

I was planning on making gift jars like that, and cross-stitch the decorative cloth for the lids. DFG (Dear Fly Guy) just installed a dishwasher, so now I can sanitize my jars without burning myself, and make jams. I haven't found my jar lifter though, and that thing saved me many times, so I'll splurge for another one.

What a great idea! Strawberries should be out around here now (except for that it's been cloudy and rainy for two months...)

Lee Ann


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-1999
Wed, 06-11-2003 - 6:44pm
Julie, THANK YOU for mentioning Christmas now!!!! I am not a cook, but I am a sewing gal, and I need time to whip up a few scarves and handbags out of my extensive stash of fabrics.....so I don't need to spend much either for the gifts this year.....don't know why I'm not using the craft stuff I already have....Yes, we should all start planning our gift lists now! I bet we all will be able to inexpensively get through the holidays this year if we start now. I'll be making my list tonight....this even saves me time at the end of the year......

We should blurt out CHRISTMAS IS COMING every month this summer...........