Given the size of my immediate family, it was a huge relief when, a few years back, someone finally suggested that we stop the practice of exchanging sibling Christmas gifts. We now only bother with gifts for the little people (i.e., the kids and our petite little mom…), and it cuts the holiday chaos down quite a bit.
That said, I’m a bit of a traditionalist, and I still like the concept and festivity of small homemade holiday gifts of the party favor size. This year Laurel did the heavy lifting by painting up a storm (the results of which were set in small frames), and recently I was reminded of one of my favorite holiday, hostess, or foodie friend gifts when my sister-in-law requested my Magic Salt recipe from a couple of Christmases back. Modified from Sally Schneider’s Tuscan Herb Salt recipe (in A New Way to Cook), I dubbed this salt magical because it truly makes everything taste fantastic. It provides particularly wonderful seasoning for simple sautéed vegetables, or for meats of any kind.