Thanksgiving Hostess Gift Idea | Deluxe Pumpkin Bread in a Jar |

Mouth-watering mason jar gift idea: Pumpkin bread

Emily A. is a Hallmark editorial director with a knack for crafting some seriously tear-inducing cards…and some seriously smile-inducing gifts. Read on for an easy and tasty mason jar gift idea perfect for your Thanksgiving host!

Thanksgiving Hostess Gift Idea | Deluxe Pumpkin Bread in a Jar |

This time of year you won’t have to look very far to find an opportunity to give someone a gift. Whether it’s celebrating the holidays with co-workers, expressing gratitude to neighbors or just sending someone a little long-distance love, this cake mix in a jar is a great way to say “Hey!” to someone who means a lot.

It’s also a great way to give someone a meaningful yet convenient experience. By giving your friends or family almost everything they need to bake pumpkin bread, you are giving them an opportunity to share a dessert with whoever is around their table. And because it’s shelf-stable, you are also giving them the freedom of baking when it’s easiest for them. Not to mention, this is a nice, edible gift you can actually mail with no problems.

The components of the bread mix look lovely inside the jar, and you can use any jar that holds one dry quart. Of course a mason jar works perfectly, and I think by now we all have one of those lying around in our cupboards. But spruce up this project with a jar or glass canister of a different shape or size if you’d like. Use a wide-mouth mason jar to allow easy filling and packing, and if you have a canning funnel, so much the better.

Round out this gift with these printable recipe cards and labels, to add a nice personal touch. (It’s always lovely to look back on recipes written in the penmanship of an old friend or family member, so I left room for you to write in the recipe yourself.) Include the full recipe in case your friends or family want to recreate this bread later on their own, but specify that all they have to do with the bread mix is add the three wet ingredients.

You could even include a small pie pumpkin and a dozen farm fresh brown eggs from the farmers market. If you’re delivering this gift locally that would make a bountiful and beautiful arrangement.

Make a couple of batches all at once and have ready-made gifts just waiting to give when you need them. This would also make a unique addition to a bake sale. And it might not hurt to make an extra one to keep in your own cabinet, just for those times during the season when you suddenly find yourself in need of a pumpkin bread and no time to bake or buy one. You can whip up one of these in under an hour and with hardly any mess if the mix is already made.

Feel free to explore other recipes if you have a favorite vegan or gluten-free cake you like to make or give. Any recipe that requires mixing all the dry ingredients together first would work well in a jar.

Emily’s Deluxe Pumpkin Bread

For the mix:

  • 1½ cups whole-wheat flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon all spice
  • 18 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 13 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup oats
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ cup choc chips

To finish the cake:

  • 1 can canned pumpkin
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs


  1. Prepare the layered mix:
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir until well blended.
  3. Place mixture into a 1-quart jar and pack down.
  4. On top of the flour add the brown sugar layer, the white sugar layer and the oats, packing each one down before adding the next.
  5. Add the raisins and chocolate chips.

Give these instructions with the cake mix:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour a 9×3 bundt pan (or use two loaf pans).
  3. In a large bowl, combine 1 can of pumpkin, ½ cup of vegetable oil and 2 eggs, stirring until well blended and set aside.
  4. Place contents of jar into a medium bowl and mix until well blended.
  5. Add dry mixture into the pumpkin mixture, stirring until well blended.
  6. Pour batter into the prepared bundt pan.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (use less time for two loaf pans) or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

My recipe was inspired by this one, but I modified my pumpkin bread to include favorite spices and flavors and more whole grains.

Printables designed by Hallmark designer Leslie S.

