Avoid over spending and the crowded malls by making Christmas gifts you have made by hand. You don’t have to be particularly crafty or good with your hands to make gifts at home, but if you can sew, knit or bake, it will certainly make your efforts go more smoothly. No matter what your do-it-yourself skill level is, you can give your friends and family thoughtful handmade presents for Christmas this year.
Gifts of Food
One fact about food gifts is that they do not add clutter to people’s homes, since they are consumable and vanish in a few weeks. An unfortunate fact about food gifts is that during the holiday season, most people are bogged down by gifts of cookies, cakes and candies. Instead of baking dozens and dozens of cookies for your friends, consider giving them savory food gifts that will last. Sprinkle nuts with seasoning and oil, roast and pour into canning jars. Make a large batch of granola, pour into jars and tie a ribbon on the lid. Buy a collection of spices in bulk from the health food store, measure them out into small jars and give to friends who like to cook. You can also give homemade hot chocolate mix or homemade chai tea mix.
Gifts to Sew
If you can plan ahead and sew, you can make dazzling Christmas gifts. Give your girlfriends homemade purses; each one can be designed to fit her individual style. Make small stuffed animals for the children in your life. If you have the time, you can also try to make dress-up costumes for your children. Napkins and handkerchiefs are simple projects for the beginning seamstress. Simply cut a square of fabric to the appropriate size, fold over the four edges and stitch along the edge.
A coupon book full of IOUs, such as a certificate for dinner out, a back rub or a day trip, makes a great gift for your partner or spouse. You can make the coupons using imaging software or draw them by hand. If you are the type who tends to wait until the last minute to get your shopping done, then a coupon book will work well for you, since it won’t take much time to make and the recipient won’t cash in the coupons until after the holiday season.
Handmade Office Supplies
Give the worker bee in your life charming, handmade office supplies. Draw a grid on 12 large pieces of paper and fill in month and dates on each sheet to make a calendar. Decorate each page as you see fit. Staple the 12 sheets to a cardboard backing to make a desk blotter. You can also use smaller sheets of paper and padding compound to make a page-a-day calendar. Use rubber stamps to decorate paper and envelopes to give as stationery.
Some people cannot get enough of photographs. If one of your friends or relatives loves pictures, invest in several inexpensive frames, decorate them with craft paint, glitter or ribbons, and put a picture of the two of you inside. You can also buy a larger frame, make a collage of photos and give it to a friend to use as a serving tray. Glue several pictures of your children to sheets of card stock and trim the paper. Gather the card stock together to make a book, complete with a front and back cover. Punch a hole in the top corner and tie with a ribbon. Mail the book to far-flung friends and family members.
- christmas gifts image by Kelly Kane from Fotolia.com