Being a poor university student, I often struggle with buying affordable and useful Christmas presents. This year, as I am a fairly good cook, I made hand dipped chocolate truffles in three different flavours. While materials-wise these presents were inexpensive, I put a great deal of time and effort into them, resulting in very professional looking truffles. About a week before Christmas I gave some to my boyfriend of a year to share with his family (mother, who I get on well with, and a teen-aged brother), with the message that they do not have to be kept until Christmas, and as they have cream in them there is an expiry date. This is in addition to presents that I have gone out and bought for them all.
After Christmas, I’m at my boyfriend’s place (he still lives at home) and see that my box of truffles has been wedged into a corner of the fridge and is untouched. I was rather put out about this – to have put time and effort into something only to have it ignored (and it’s not as if anyone in the house is dieting or has food allergies, and the truffles my family received were appreciated, so it couldn’t have been the taste – not that anyone had any). In the end I had to throw them away (due to the cream). I know she didn’t do it intentionally, and she is otherwise a nice lady, but it made me feel that my efforts were unappreciated. And I never did receive a thank you. 0101-10
I love making and giving food gifts at Christmas. Over the years I’ve made gourmet marshmallows cut into snowflake shapes that I combined with hot chocolate mix, chocolate pizzas, white chocolate dipped Ritz cracker/peanut butter sandwiches, jams, etc. all lovingly wrapped in attractive packaging. This year I’m giving jars of Strawberry Margarita Jam, Carrot Cake Jam and I found these awesome cookie molds for making beautiful chocolate covered Oreos.
The etiquette rule in regards to giving gifts, any gifts, is that once it leaves your hands and becomes the possession of the receiver, you no longer have any control over what becomes of that gift. I’ve learned over the years not to give certain food gifts to particular people because they never enjoy them. A dear friend of mine gave me a jar of homemade apple butter a few years ago and while I appreciate the effort and thanked her for it, it is still unopened three years later. I don’t have the heart to throw it out unused.