Trail mix, also known as gorp, is a portable snack made of dried fruit, cereal, nuts, chocolate chips and sometimes candy. Because it is easy to whip up a large batch, trail mix is the perfect gift for holidays, especially if you can wrap it in a unique container and include a personal note, witty poem or cute saying. However, finding the perfect poem or quote can be challenging. These suggestions will help you craft the perfect prose to accompany that trail mix gift.
Play Off Its Unique Name
Use the trail mix’s clever name to inspire you. For example, the gift tag on a “Nuts and Bolts Mix” could say something like “For a no-nonsense kind of guy--just the Nuts and Bolts.” A Hawaiian Crunch mix could play with the slogan from a popular beverage, “Hey, how about a nice Hawaiian Crunch?”
Find Inspiration in the Ingredients
Get ideas from the ingredients. For example, a mix with multi-colored dipped pretzels could include a gift tag stating “You have me all tied up in knots.” If it includes fish-shaped crackers, personalize it with a note that says “Here is a gift for a person who is never a fish out of water.”
Add Seasonal Food Items to Your Mix
Adapt your standard trail mix recipe to include food available only during holidays. Some examples include mint-flavored chocolate chips, candy corn, red cinnamon hearts, and candy-coated milk chocolate pieces in holiday colors. Use these ingredients to rouse your creative spirit when writing your gift tag. For example, a candy corn trail mix could include a saying like “It might sound corny, but I’m thankful you are my friend.” A mint-flavored mix could include a tag that says “You’re worth a mint to me.”
Package It in a Unique Container.
Use an unpredictable tin, box or dish for inspiration. Paint and decorate an empty Altoids tin, then fill it with your mix to create “the world’s tiniest trail mix.” Plastic containers shaped like carrots (often available around Easter) could be filled with trail mix; attach a note saying “Eat your vegetables!” A miniature treasure chest can sport a gift tag that proclaims “You are a real treasure!” Plastic containers shaped like jelly beans (also found at Easter) could include a note saying “Candy is good for you; eat up!” Discount stores and online novelty stores often carry unique food containers. Scour the party favor section for ideas.
You could also transform clean, empty coffee cans, potato chip cylinders, plastic peanut butter jars, and Kool-Aid canisters into whimsical holders for your trail mix.
Name it after a classic Christmas song or movie.
Trail mixes covered with melted white chocolate are especially popular in December. They usually have mundane names like “holiday trail mix” or “white chocolate trail mix.” Instead, call it the “Dreaming of a White Christmas" Trail Mix. Adapt a song's lyrics to match your theme, such as: “I‘m wishing you a white Christmas, with every taste and bite. May all your days be merry and bright. And may all your Christmases be white.”
How about a “12 Days of Christmas” Trail Mix? Match ingredient portions to the song. Or perhaps an “O Tannenbaum" mix that includes Christmas tree-shaped pretzels?
Additional Tips and Resources
Arm yourself with a good rhyming dictionary, a regular dictionary and a thesaurus. They will help you find the perfect word or phrase for that gift tag.
You can find ideas online and in books, but you will need to dig deep to find them.
Websites like Quoteland, Bartleby and Ask Oxford can assist you in finding famous quotes and sayings.
Check your library for books that explain the symbolism behind common gift items like flowers, food and gems. For example, Deanna Washington's "The Language of Gifts" has a chapter on historical connotations of some foods.
It is even more difficult to find books that pair homemade gift suggestions with appropriate ready-made sayings and quotes. Robyn Freedman Spizman‘s book "The Giftionary" includes a few ideas that may inspire you. You can also do an Internet search for information using keywords like "food symbolism."
Jill Evans' book "Creative Containers" offers many ideas on turning empty cans and containers into holiday-themed packaging for food gifts.
- "Christmas Gifts of Good Taste," Anne Van Wagner Childs; 1991
- "In The Nick of Time," Anne Van Wagner Childs; 1994
- Creative Gift Giver website and newsletter
- Pamela Follett/Demand Media