How to Make Stovetop Christmas Potpourri – This recipe is like bottling up the Christmas smell! It’s a great way to make your home smell like the holidays and makes a fantastic gift. Scroll down for a how-to video and FREE PRINTABLE gift tags for gifting!
I mention this every so often, but my family moved a LOT growing up. My dad’s job often had new opportunities in different states, so we moved every 2-3 years, which made for plenty of chances to meet new people, learn how to get along some place new, and experience new things. Even so, it was a LOT of constant change, which was, at times, really hard.
Thankfully, my family was (and is!) very close, which made all that upheaval much easier to bear. I also always took comfort in holiday traditions. My family jokes about how much I love traditions around the holidays, but to me, traditions are little anchors that feel like home, no matter where I live or who I’m with. I’ve written at length about our family’s holiday traditions, but one that I love from my own home growing up was my mom making the smell of Christmas with her stovetop Christmas potpourri.
The stovetop potpourri is a blend of citrus and warm spices that instantly makes me feel cozy and safe. Here’s what makes it special…
What Makes This Christmas Potpourri Amazing:
It smells like Christmas! The combination of citrus, warm spices, cranberries, and rosemary instantly make the house smell like the holidays. It’s the Christmas smell on demand!
It’s a great way to rescue sad produce. Ever open an orange and find it’s actually pretty dry? Toss it in a saucepan for Christmas potpourri! It also works with grapefruit, mandarins, tangerines, and more–whatever needs to be used.
It’s flexible. Like I said above, you can use a variety of citrus for this recipe. You can also skip the cranberries or use diced apples in their place. Like a different spice blend? Feel free to play with it! Try mixing in cardamom pods, a bit of freshly grated nutmeg, or a splash of vanilla.
It’s a great holiday gift. This is literally giving someone the smell of the holidays! See below for my tips on how to package this + a FREE printable gift tag you can use for gifting.
Shortcuts + Substitutions + Suggestions
1. Set and forget it! You can totally put this covered in a slow cooker/crock pot on HIGH for hours without needing to add more water. (The lid prevents evaporation). If you leave the lid off your slow cooker, you’ll want to check it every hour or so to see if it needs more water. (This option is perfect for a holiday party!)
2. Swap Your Citrus – You can use many different kinds of citrus for this. I’ve used grapefruit, Cuties (mandarins), tangerines, lemons, etc. Feel free to use what’s on sale, or what’s looking sad in your fridge.
3. Substitutions – Besides citrus, you can also swap out the cranberries for diced apples, use ground spices instead of whole, or add a splash of vanilla to the pot for some sweetness.
4. Stock Up! – I don’t use whole spices very often in my kitchen, but they’re easier than ever to find. Sprouts has bulk spice bins that are great for this, or there’s Target or World Market (cinnamon sticks and cloves). Aaaand, I LOVE Amazon (cinnamon sticks and cloves). #amazonforever
How to Package Christmas Potpourri for Gifting (+FREE PRINTABLE!)
When you make it at home, I suggest slicing or quartering your oranges, but for gifting, it works best if you leave everything as whole as possible. I use large cellophane treat bags to pack everything up. Get the cranberries and orange in first, then add rosemary, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.
Wrap everything up with a cute ribbon. First, I tie a tight knot. Then, slide on a gift tag with a hole punched in one corner, and tie a bow.
It’s nothing super fancy, but you can download and print my gift tags HERE. I’ve got them in color + black & white. I love how the black & white looks on brown kraft paper, and love the color for white cardstock.
Looking for More Gifting Ideas? Try…
- The BEST Vegan Hot Chocolate Mix
- Maple Candied Pecans
- Our Favorite Gift for Teachers and Neighbors (includes printable tags)
- Stocking Stuffers for Kids
How to Make Stovetop Christmas Potpourri – This recipe is like bottling up the Christmas smell! It’s a great way to make your home smell like the holidays and makes a fantastic gift.
- 1 cup cranberries (or 1 apple, diced)
- 1 orange
- 2-3 sprigs rosemary
- 2-3 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tsp cloves
To prepare on the stovetop:
- Slice or quarter your orange and place all ingredients in a saucepan with 4-6 cups water.
- Bring to a simmer over low heat.
- Let it simmer as long as you like, adding more water as needed.
To prepare in the slow cooker:
- Place all ingredients in a slow cooker with 4-6 cups water.
- Set on HIGH covered and let it cook for several hours or uncovered on HIGH for more scent.
- If uncovered, add more water as necessary (when covered, the water won’t evaporate very quickly)
To package for gifting:
- Print your tags using the free printable. Cut out tags and punch a hole in one of the top corners.
- Use a large cellophane treat bag to pack the potpourri. Add orange and cranberries first, then add cinnamon, rosemary, and cloves.
- Tie a knot in the top with a ribbon. Slide one end of the ribbon through the hole in the tag until the tag is tucked securely at the top near your first knot. Tie a bow to secure the tag.
Swap Your Citrus – You can use many different kinds of citrus for this. I’ve used grapefruit, Cuties (mandarins), tangerines, lemons, etc. Feel free to use what’s on sale, or what’s looking sad in your fridge.
Substitutions – Besides citrus, you can also swap out the cranberries for diced apples, use ground spices instead of whole, or add a splash of vanilla to the pot for some sweetness.
Stock Up! – I don’t use whole spices very often in my kitchen, but they’re easier than ever to find. Sprouts has bulk spice bins that are great for this, or there’s Target or World Market (cinnamon sticks and cloves). Aaaand, I LOVE Amazon (cinnamon sticks and cloves). #amazonforever
Keywords: christmas potpourri, christmas smell, stovetop christmas potpourri, holiday potpourri, stovetop holiday potpourri