A Kwanzaa gift in an old bottle

Kwanzaa is an African American holiday that is observed from December 26 thru January 1. The holiday is designed to celebrate Family, Community and Culture. Each day has a principle and the first principle, December 26, is Umoja, pronounced (oo mo-jah) which is Swahili for Unity.

Let me say this. I take what I want from the Kwanzaa celebration as I have done for many years. Kwanzaa actually address the stress related to Christmas, the commercialism and the oppressive burden of obtaining gifts the giver cannot afford.  When Kwanzaa is practiced, the person practicing it will not have a desire to stand in lines on “Black Friday” to spend their hard earned money for things. The Kwanzaa practitioner will not buy gifts with their credit cards and pay them off in August. The Kwanzaa gift will not be returned for a cash refund or exchanged for something else (maybe something truly needed).

Kwanzaa strongly encourage one to make the gifts they give, which make this a child friendly celebration. We are encouraged to give useful or practical items. Examples of my past Kwanzaa gifts are fragrant sachets for the lingerie drawer, hand crocheted items, knitted items, home made jelly, jams, canned foods, home cooked items.

Artisans, carpenters, jewelry makers, bakers, weavers and all crafters: Kwanzaa is your time to give a piece of you as a gift. I love this time of year because I am an artsy crafty person and I have something to contribute.

Today’s Kwanza’s gift is a bottle of relaxing, therapeutic bath salts. You can make them in a few hours, just follow along. You will need Epsom salt, Sea salt, baking soda, fragrant oil of your choice and an oil of your choice. I chose lavender fragrance and sunflower oil; all items normally found in my kitchen. I also recommend a gallon size freezer bag.

For every cup of Epsom salt add 1/4 cup of baking soda and 1/4 cup of Sea salt. Read your labels and make sure everything is pure; some of the Sea salts have added stuff. Mix this in a zip lock bag. BONUS: If you use Epsom salts that has a fragrance added such as eucalyptus, spearment or lavender, that is even better. Eucalyptus opens the pores and the sinus. Spearment rejuvenates and lavender relaxes. Mix well in a zip lock bag.

img_20161226_213801428When this is well mixed add about 15 drops of fragrant oil with a tablespoon of your carrier oil to the salt mixture.

img_20161226_221801116Put the oils in a small bottle used in dying hair, squirting the oil mixture over the salts. Mix inside the ziplock bag and let sit in the bag overnight. Yes the contents are damp but that’s OK.

Choose a container for your homemade product. You can go to Hobby Lobby, Michaels or any craft store to buy pretty bottles.

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Or you can choose a bottle you have saved. I ain’t buying nothing.

I don’t like additives that I don’t understand so my salts are white. However, I keep turmeric on hand; a spice that is an antioxidant. Turmeric is yellow and a natural dye. I keep it in an empty spice bottle and I sprinkled quite a bit on the salt mixture. I was so afraid it would effect the salts’ smell but it didn’t.  One set of salt is a beautiful yellow. However, if you prefer colored salts try this for natural home made dyes.

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Why did I choose bath salts? Because I’m always looking for a good product to add to my bath water. I discovered that unless you are getting Dead Sea Salt, most bath products are only worth the labels printed and pasted on their containers.

Create a cute label for your bottle of therapeutic bath salts and give them with pride. I’m giving a trio to a couple who enjoy luxurious baths… that’s my Unity gift to them 😉

Epsom salt contains magnesium and relieves muscular pain and tension. Baking soda will draw toxins out of your body and sea salt, especially Dead Sea salt, has minerals that are good for the body, soothes the skin and relaxes muscles. This therapeutic bath is good to the muscles, joints and skin.

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Maybe $10, a little planning, and of course, an empty bottle. O I must add this: you don’t have to add a fragrance if you don’t want to. The salts alone are medicinal

Tell me what you think, how do you like this little gift? What kind of bottles or containers will you use?

Thank you for stopping, please come again. Your comments are welcomed.

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