No more gift cards! That’s my challenge this holiday season! This year it’s all about picking out and giving a gift and imagining the reaction when they unwrap it. Not to mention, the most fun part of getting a gift is wondering what’s inside. Don’t tell me you don’t go around shaking all the presents under the tree.

And to make the gifts even more personal, you can make them yourself. Yummy treats are always a great gift and nothing says caring like sharing something you made with your own two hands! This year why not make the most special gift for each person:

First, think about what the other person likes. Dad’s a baseball fan so how about homemade cracker jacks? Mom’s a chocolate freak, can’t go wrong with a box of homemade truffles. Little sister likes Frozen? (who doesn’t!) Make her Frozen ice cream sandwiches!

If you’re still stumped, try thinking about what a person doesn’t like. Maybe dad hates to vacuum. You could take over that chore for a month, a year, or even until you turn eighteen. Is Mom always running late in the morning and she forgets to eat breakfast? Try making her some breakfast treats that she can eat on the go, or at least leaving a banana on top of her briefcase. The gift of a gesture means a lot. Think about it. Wouldn’t it be awesome if your sister jumped in and offered to do your math homework for a month? Amazing!

Write in and comment below. Let us know what special things you made or did for someone else this holiday season!

For the chocolate lover in your life:

Photo by Andy Rogers

Photo by Andy Rogers



  • 1 16 ounce package OREOES, JOE JOE’S (or other sandwich cookie) cookies, crushed – Hint, use the mint flavored ones for a change!
  • 1 8 ounce package CREAM CHEESE, softened
  • 1 24 ounce package WHITE CHOCOLATE BARK
  • 1 24 ounce package MILK CHOCOLATE BARK
  • Variety of SPRINKLES, NUTS, CANDIES, COCONUT FLAKES, COCOA POWDER for optional truffle decorating.


  1. Using a food processor (or by hand in a Ziplock bag) crush the cookies into crumbs.
  2. Using hand held mixer or your (clean) hands, mix the cookie crumbs and cream cheese together.
  3. Roll into walnut size balls and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.
  4. Chill for one hour.
  5. Melt approximately ¾ package of white and chocolate bark. (See package for melting instructions)
  6. Stick a toothpick in the cookie ball and dip it in the melted almond bark. Alternate between white and chocolate
  7. Decorate with sprinkles, nuts, or candies
  8. Allow to harden on the wax paper lined cookie sheet

(Get creative! Have fun playing with different ingredients. Hint: think about what the person eating the gift loves!)

For the baseball or popcorn fan in your life:



  • ¼ cup BUTTER
  • 3 tbsp CORN SYRUP
  • ¼ tsp SALT
  • ¼ tsp BAKING SODA
  • ¼ tsp VANILLA
  • 8 cups POPPED POP CORN
  • 1 cup PEANUTS (optional) (Hint: substitute other nuts, or even dried fruit or chocolate chips, to make it more personalized!)


  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet (or two depending on the size) with parchment paper.
  3. Combine popped popcorn and the peanuts (or add in of your choice) in a large bowl. Set aside.
  4. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and salt over low heat until the butter is melted.
  5. Cook without stirring for 3 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.
  7. Carefully pour the syrup over the popcorn and mix until evenly coated.
  8. Spread mixture in an even layer over the baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 15 minutes.
  10. Let cool and break into chunks.
  11. Package, wrap and enjoy! (Don’t forget to add a special Cracker Jack prize to the box!)