None of these recipes is complicated or takes very long. One of the joys of the edible present approach is that it’s less stressful – you can buy ingredients in the normal course of your grocery shopping and a pretty jar, some cellophane bags, a handwritten label and maybe a rosette or a ribbon are all you need in the way of wrapping. Don’t forget, though, to write any storage instructions on the label, and a note of how long your present will keep for.
One last bossy note; jars and bottles should be sterilized before having foodstuff put in them. I regard a dishwasher-clean jar or bottle (providing it comes fresh from the machine, with not so much as a finger touching the inside) as a sterilized one. If you wish to be more meticulous, you can sterilize by washing your jars well in soapy water, then rinsing them and letting them dry in a cool (140C/gas mark 1) oven. If you’re putting warm chutneys or jellies into them, all jars must be used warm.
And remember, whatever you make is going to be a better present than almost any you might buy. And, really, wouldn’t you rather be in your kitchen instead of the shopping mall at Christmas?