Here’s a not-secret about graduate students: we are poor. While I wouldn’t want any other job out there and while I am overjoyed that I actually get paid to think and talk and teach about books, I have to admit that my paycheck is pretty spare. Therefore, the holidays (and birthdays, etc) can be pretty taxing on my finances. So for the holidays, I like to give homemade gifts, which are easier on my wallet, but also show how much I care about the recipient.
This holiday, I made a batch of pumpkin pie spiced milk bath (adapted from here) for my mom, my boyfriend’s mom, and my boyfriend’s two sisters. I also made a batch of citrus-ginger detox bath soak (adapted from here) for my step-mom. They were all hits! Here’s how:
Pumpkin Pie Spiced Milk Bath:
Throw together this…
I made a big batch for under $10 by making my own oatmeal powder (oatmeal + coffee grinder = oatmeal powder) and using spices I had on hand. The milk powder was the most expensive part (seven whole dollars! the horror!), but a box of it made almost ten batches, so it was pretty cheap overall.
For my step-mom, who loves a good detoxifying or purifying or invigorating treatment, I whipped up this:
Citrus-Ginger Detox Bath Soak:
Throw together this…
Edit: an assiduous reader pointed out that this could definitely be read as “1 cup of prepared tea.” Not so! I mean 1 cup of loose herbal citrus tea leaves, although I guess a cup o’ tea would probably do the trick, too!
Again, this was super cheap, as I had all the ingredients on hand. I do this myself whenever I feel a cold coming on and so I can attest to it’s miraculous powers. The baking soda fizzes and the ginger is the kicker, but the oatmeal powder is soothing on the skin and the tea makes the whole thing smell good, so it’s a fun bath all around. But I always give this warning when I gift this soak: hydrate, hydrate, hydrate when you’re in the tub and once you get out. This detox will probably make you sweat more than you’ve ever sweated before (unless you’ve taken a bikram class, in which case you’ll be used to it) and you might feel pretty lousy afterwards; you’re really flushing out your system here, friends, which isn’t to be taken lightly. The ginger is powerful stuff, so I usually do this at night, before I’m going to bed, and then I just sleep it off. I always wake up refreshed!
So there you go, that’s Part 1 of my DIY Holiday Present Guide. But what about you folks — do you DIY your gifts? If so, want to recommend any tutorials that have been particularly successful for you?