In small bowl, stir next five ingredients together.
Pour into jar to make second layer.
Add peas; place bay leaf on top.
Seal with lid.
Attach gift tag (below) and decorate jar as desired.
Attach the following instructions to a gift tag: Holiday Split Pea Soup.
Empty contents of jar into large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add 6 cups water; heat to boiling, stirring often. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until peas are tender, stirring frequently to prevent peas from sticking. Remove bay leaf. Serve soup with dollop of sour cream and bacon bits, if desired.