Back in the era when I made a sincere-if-ultimately-misguided attempt at Classical Suburban Mom Domesticity, I got into Holiday Gift Treat Making. Each year, I would try to make something new, or would combine tried-and-true favorites in a cavalcade of Christmas food overload, all tied up in bows and ribbons. Twenty pounds of carefully-baked Chex Mix? Three different kinds of fudge (peppermint, rocky road, walnut)? Giant pretzel sticks dipped in melted chocolate and then rolled in either shredded coconut, red and green sprinkles, or chopped Heath bar bits? Check, check, and check. But that on top of creating, writing, addressing, and sending out over 100 Christmas cards, and all the present selection, buying, and shipping, and all the holiday stuff at school and work parties and charity stuff AND AND AND AND caused me to have a December meltdown of sorts. I just couldn't do it anymore; remember, the only class I ever flunked in school was Home Ec. I don't have the temperament to be Martha Stewart-perfect, but at least I can say I tried, and also that I never made food that killed anyone... I believe.

In genial honor of my seasonal failures, today I bring you a few ideas for holiday treat gift-giving that won't stress you out, break your bank, or cause Krampus to burst through your toilet and take you away to Mars, or whatever it is that he does to evil kiddies at Christmastime. Please to enjoy!

1. Dump a cup of white sugar in a ziplock bag. On the outside of the bag in red Sharpie write "FROSTY SNOW CRYSTALS" and instruct the recipient to enjoy with a spoon at their home or even on-the-go!

2. Find an old wine bottle with a twist cap (like you have wine with a cork anyway, lol), making sure it is empty. Take the old grapes you have left in the fridge and put them in your blender with a cup of white vinegar and 2 cups of store-brand lemon-lime soda that you have let go flat. After it is mixed, pour into wine bottle and replace cap. Use your printer to copy some fancy wine label (maybe a Chardonnay or something) and superglue it on the bottle. Tie red ribbon on bottle, and tell your giftee that it is from your family's "private collection."

3. Take 2 cups of stale Raisin Bran, mix in chopped up Halloween candy, put in Ziploc bag. Call it "REINDEER TRAIL MIX."

4. Take leftover meatloaf and stud it with chopped-up Gummi Bears and chill. Call it "GRANDMA'S SPECIAL FRUITCAKE." Don't worry about anyone figuring out it's meatloaf; everyone tosses out gift fruitcake right away, so no one will ever taste it.

5. Take three stale large marshmallows and stack them, secured internally by toothpicks. Chop up a couple of Xanax tablets and use the pieces to make a face on the top marshmallow. Call it "MOMMY'S LITTLE HELPER SNOWMAN" and give to an equally-agitated homemaker. Remind her to eat it at home after the kids are in bed, and to not die from eating the toothpicks.