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Providing others with a holiday dose of appreciation
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The busyness of November and December can become quite a challenge.

When you get into the whirlwind of trying to figure out gifts, remember to add the names of people you see almost every day to the list.

Who? Your list can include people such as the mail carrier (at home and the office), custodians, administrative assistants, crossing guards, school resource officers, bus drivers and school media center staff.

Growing up, I remember my maternal grandparents always left something in the mailbox for our mail carrier during the
holiday season.

Even in the summer they’d share some of the fresh veggies from their garden with him.

So, let’s show some extra appreciation. Check your school media center or local library branch for holiday food gift books.

Here at University of Georgia Extension, the harvest muffin recipe from the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program is a favorite.

It uses sliced carrots along with ground cinnamon, vegetable oil, sugar, one egg, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. You can make regular-size muffins or try the mini muffin cups.

One year, our family gave some of the mini muffins to my daughter’s bus driver. I got up early and baked a batch so they’d still be warm when she received them. I’m not a morning person at all, but I made a special exception.

Did she like them? I think so.

Throughout the school year she occasionally asked my daughter, “Where are my harvest muffins?”

So, you see, one batch of muffins — especially the mini size — can be divided and placed into food safe treat bags. Then add a bow or ribbon and gift tag.

The estimated cost of making the recipe is $1.56. So, it’s a great way to save money in a very tasteful way. It’s also a great source of vitamin A.

If you’re concerned about adding extra pounds during this season. Don’t fret.

Resources are available from the UGA Extension Zero Weight Gain Holiday Challenge blog. Just search for it in your browser. It offers recipes and covers a variety of topics such as stress, holiday overeating, portion control, exercise and comfort food.

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