Are you giving homemade gifts this year? Show us! Tag us on Instagram, @think.make.share

Holiday Shopping Cheat Sheet |

Gift shopping made easy: Black Friday Wish List printable

Lindsay T. is an innovative designer, fast problem-solver and impeccable taste-maker. She’s also a key part of the Think.Make.Share team and back today to share a cool and useful Black Friday family tradition. Definitely one to pass around next week!
Holiday Shopping Cheat Sheet |
 The holidays are full of traditions, and today I thought I’d share a long-standing (and quite handy) family tradition in hopes that it can make your holidays a little easier, too.
My parents are Black Friday shoppers. They always have been. I always thought it was cute of them to wake up the day after Thanksgiving and head out into the world together to tackle the crowds and get good deals for their kiddos. Pretty early on they started asking us some basics the night before: what we wanted, what we didn’t want, what size shoe we were…which I always thought was so smart. How nice is it to have your son’s shoe size written down so you don’t find yourself guessing (or texting and ruining the surprise) in the middle of the aisle?
So now, on the evening of Thanksgiving, we all “turn in” our Black Friday wish lists, which includes handy things like hat size, shirt size, what stores we’re into, what colors we like this year…etc. 
It has evolved from mom and dad asking before they headed out the door to all of us having a fun assignment on Thanksgiving. And even though we are now all spread out across the nation, come Thanksgiving night, the emails start rolling in with everyone’s wishes. I print them out, pop ’em into my purse, and am armed for mall madness.
I’d love to pass this tradition onto you. Download the holiday wish list printable and spread the Christmas cheer!
Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration | Make a beautiful floral arrangement from grocery store blooms and produce |

Friendsgiving flowers: An easy, organic arrangement

We’re back today with the final installment of our Friendsgiving series, a collaboration with Gimme Some Oven and Because It’s Awesome. We’ve covered setting a no-fuss tabletop with personality and serving delicious libations. Time to tackle that centerpiece. Take it away, Tobe!

Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration | Make a beautiful floral arrangement from grocery store blooms and produce |

Let’s be honest. Florals can be intimidating. But they don’t have to be hard! Using Scott’s grocery store flower arranging tips from last year as a reference, I found a way to make them my own by keeping things monochromatic and incorporating fresh produce.

Here’s how to get a similar organic look for your Friendsgiving flowers:

Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration | create a beautiful floral centerpiece from grocery store flowers |

1. Select a grocery-store arrangement with colors you respond to (I love rich jewel tones) and pick up an extra bunch of greenery if you can. Eucalyptus looks great with most any flower and smells fantastic to boot, so that’s usually my go-to. Remember that you won’t have to use everything in the arrangement. In fact, I recommend sticking to around three different types of blooms. So if there are some stems that make it into secondary arrangements (say, for your entry or powder room), all the better!

Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration | create a beautiful floral centerpiece from grocery store flowers |

2. Select your produce. Have fun with this! I used artichokes and kale leaves for their fullness and texture (and because they were readily available at my local grocery store), but there are no rules for what you can and can’t do. Kumquats, grapes, green pears, cuties and herbs are all great options. Tip: Keep it seasonal to lower cost.

Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration | create a beautiful floral centerpiece from grocery store flowers |

3. After choosing a simple, round glass vase, I started with a nest of greenery. You don’t need a lot of this, and it doesn’t have to be symmetrical. In fact, if you are going for a more organic, wild look, it’s best to have at least one long stem in there. I used eucalyptus and kale for my foundation.

Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration | Make a beautiful floral arrangement from grocery store blooms and produce |

4. Layer in your largest flowers and work your way to smaller blooms. I took Scott’s advice and clustered the types of flowers for a more sophisticated look. (A monochromatic color scheme helps keep it chic, too.) If you’re incorporating large produce, place those early as well. You may end up shifting things a bit once you get more in the arrangement and start to see where your gaps are.

Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration | Make a beautiful floral arrangement from grocery store blooms and produce |

5. Finish things off with a few more sprigs of greenery where you see fit. You want a little bit of this interspersed with your flowers to add interest throughout.

Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration | Make a beautiful floral arrangement from grocery store blooms and produce |

6. Enjoy!

Photography by Jane Kortright.

