DIY · Food

Two Ideas for Gift Giving this Christmas

If you’re like me, you just flipped through your planner and realized that, oh crap, Christmas is NEXT WEEK.

I have two ideas for gift giving this Christmas. Depending on your gift-giving style, one is DIY and the other is through Cotopaxi–a company that sells outdoor adventure gear that funds poverty alleviation across the globe.

DIY Homemade Caramels with Sea Salt


I decided to make little DIY caramel gifts for coworkers at my office. These caramels with sea salt were absolutely delicious! They were so good I ended up making a second batch. I wrapped the candy using cut squares of wax paper. I then used glitter paint to doodle “Christmas trees” on plain paper bags I found at Michael’s, and packaged the candies in cute little diary bottles I also found at Michael’s. Since these bottles didn’t come with a lid, I put circles of fabric and tied on the tops with twine. And, because I ended up making more caramels than what I originally planned, I packaged the rest with Christmas mason jars I bought from Dollar Tree. And to top it all off I doodled Christmas wishes on cardstock rectangles to accompany each bag.

Caramels with Sea Salt


  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup light-color corn syrup
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • flaky sea salt


  • Line a 3-quart baking dish with parchment paper, extending over edges.
  • Place butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, condensed milk, and 1/8 tsp. salt in a large pot. Melt and stir constantly.
  • Continue heating and stirring until candy thermometer reads 245 degrees (soft ball stage).
  • When candy reaches this stage, removed from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Pour mixture into dish. Sprinkle top with sea salt.
  • Refrigerate 2-3 hours until firm. Lift parchment paper out of dish and cut into slices.
  • Wrap caramels in squares of waxed paper, twisting ends. Store at room temperature for up to two weeks.


Not so much the DIY type? Or short on time? Try ordering from Cotopaxi. This company sells outdoor adventure gear that funds giving back to those in desperate financial need. So, while you’re ordering a gift for a friend or family member, you are at the same time giving financial support to someone in poverty miles away.


Check out their backpack page. The Luzon – Del Dia, pictured to the left, allows the workers complete creativity in choosing color schemes–no two bags are alike!

They also sell jackets, exercise clothing (YES), tees, gear, and accessories–all great gifting ideas.

Check out Cotopaxi’s guide to giving below, or their impact page. This information is central to what the company does and what it stands for.

Happy gifting and giving!



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