Christmas is nine days away and, quite frankly, I’m scared. Things that have induced my self-prescribed last-minute holiday shopping phobia: A luxury SUV-driving Grinch yelling at the Starbucks barista through the drive-through speaker. The look of horror on a small child’s face when he overheard a disgruntled parent wishing there really was such a thing as Santa (news to me too). And the incessant and ever irritating car horns—most blaring for no apparent reason. So, even if my shopping expedition starts out merry and bright, by the time I have made it into my parking spot at the mall, even the jingling bells of the Salvation Army volunteer can set me a fluster. But, this year, all shall be different. No more malls, no more anxiety-induced eye twitching, and no more breaking the bank. This year I’m going homemade y’all and here is how I am going to do it.

First up, Bourbon-Caramel Truffles
Show stoppers in every sense of the phrase especially if you down too many, so beware. Looking to go that extra mile? Try them in pretty tins like these.


Panettone (Italian Christmas Bread)
There is nothing better on Christmas morning than a hot cup of coffee and a slice of this Panettone. Achieve its cylindrical shape by baking it in a clean coffee can. Sure they sell, pricier—perhaps prettier—versions in specialty markets but we are going homemade, remember?


Rudolph’s Christmas Sugar Cookies
Santa's best buds in edible form for the kiddies, of course! OK, maybe make a few dozen extra for the adults too.


Bourbon Pecan Sauce
I know what this sounds like, but really, it’s not just me—bourbon desserts are a calling card of the season. Keep things easy and gift in a mason jar with a simple bow tied around the top. Don’t forget a hand written note.

And finally, straying from holiday baked-good tradition, brace yourselves for this one:


Spicy Pickled Green Beans
Everyone has someone a little “eclectic” on their holiday gift list why not give them what they rightfully deserve, an eclectic gift to match? A tall glass jar is all you will need. No wrapping necessary.

Whether you try one or have a go at all five, make sure you enjoy your holiday season—away from the mall.