As we rapidly move into Christmas, I’m finding myself busy with the final details of the holiday. The tree is up and decorated, the outside lights were strung up at the beginning of the month and all the gifts have been taken care of- thankfully, I sent out most all of the gifts I needed to ship last weekend. I’m currently working to figure out how I want to wrap each of them and trying to do a little each day.
Other than driving to the gym to teach classes (I’ve been teaching a lot of Spinning classes recently since a lot of people have been traveling or are sick) I’ve really been making an effort not to go out, as there has been an exceptionally high number of accidents on the roads every time I get close to any of the shopping areas. Last weekend on my way back from teaching, I took a side road to avoid an accident that had 3 lanes closed only to have a car right behind me get into a major accident shortly after passing through an intersection. As the man in the parking lot said, “That’s just the holiday season, isn’t it?”
I suppose it is these days, which is a shame, as it’s also supposed to be a time to spend with family and loved ones and instead we end up being stressed out getting so caught up in buying gifts and taking advantage of sales. When I was in Japan this past summer I made an effort to pick up some small Christmas gifts for people but the bulk of what I’m giving people is like what I’ve done the past several years: handmade gifts.
I prefer to give consumable gifts like some special condiments or sauces I’ve made, or this year, tea blends, but I’ve certainly been known to knit small gifts from time to time!
Wanting an excuse to buy lots of different herbs to sample and play with at home (to accompany my herbal studies) I decided that this year it would be nice to make some herbal tea blends. This also gave me an excuse to use up some of the herbs I had dried from the garden or had foraged for earlier in the year!
While I had planned on making three different blends, I only ended up with two that I was confident in with regards to taste and aroma: a relaxing tea (aka: Sleepy Time Tea) and a tea for cold and flu season.
For a few recipients, I may be ruining the surprise of some gifts by sharing it all with you here but I hope that maybe some of you will be inspired to play with and make some of your own last-minute gifts rather than rush out to the chaos of the stores.
Sleepy Time Tea
2 TBSP Dried Chamomile
1 TBSP Dried Lavender
1 tsp Dried Skullcap
1 tsp Dried Lemonbalm
1 tsp Dried Red Clover
2 tsp Dried Rose Buds
1 tsp Dried Stevia
Cold and Flu Season Tea
1 TBSP Dried Goldenrod
2 TBSP Rose Hips
2 tsp Dried Marshmallow Root
1 TBSP Dried Calendula Flowers
1 tsp Dried Sage
For each tea, mix the herbs together and store in a sealed jar in a dark place.
To drink, add 1.5 tsp per cup (or 1 TBSP for 2 cups) of off-boiling water. Let it steep for 7-8 minutes before straining and serving!