WITH exactly four weeks till Christmas, if you're anything like me, you will be starting to feel the daunting pressure that only present giving can bring.

Thanks to shops being as accessible as running water - courtesy of the fingertippingly close online world of retail - everyone already seems to have what they want, at a discounted price at that.

But gift giving doesn't need to send you into a temporary state of Scrooge-like mentality.

When it comes to presents just think practical or consumable.

And for the latter? Simply turn to the kitchen.

Edible treats are a foolproof ticket to successful festive giving.

Both practical and consumable, there's no chance of waste and whether it's hampers or something more modest, you can tailor make the perfect gift at a price of your choosing.

Reach for the apron and get in the kitchen to try your hand at sweet or savoury preserves, cakes and bakes, truffles or even booze.

Be creative and make your own hamper of delectables - however big or small.

To bulk out or start out a sweet treat mix, Grange Bakery has gingerbread Christmas trees at £1.15, Christmas shortbreads at 60p, florentines at £1.35 and boxes of six deep filled mince pies in a Christmas box at £3.25.

Alternatively, gather indulgent edible items for an impressive hand-over hamper.

For those with a sweet tooth, Witherslack Community Stores has Monty Bojangles truffles. Try a small box of Flirty and Fruity Orange truffles at £2.49 or a larger box of Cool and Crisp, Coco Dusted Mint truffles at £3.59.

If you're at someone else's for the big day, why not contribute and take along a Cowmire Hall Damson Christmas pudding at £2.50 (small), £7.50 (medium) and £12.00 (large).

Cartmel Village Shop has their classic Cartmel Sticky Toffee Pudding at £3 (250g) and a Festive Sticky Figgy Pudding at the same price, to throw into the mix.

For savoury lovers, Dales Butcher, Kirkby Lonsdale, has a selection of pies at £1.40 - perfect for compiling your own little food parcel with homemade relishes. The pie range includes pork and damson, pork and Mr Vikki's Chilli Jam, pork and haggis, and pork and black pudding.

For one off gifts, The Honeypot, Hawkshead, has Cottage Delight Indulgences preserve packs. Choose between Taste of Thai complete with chilli sauce and curry mixes, a Festive box including cranberry sauce and Christmas chutney, a Cheese Board pack with three chutneys and a Tea-Time box with jams.

Packs are priced at £9.99 or stock up and get two for £15.

And at Plumgarths, Kendal, they have alcoholic treat packs complete with two shot glasses from Strawberry Bank Liqueurs. Choose between Damson Gin, Blackberry Gin or Strawberry Vodka - all at £9.50.

It's always a worry we'll start to resemble our Christmas treats come January, so why not send a plentiful fruit basket for a refreshingly healthy change.

Greenbanks, Kendal, has fruit baskets at £10 including delivery. This includes basic fruits like oranges, apples, pears and bananas. But for another fiver at £15 you can expect dates, satsumas, grapes and plums on top.