As part of our homemade Christmas this year I made some vanilla sugar to put into the baskets too. Last year I bought vanilla beans in bulk from here, and needing a place to store them I stuck them in sugar, the result of that is vanilla bean flavored sugar. You could easily do this with a casing from a vanilla bean that you needed and scraped the seeds out of.
1 vanilla bean with or without seeds
Place vanilla bean in container with sugar and seal. It should ready in about 2 weeks, keep adding more pods when you have used ones. As you use your sugar keep adding more to it. Put on the lid and give it a good shake to mix it up a bit.
The sugar is rather clumpy since it has drawn the moisture from the vanilla beans. The clumps can be easily broken with a spoon.
Note: I didn't put my vanilla bean pods in with the sugar, I used them (pod and all) but since the beans had been in the sugar for 16 months it is very flavored. I will be giving instructions on how to keep the sugar going.