By Ruth Borger
Sending boxes of Florida citrus across the country to friends and family during the holidays is a beloved tradition. But it is important to work with a certified grower/gift shipper as it is illegal in Florida for individuals to send citrus via the mail or delivery services. You can find a list of Florida gift fruit shippers at fgfsa.com/members.htm.
There are many additional citrus-themed items that will make a perfect gift this holiday season. From the homemade to prepackaged, you can find ideas and selections online through a simple Google search. The Etsy site is a great place to find unique and personal citrus gifts. Included are some additional ideas and helpful links below.
SIMPLE AND SWEET
A fun and unusual pick-me-up is the citrus pop-up card offered by Lovepop. It’s an inexpensive bit of Florida sunshine delivered in the mailbox.
FOOD AND DRINK
You can find chocolate-covered orange peels, organic dried oranges, citrus wines and beers, teas and any number of cakes, cookies, jams and marmalades at local growers’ shops or online. Almost anything can be infused with citrus, including grapefruit gummy bears, orange blossom honey, a tangerine clove cocktail mixer, a lemon face mask and more. You can find a Florida map-shaped basket filled with citrus candies at Davidson of Dundee. Look for any number of suppliers through a simple internet search. It just takes some creativity!
You might consider Tippler’s Orange Liqueur made and sold by the St. Petersburg Distillery. They use Florida Temple oranges — peels and all — to distill this all-natural orange liqueur from scratch in small batches. It’s grown, picked, squeezed, produced and bottled in the Sunshine State.
Citrus-scented candles, soaps and scrubs make great gifts at the holidays or any time of the year. Check out this citrus themed pampering gift set which includes citrus-scented lip and body scrubs with an option to include a lemon-scented sleep mask.
Who doesn’t love a sweet-smelling candle? A company called Tokyn uses orange slices and tiny, delicate flowers encased in clear gel around a hand-poured Minabé yuzu citrus soy candle. When lit, the outer botanicals are illuminated. The center glass is reusable and can hold 3-ounce candle refills.
Think about giving citrus-scented hand sanitizer (an appropriate gift for 2020), hand cream and body sprays.
These ideas and more can be found in an article written by Leanne Italie with the Associated Press.
Perhaps you prefer to make some of your holiday gifts. In this Common Sense Home article, Amber Bradshaw provides step-by-step instructions for nine do-it-yourself gifts, including citrus-infused sugar, body scrubs, candles, potpourri, bird feeders, pomanders and even an all-purpose kitchen cleaner!
Bradshaw’s projects run the gamut from simple to elaborate, but many may be done with children and don’t take much time.
Whatever you give this season, remember Florida citrus in any form brings a little bit of sunshine and a whole lot of love to your friends and family.
Ruth Borger is a communications specialist at the UF/IFAS Citrus Research and Education Center in Lake Alfred.
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