Posts Tagged holiday season

Make Your Own Holiday Presents – Gifts in a Jar


red presents

I seriously cannot be the only person who has not done their holiday shopping yet…right? Well, if you’ve procrastinated like me, or if you have a few people still remaining on your gift list, consider an easy, do-it-yourself present that your person with dementia may enjoying helping you with. In searching the internet, I encountered dozens of potential ideas for this post, from diy christmas ornaments, to cookie recipes, to personalized coffee mugs and more. If you are reading this and not already familiar with Pinterest, let me just say….I LOVE Pinterest! I’m actually what you would call pin-sessed. Not only is Pining a fun (and addicting) past time, but there are a plethora of activity and recipe ideas which you and your person with Alzheimer’s may enjoy trying. Just saying!

So after doing my research, I finally settled on a “gifts in a jar” theme. These really appealed to me because of their versatility (did you know you can make so many different gifts in a jar??) and their easy execution. Chances are, you probably have many of the things needed for this activity already in your home.

In the example below, this diy gift in a jar contains a “fudgy brownie mix”. Honestly, who wouldn’t want to receive that as a present? Your person with dementia can assist in this activity by dumping in the different layers of ingredients, one at a time. This will probably be easiest if you offer guidance and supervision throughout the process. For instance, you could pre-measure the quantity of flour needed for the bottom, position a funnel over the mouth of the jar, then assist your person in pouring the flour in through the funnel. It may work best to repeat the process of pre-measuring, funnel, and guided assistance with the remaining layers. Of course, the amount of hands on supervision you provide will vary depending on what stage of the disease your person in living with. Your person may also enjoy nibbling on the chocolate chips (which are added to the jar last), or reminiscing about pleasant memories involving food and baking. Many older adults experience a great deal of fulfillment from sharing their stories with others, and it is important to offer opportunities which encourage this.


Below I’ve included the ingredient list for this gift in a jar, as well as recipe instructions for the recipient of this gift. For more details, please visit the SixFiguresUnder official website. Happy Holidays everyone! 🙂

Homemade Fudgy Brownie Mix

  • 1 cup + 2 tbs flour
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  •  1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Instructions for Using Homemade Brownie Mix

Mix contents of the jar with:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Pour into a greased 9″ square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean.

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Paint Acorns for a Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Painted Acorns     paint-fall-acorns

Want a beautiful way to embrace the Thanksgiving spirit? How about making an easy-to-do Thanksgiving centerpiece? I’ve found a simple method for doing this here. For those that have life-long love affair with arts and crafts, this is truly a must try activity. I’ve included the step-by-step directions below. Follow along here or visit for a more detailed description, plus other neat tips, tutorials, and project ideas.

  • Gather acorns outdoors. Ideally, you are looking for acorns with the caps still intact. Try to collect enough to line a cookie sheet.
  • Place the acorns in a foil-lined cookie sheet.
  • Heat oven to 170 degrees. Bake for 1.5-2 hours.
  • Remove acorns from oven and allow to cool.
  • Using acrylic paint, paint just the bottoms of the acorns with a brush. One coat will do, but feel free to add a second coat if that’s more your style.
  • Allow the paint on the acorns to dry.
  • Set out painted acorns in a candy dish or other centerpiece arrangement.

If you live in an area where acorns are plentiful, you could even make finding the acorns outside an activity in itself. Keep in mind that it is the act of doing that is pleasurable for the person with dementia, not necessarily the outcome. So essentially, don’t put too much pressure on the person to paint immaculately done acorns. If a drip of paint gets onto one of the acorn caps, who really cares? The most important thing is to have fun!

Think how accomplished you and your person will feel after making this gorgeous piece of eye candy for you and your guests to admire during the Thanksgiving feast. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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