Mince pies did indeed contain meat once upon a time. Back in the middle ages, when fashions moved more slowly, meat dishes were frequently flavoured with fruit, and minced or processed food was always popular.
I have eaten fruit mince from a jar, and it was fine. But making your own fruit mince is very simple, and takes about half an hour. If you want to give a home made gift, but don't have the time and energy for the full fruit mince pie, why not fill some clean, sanitised jars with fruit mince and put a really nice label on them?
I recommend keeping this fruit mince in the fridge for up to a week before use. If you plan on keeping it longer, bake it into a pie or put it in the freezer. There is a bit of grating and chopping, so exercise your common sense when cooking with children. It is a very flexible recipe: measure by guesswork, substitute what you have to hand, switch in things you like, and see what happens. This recipe makes about 2 cups of fruit mince.