A cup of coffee on a table

6 Awesome Gifts of Summer to Make Now for Christmas

Even if you didn’t have an abundant garden this year, don’t worry. You can still make these beautiful gifts of summer to hold onto for Christmas. You can find everything you need at a local farmer’s market. Won’t it be wonderful to welcome the Holiday Season knowing you have gifts ready to go?
Strawberry jam and fresh berries isolated on white

Strawberry Freezer Jam

Homemade Strawberry Jam for Christmast Gifts Sitting in Jars on a tableMix 2 cups crushed fresh strawberries with 4 cups sugar, and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir one package dry pectin into 3/4 cup of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 1 minute. Stir the boiling solution into the strawberries. Allow standing for 3 minutes before pouring into jars or other storage containers. Place tops on the containers and leave for 24 hours. Freeze and store frozen until ready to give. Makes 5 pints.

Isn’t that a cute label for “Christmas Jam?” It’s a free printable HERE from AFamilyFeast.com


Begin the potpourri mix with your garden’s dried flowers, petals, herbs, and fruits. Add essential oil to intensify the fragrance. Package in glassine bags from the craft store or glass jars. Embellish with a pretty ribbon. Search online for more specific instructions.

There are many possible ways of making potpourri—this article from Wikihow sets out the basics, after which it suggests various potpourri possibilities to try.

Freezer Salsa

Get out a super large cooking pot.

  1. Chop finely 20 pounds of tomatoes; 2 cups fresh cilantro, 2 large onions, 10 cloves garlic, 10 seeded jalapenos, 6 habanero peppers (or to taste) and 2 green peppers.
  2. Place all of the chopped vegetables in the pot.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons cumin, 1/4 cup salt, 1/4 cup white vinegar and the juice of 6 limes.
  4. Bring to a boil, lower temperature and simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
  5. Drain off excess liquid.
  6. Fill containers (glass or plastic) leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cool. Add lids and freeze for up to one year.

Makes 18 cups salsa.

Garden seeds

If you save seeds from your favorite open-pollinated garden plants, create a great gift for another gardener by packaging the seeds and presenting decoratively. Take photos while your garden is at its peak of beauty to include with your gift.



Zucchini Pickles

What a great way to preserve boundless summer zucchini and make-ahead Christmas gifts.

  1. Place 2 pounds sliced zucchini and two medium onions into a large non-reactive pot*; add 1/4 cup salt and enough water to cover.
  2. Let stand for 2 hours; drain well.
  3. In a 2-quart saucepan, bring 2 cups white vinegar, 2 cups sugar, 1 teaspoon each celery seed and turmeric, and two teaspoons mustard seeds to a boil; pour over the zucchini and onions.
  4. Allow standing for 2 hours.
  5. Bring to a boil for 5 minutes; pack in hot sterilized jars and seal; process according to these directions for “water-bath canning.”

Makes about 3 pints.

*A non-reactive pan does not interact with the highly acidic foods cooked in it, by changing the taste of the food and or the appearance of the cookware. The most common nonreactive kitchen items are stainless steel, tin, glass, plastic, and nonstick cookware. Aluminum is reactive. 

Lemon Curd

  1. Place a saucepan with several inches of water over medium heat and bring water to a simmer.
  2. Break 3 large eggs into a metal mixing bowl and add 3/4 cup white granulated sugar and 2/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice.
  3. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk continuously until the mixture foams and becomes thick, hot, and smooth—8 or 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the curd from the heat; whisk in 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest and 5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperatures and cut into 1-tablespoon chunks.
  5. Continue whisking constantly until butter melts and is fully incorporated into the lemon curd.
  6. Transfer to jars or plastic containers. Cover with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic wrap onto the surface of the lemon curd.
  7. Allow cooling in the refrigerator. It will thicken as it cools, at least one hour.
  8. Remove plastic wrap and apply lids tightly.

Prepared lemon curd can be frozen for up to 1 year without quality changes once thawed. To thaw, place the container in the refrigerator for 24 hours before intended use. After thawing, consume within 4 weeks.

This recipe doubles well.



There you go—six ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Be sure to share your ideas in the comments below!

A cake with fruit on top of a table
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Easy No-Cook Berry Freezer Jam

Prep Time10 minutes
Total Time10 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Servings: 45
Calories: 34kcal


  • 4 cups strawberries or other berries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 3 ½ tbsp freezer pectin Mrs Wages No Cook Fruit Pectin for example


  • Place prepared fruit in a bowl and crush to desired consistency. If using frozen fruit all to thaw in the refrigerator before crushing.
  • Combine sugar and freezer pectin in a small bowl. Blend well. Stir sugar mixture into crushed fruit.
  • Stir for 3 minutes
  • Ladle jam into clean, free-safe containers, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Secure lids and allow to stand 30 minutes to thicken. Note: Freezer jam set is softer than cooked jam
  • Store in freezer for up to 1 year.


Mrs. Wages No Cook Fruit Pectin comes with instructions that you can substitute the sugar with  Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granular) cup-for-cup. Either 1 1/2 cups sugar or 1 1/2 granular Splenda



Serving: 1g | Calories: 34kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.003g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 20mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 2mg | Iron: 0.1mg


peach jam
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Peach Freezer Jam

When they're in season, peaches are plentiful and relatively cheap,too. But the season is short. What to do with all those ripe peaches? Make jam ... freezer jam! So easy.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time1 minute
45 minutes
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Servings: 64 tbsp
Calories: 57kcal
Author: Mary Hunt


  • 3 cups fresh, fully ripe peaches about 2 lbs
  • 1 ¼ cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (1.75 oz) box Sure-Jell Fruit Pectin


  • Peel, pit and coarsely chop the peaches
  • Place the peaches in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you reach a chunky puree. (Don't have a food processor? Use a potato masher to mash them up in a large bowl.) You need exactly 3 cups of puree.
  • Pour the puree into in a large bowl. Add the sugar, gradually, stirring until dissolved.
  • Stir in the lemon juice. Allow sitting until the sugar is no longer grainy, fully dissolved, stirring occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, add the pectin and water to a small saucepan. Stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one minute, while stirring. Remove from heat.
  • Add pectin mixture to peaches. Stir for about 3 mins. The mixture will thicken slightly.
  • Spoon the jam into clean jars or other containers, with tight-fitting lids, making sure you leave about 1/2-inch of space at the top of the jar to allow for expansion in the freezer.
  • Allow the jars to sit at room temperature for 1 hour or longer to set. Store the jam in the refrigerator or the freezer. The jam will last in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks and in the freezer for up to a year.


NOTE: If while sitting and prior to freezing, the jam seems to separate, re-stir and keep stirring until combined. This may happen if the sugar and pectin are not completely dissolved.


Serving: 1tbsp | Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg


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