It's the most wonderful time of the year, as they say. That is, unless you ordered the latest and greatest gadget too late, and now it's stuck in supply chain limbo. We're here to help.



It's the most wonderful time of the year, as they say, unless you ordered the latest and greatest gadget too late and now it's stuck in supply chain limbo.


Or maybe you're like Daniel Gritzer.

DANIEL GRITZER: I am very much a last-minute gift giver and have to fake something else (laughter) in desperation.

KELLY: Gritzer is the culinary director at Serious Eats. We spoke with him and other food makers and crafters who make the case for going DIY this season.

CORNISH: One homemade gift Gritzer recommends - raisins.

GRITZER: I call them oven-dried grapes, which got some reactions from readers saying, why in the world would you oven-dry grapes when you could just buy raisins? And that is a valid question, but they're pretty special.

CORNISH: OK, let's hear him out.

GRITZER: You get caramelization that happens on the surface of the grapes as they dry in the oven, so it's fruitier and it's brighter and it's fresher than you would get from a box of raisins on the supermarket shelf.

KELLY: If you're feeling a bit more festive, New York Times food writer Priya Krishna recommends the trusty holiday classic - cookies.

PRIYA KRISHNA: If someone gave me, like, a jar of cookies the size of, like, a fire extinguisher, I would be so thrilled.

KELLY: Same, but not just any cookies. She wants Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies

KRISHNA: They're like a chocolate chocolate cookie with, like, a really nice, salty note to them. They're impossible to hate.

CORNISH: And impossible to hate seems like a gifting goal we can all aspire to.

KELLY: Indeed. What's not to like about chocolate chocolate cookies?

CORNISH: But let's just say your beloved does not have a sweet tooth. Gritzer and Krishna both suggested making chile crisp - the bright, burnt amber condiment infused with chile flakes.

GRITZER: There's a bit of shopping you maybe have to do to get your chiles and doing some garlic slicing and shallot slicing and things like that. But it's highly customizable and easy to make.

KRISHNA: I have, like, a tradition where I make dumplings during the holidays, so chile crisp would be a perfect thing to gift me (laughter).

GRITZER: Of course, there are exceptions to this, but if you have it, you can put chile crips on anything. People have done ice cream sundaes topped with chile crisp.

KELLY: Sweet and spicy sounds good. But if shallot slicing is not for you, fear not. Crafter and schoolteacher Aris Rossi suggests digging out some art supplies, some blank cards and making homemade greeting cards.

ARIS ROSSI: And that way, the recipient can go through these and any time they need, you know, a thank-you card for a co-worker or friend, they can pick out a card that works for them.

CORNISH: Her other go-to gift - a spa in a jar.

ROSSI: It's just a little mason jar full of spa goodies like nail polish, nail files, things like that, bath bombs. Wrap a big bow around it and hand it off as a really nice spa-at-home-day gift.

CORNISH: If homemade sounds like a recipe for disappointment for your loved ones, well, we've got you.

URSULA CARMONA: I have three teenage girls and they don't want anything homemade. They just want cash (laughter) cold, hard cash. That's it.

KELLY: Same for the teenagers in my house. That is Ursula Carmona. She suggests mixing something store-bought, like a gift card, with a crafty element.

CARMONA: One year, I put together jars, and I just filled it up with various little ornaments. And I just stuck a gift card right in the middle of that and wrapped it with a bow. And it made a cute, homemade but not really gift card type of gift.

CORNISH: Daniel Gritzer says if even that stresses you out...

GRITZER: If they're so petrified to make anything, maybe they could just gift a very nice chocolate bar or something (laughter).

CORNISH: Just wrap it nicely, like, with a bow.

KELLY: You can find recipes and photos of what these gifts could look like at or look for ALL THINGS CONSIDERED on Facebook and Twitter. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.