Share your Friendsgiving floral creations with us on Instagram @think.make.share

fromGIMME SOME OVENSparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria |

Friendsgiving Recipe: Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria from Gimme Some Oven

Ali from Gimme Some Oven is one of our favorite bloggers. We love her positivity, her adventurous spirit, and (of course) her food. She’s guest-posted for us before, and we’re very happy she’s back to grace our Friendsgiving with her stand-out sides and swoon-worthy sangria! 

Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria from Gimme Some Oven |

‘Tis the season for all things “giving”!

And even though Thanksgiving is still a few weeks away, November has already been full of celebrating. And full of good friends. And full of food. (I still feel full of food!!)

Just this week, a few dozen friends from downtown gathered at my loft for our annual Neighborsgiving, which is ultra-casual and ultra-fun. Next week, I have a Friendsgiving on the calendar, hosted annually by a dear friend who coordinates a beautiful candlelit meal full of friends, and then sends everyone home with a blank thank-you card to pass along. And then, of course, I’ll be traveling home to be with family on Thanksgiving, where we go all out each year with a traditional turkey meal with all the fixins.

But one of the highlights of November was getting to begin the month with another lovely Friendsgiving with a bunch of new and old friends from Hallmark!  Once upon a time, I used to help with some food styling in the photo studio at Hallmark, and still am so inspired by all of the creative people who work there. So when Tobe mentioned that a bunch of people were getting together for a Friendsgiving at her place (in her gorgeous new dining room, no less!), I was all in.

Since I’m always testing and re-testing holiday recipes around Thanksgiving, I volunteered to be in charge of the food and brought along a little feast to share. But instead of messing with a turkey, we decided to keep things easy and fun (and as it turns out, vegetarian) and go with a theme I’ve always wanted to try: a “sides-only” Thanksgiving!!

Sides Only Friendsgiving Menu | Gimme Some Oven +

And it was DELICIOUS!

If you ask me, the sides are the best part of Thanksgiving anyway. And with dishes like my Butternut Squash Quinoa “Stuffing”, Hummus Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Casserole, Slow Cooker Creamed Corn, Slow Cooker Cranberry Sauce, and Bourbon Pumpkin Pie, I think it’s safe to say that no one left hungry.

Of course, we also needed something sparkly to toast to the occasion. So for something festive, I decided to mix up a simple Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria recipe.

Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria from Gimme Some Oven |

Sangria is often my go-to drink for entertaining because it’s quick and easy to make, lends well towards mixing up in large batches, it can be made in advance, and —with the addition of a few fruity garnishes—always looks and tastes extra lovely! And because cranberry+orange happens to be a favorite holiday combo of mine (like in this baked brie and this cheesecake, for instance), I figured it would be a winner in sangria.

Turns out, it was delightful.

To make it, simply stir together some cranberry juice (I recommend finding a brand with 100% juice), some sort of orange liqueur (I used Cointreau), a fresh orange and lime (or lemon), and a few cinnamon sticks for spice. Let the flavors chill and meld together in the fridge for a half hour, or even up to eight hours if you’d like to make it in advance.

Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria from Gimme Some Oven |

Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria from Gimme Some Oven |

Then when it’s time to serve, pour in some sparkling wine…

Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria from Gimme Some Oven |

…and serve it up!

Sangria is always more fun when served with some extra garnishes. So I added some extra orange slices, fresh cranberries and cinnamon sticks to the glasses for serving, and they were so lovely.

Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria from Gimme Some Oven | thinkmakeshareblog.comSparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria from Gimme Some Oven |

Even more lovely, of course, when raised in the air for a toast!

Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria from Gimme Some Oven |

Definitely a wonderful meal, made all the more wonderful when shared with good friends.  So cheers to simple cocktail recipes and to many more delicious “givings” to come!

fromGIMME SOME OVENSparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria |

Sparkling Cranberry Orange Sangria

Servings: 8
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 0 mins


  • 2 cups cranberry juice
  • ½ cup Cointreau (or any orange liqueur)
  • 1 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon or lime, thinly sliced
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 bottle sparkling wine (Cava, Champagne, etc.)
  • optional garnishes for serving: fresh cranberries, extra cinnamon sticks, extra sliced oranges


Stir together cranberry juice, Cointreau, orange slices, lemon (or lime) slices and cinnamon sticks in a large pitcher.  Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes (or up to eight hours).
When you are ready to serve the sangria, add the sparkling wine to the cranberry juice mixture and stir briefly to combine. Serve immediately in glasses, topped with optional garnishes if desired.

