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HERBAL GIFTS
THAT CHILDREN CAN MAKE

The holiday season is quickly approaching. What better way is there to celebrate this season of giving thanspending precious time making simple herbal gifts with your children. Children love being creative and givinggifts they have made. And these gifts from the heart are wonderful to receive! They use wholesomeingredients, entice all the senses, and create a bond with the natural world.

Herbal pillows have many different uses, depending on the herbs used to fill them. Sew a small pillow andstuff it with an aromatic mixture of rose, lavender and chamomile to use for a relaxing eye pillow and to put byyour face while drifting off to sleep. Or try a combination of kitchen spices such as cloves, cinnamon, orangepeel, basil, and thyme to use under a hot tea mug or casserole. The heat then releases the scent into the air. Make small sachets of aromatic herbs to place in clothes drawers or linen closets. Fill one with catnip for a funcat toy.

Herbal potpourris are colorful just sitting on a shelf, and they release a delightful aroma into the air when ahandful is put in a pan of hot water on the kitchen or wood stove. A holiday combination can include cut pineneedles, red rose hips and hibiscus, aromatic rosemary, pieces of dried orange peel, star anise, whole cloves,cinnamon sticks, and small alder pine cones. Put the mixture in a beautiful clear decorator jar, adorn withfancy ribbon, and you have a beautiful gift.

Herb flavored vinegar is a great gift for any cook. Choose a single herb or herb combination. Herbs that areparticularly good to use are tarragon, rosemary, basil, dill, garlic, or one of the many flavor varieties of thymeand mint. Pour the vinegar over a handful of herbs per cup and let it steep for 2-4 weeks. To speed up theprocess, warm the vinegar before pouring it over the herbs, then let it sit in a cool, dark place to brew. Whenfinished, it should smell and taste of the herb. Strain and pour into beautiful decorator bottles and add a sprigof fresh or whole dry herb if available. Clean, reused ketchup and salad dressing bottles make perfectcontainers. And cut up used holiday cards for labels.

Misters are very quick and easy. Find a colored bottle with a mister spray top (available at many natural foodstores or craft stores). Fill with distilled water, and simply add drops of a single or combination of essentialoils. Spray into the air to test the aroma. Add drops of essential oil until you have a scent you are pleasedwith. Essential oils are very strong so be careful that you donít add too much at first.

So have a fun filled holiday season with the entire family making these herbal gifts which everyone will enjoythroughout the year.


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