Apple cider potpourri

Apple Cider Potpourri
There's nothing quite like the sweet smells of Christmas, and this potpourri will leave a home smelling like the jolly holiday all year round. 

Start with a square of cheesecloth. In it, place any assortment of herbs and spices you like. Martha's favorites are star anise, cinnamon sticks, orange peel, cloves and candied ginger. Cardamom, allspice and bay leaves also work. 

Tie the cheesecloth with a string to make a spice packet, and tie the packet to the handle of a wooden spoon. Place the spoon over the top of your pot and submerge the spices in a warming apple cider. Let your spices mull in the cider.

Remove the spice packet and let it dry out.

At the end of the day, you've got a Christmas-scented potpourri to give as a gift and a delicious pot of apple cider for yourself!
Narcissus plant bulbs

Narcissus Plant Bulbs
Plants are a great hands-on present for young kids.

Give them 12 bulbs, the dirt or pebbles and containers in which to plant the bulbs. Narcissus takes about six to eight weeks to blossom and smells divine.
Pinecone balls

Pinecone Balls
Pinecone balls look great on a coffee table or end table, but can be pretty pricey at the florist.

To make your own, you'll need a Styrofoam ball, a glue gun and small pinecones. Put a little bit of glue directly on the Styrofoam ball and affix the pinecones all over.

Martha says these make an especially great gift for your kids' teachers.
Beeswax candles

Beeswax Candles
Forget spending money on a fancy candle—it's quick and easy to make your own!

Start with a sheet of beeswax and a wick, which you can buy at any candle-making store. Just roll the beeswax around the wick, making sure to keep the edges even. To seal the edge, gently press the seam with your fingers. Aside from looking great, beeswax candles are fabulous because they don't drip.

Watch Martha's demonstration
Cookie boxes

Cookie Boxes
If you're giving out cookies this Christmas, make sure the container is as nice as what's inside. Cover bread tins in parchment paper, and fill them with the cookies of your choice. Once the dessert is gone, the lucky recipient will be left with a beautiful box to remember you by.
Kindling kit

Kindling Kit
Nothing beats cuddling up in front of a crackling fire. Martha has created her own special kindling kit that she makes at home and gives as a gift come holiday time.

To create your own, collect dried sage, orange peel, nut shells and fresh fruit wood and place everything into a sap bucket. The orange peel makes the fire smell good, and the nut shells give it the classic crackling sound. Gathered together in an old-fashioned bucket gives the gift a rustic feel. Make sure to include long matches, so the person making the fire doesn't have to get too close to the flames!
Bath salts

Bath Salts
After the crazy holiday season, there's no better gift than rest and relaxation. Soothing homemade bath salts will allow your friends and family to kick back and take a breather. 

To make them, combine 3/4 cup Epsom salt, 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 1/2 cups of coarse sea salt. Mix everything in a bowl with a drop of scented oil and add a couple of drops of vegetable food coloring. Mix well to get the color to distribute evenly.

Funnel your salts into a clear bottle, label the scents and you've got a gift that no one would ever guess was made in your kitchen!
Custom Baskets

Custom Baskets
When it comes to gifts, it really is the thought that counts. If you can't think of the single best gift to get someone, why not give a collection of small things? Personal touches, like the inclusion of a someone's favorite food, drink or bath product, often say more than a single extravagant purchase, Martha says. 

Create your own personalized wrapping paper 

How to serve a dinner of gifts 

More how-tos and recipes from Martha Stewart