Homemade cookies make great holiday gifts, and they can be packaged attractively and economically.

Line wicker baskets with colored tissue paper, colored plastic wrap or foil. Fill with cookies, candies and other small treats. Or purchase inexpensive decorative tins or holiday cookie jars that can be filled and used again.Empty jelly jars are easy to decorate with ribbon and acrylic paint, making festive candy jars. Oversize tumblers and coffee mugs are other examples of attractive containers that can be used again and again.

For gift-giving ease, bake your cookies in batches, then store. Some cookies can be stored in the freezer. The following tips are provided by Land O'Lakes, makers of Land O'Lakes Sweet Cream Butter:

TO STORE COOKIES UP TO ONE WEEK

- Cool cookies completely. Do not mix soft and crisp varieties in the same container, or the crisp cookies will become soft.

- Store soft cookies in a container with a tight-fitting lid.

- Store crisp cookies in a container with a loose-fitting lid.

- Store bar cookies in the pan in which they were baked; cover pan tightly with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

TO STORE COOKIES UP TO SIX MONTHS

- Both frosted and unfrosted cookies can be frozen and stored up to six months.

- Arrange in a container lined with plastic wrap or aluminum foil; separate with layers of aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

- Tightly seal container, apply label and freeze.

- Thaw cookies by allowing them to stand loosely covered on a serving plate for about 20 minutes.

TO MAIL COOKIES

- Bar, drop or fruit cookies can best withstand mailing; tender, fragile cookies will most likely crumble.

- Use a heavy cardboard box or empty coffee can as a mailing container.

- Line container with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

- Wrap four to six cookies of the same size together in aluminum foil, plastic wrap or plastic bags; seal securely with freezer tape.

- Place the heaviest cookies in the bottom of the container; layer the wrapped cookies with crumpled paper toweling around them.

- Seal container with freezer, plastic or adhesive tape.

- Wrap container with an outer paper wrapper.

- Print mailing address and return address on the package in ink. Mark the package "Fragile, Perishable Food" to ensure more rapid transit and careful handling.