What’s your favorite Friendsgiving (or Thanksgiving) food? Let us know in the comments below!

Photography by Jane Kortright and Ali Ebright.

Host a low stress Friendsgiving dinner |

Creating the perfect Friendsgiving tabletop

Tobe R. is our fearless leader here at Think.Make.Share, but she’s also an accomplished lettering artist, graphic designer, brass collector and interior decorator. Today, she’s sharing the first of three posts about our Friendsgiving extravaganza, a collaboration between Think.Make.Share, Gimme Some Oven and Because It’s Awesome, Tobe’s personal blog. 

Host a low stress Friendsgiving dinner |

As we were dreaming up content to share with you guys this holiday season, we knew that Thanksgiving inspiration was definitely in order. And I can’t think of too many things more delightful than an excuse to get together with friends (or co-workers) for a little Friendsgiving celebration.

Now, I love me a gorgeous tabletop and elaborate meal as much as the next person. But as I started collecting ideas and inspiration, I couldn’t help but think about the real reason we get together on this day: to give thanks and enjoy the people and blessings we’re most grateful for.

Low-Stress Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration |

So with the help of the very talented Ali of Gimme Some Oven, we put together a low-stress meal (sides only!) and a no-fuss Friendsgiving tabletop so the focus could be on great conversation with special friends.

Ali will be sharing some of her delicious recipes later this week, and we’ll give details for making your floral arrangement out of grocery store flowers (and produce!) next week. Today is all about getting the same overall look for your own Friendsgiving tabletop this season.

Low-Stress Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration | thinkmakeshareblog.comLow-Stress Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration | thinkmakeshareblog.comLow-Stress Friendsgiving tabletop inspiration |

My number one rule: Set a neutral base so you can get creative without breaking the bank year after year! An ivory tablecloth and everyday white china do just that. If you like a lot of texture on your table, wood or woven chargers in a natural material are a great touch. I am a huge fan of all things vintage—especially brass—and I knew that I wanted some of my quirky brass menagerie collection to come into play. So I tried to keep the tabletop pretty simple to allow those hits of gold to really shine. Vintage flatware (gold, of course) and highball glasses add a nice contrast to the modern white dinnerware. I couldn’t resist the patterned napkins for a little pop, as they play off the painted feather place settings perfectly! Of course, warm candlelight is always a lovely finishing touch. Everyone looks great in the glow, and it sets the mood for conversation that runs late into the evening.


Each setting included a place card with space to tell each guest why I’m grateful to have them in my life (download yours free here) and a Hallmark card for them to pay it forward. I kept the messages light and playful to set a fun and casual tone for the evening. (Check out these tips from our friends at for some great idea starters if you’re stumped on what to say!) The painted feathers created in Em’s workshop were perfect for adding a seasonal punch of color at each seat. I’m looking forward to doing that project with my daughter for our family gathering this year!

Host a No Fuss Friendsgiving Dinner | thinkmakeshareblog.comHost a No Fuss Friendsgiving Dinner | thinkmakeshareblog.comHost a No Fuss Friendsgiving Dinner | thinkmakeshareblog.comHost a No Fuss Friendsgiving Dinner | thinkmakeshareblog.comHost a No Fuss Friendsgiving Dinner |

Photography by Jane Kortright.

Stay tuned for more Friendsgiving details later this week! And, as always, we love to see how you celebrate time with friends and family around the holidays. Show us your holiday inspiration on Instagram @Think.Make.Share.

Want  more Thanksgiving ideas? See Ashley and Sarah’s Gratitude Tree crafts and visit our friends at