Fresh Finds for Holiday Gift Giving

By Alisa Murray –

Whether you are a Game of Thrones fan or not, “winter is coming!” I always love the fall and spend time preparing for the colder months even if in our part of the country there seems to be less and less days spent battling much cold! This is the time to gather herbs and oils and make wonderful body products that are natural and will help you with skin and hair issues as the weather changes.

Last year I surprised my friends with my homemade lavender milk baths. So many were delighted to receive such a simple and thoughtful gift. Over the course of the year, I have been thanked over and over for those milk baths, and it reminded me of a time growing up when almost everything we gave as gifts were indeed homemade. Going forward, I am making that a tradition now that my garden and experience has gifted me the opportunity to make homemade items that I once upon a time had no clue how to make and spent a lot of money accumulating. We live and learn!

During the winter months, we need to moisturize more and scrub off dead skin cells. I have put together a set of fantastic recipes that you’re sure to love. Each has the scents of autumn and winter that goes perfectly with this time of the year. They are easy to make items that you will perhaps want to duplicate and make for your friends. Best for all, most of the ingredients you already have at home, and I’ll bet you did not even know you could make from scratch and at pennies on the dollar these thoughtful gifts compared to the store bought and perhaps less effective beauty products.

Rejuvenating Nutmeg & Frankincense Rosemary Scalp Oil

This oil treats your senses, as well as moisturizes your scalp. The oil should be made in a glass container that can be sealed and shaken prior to use.


  • 4 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4 Sprigs of fresh rosemary from the garden with stems stripped off
  • 2 Teaspoons of nutmeg
  • 8-10 Drops of frankincense
  • Glass container that seals

Mix all of the ingredients together and store under your bathroom sink. Shake and apply to scalp massaging into the hair. Wrap hair in a warm towel from the dryer and let sit for 15 minutes. Then, shampoo as usual.

Macha Green Tea Pepperminty Sugar Hand & Body Scrub

Nothing says winter time more than this body scrub. Grab a bowl from the kitchen, and add the following ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of white sugar
  • 1 Packet of Macha Green Tea Powder
  • 4 Heaping Tablespoons of peppermint oil
  • Large jar or glass container

Squish all ingredients together in the bowl, and then add a generous dollop of peppermint oil. Mix well and put into a glass container. This green, pretty scrub is perfect for Christmas gifts when tied with a red ribbon.

Honey, Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Scrub

Lips and elbows need extra love too during the colder months, and this scrub is the best for taking care of those tiny spots. You can scoop this into little jars as well and make them into great stocking stuffers!


  • 6 Heaping Tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup of olive oil
  • 5 Tablespoons of raw honey
  • 2 Tablespoons of ground cinnamon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, and then spoon into tiny jars for gifting.

French Lavender & Fresh Rosemary Sea Salt Soak

Another fantastic way to use fresh rosemary from the garden is with my sea salt soak.  This is super easy to make and can be bottled in a nice bottle or jar to make beautiful and memorable gifts.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Cups of Kosher Sea Salt (I prefer the rocky kind)
  • 4 Tablespoons of dried lavender seeds
  • 4 Sprigs of fresh rosemary with stems stripped off
  • 20 Drops of lavender oil

Combine all ingredients together in a bottle or jar, and set
beside the bath tub. Use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of Sea Salt Soak per bath.

Alisa’s Favorite Fall Body Oil

Cleansing oils are all the rage, and in the coming months, I’ll be sharing with you my recipes for many different ones and their uses – all made from goodness in the garden and cupboard! I like the extra emollient avocado oil provides combined with simple ingredients, such as teas and spices. This particular oil needs to sit for a week or so to infuse together.  It makes a nice bath oil that smells of fall and is great for your skin. I recommend using a sealable jar or bottle that can be easily poured into the bath.


  • 1 Sealable jar or bottle
  • 10 oz of avocado oil
  • 2 Pods of Autumn Tea Blend, cut open and in leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons of vanilla oil
  • 4 Sticks of cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon of cloves
  • 1 Sprig of mint from the garden

Combine all ingredients into the bottle. Place cheese cloth over spout of bottle, and pour into warm bath. So good for you skin and decorative as well!

I hope each of these recipes make it into your fall and winter kitchens and hopefully into the expecting hands of your friends and family. They are all lovely in their own ways, and whether you need moisturizing, sloughing, cleansing or scrubbing, there’s always something fresh to find in your kitchen and garden to whip up and enjoy!