Contributed by Info Guru Terri Wallace
There are many gifts that are easy to craft and won’t break the bank.
If the crass commercialization of the holidays makes you want to hide until after the new year, maybe it is time to consider making some of your holiday gifts this year. Try some of these to renew your spirit of giving from the heart.
As winter edges in and starts to make its presence known, suddenly the prospect of warm fuzzy woolens seems quite inviting. A scarf is an easy project which can be crafted by even beginning knitters. If you are pressed for time you might consider this fun take on the traditional scarf and create “The Neck’s Big Thing.” This scarf doesn’t require a lot of yarn and can be knitted up in less than an hour … but it gives the impression that it took much more time and effort than it really did!
9. Baked Goods
Nothing says that you care quite like a basket of spicy cookies … or chocolately fudge … oh, oh, or some of that pumpkin bread with the demerara sugar on top … and let’s not forget the pfeffernusse. Spend an afternoon baking and stirring and icing and then gather the fruits of your labor up on a lovely box topped with a big bow. Don’t fret about the calories you are contributing … it simply isn’t the holidays without the addition of a few extra pounds.
8. Scented Bath Salts
Scented bath salts (of the bathing not the zombie variety) are another gift that seems much more elaborate and time consuming than it really is. Sometimes, the simple things are hard to come by … especially with long lines, and family visiting, and unrealistically high expectations for ourselves. This is a gift that reminds us to slow down, to relax, to take time for yourself. Imagine … with just a few ingredients and the essential oil(s) of your choice, you can give the gift of peace this holiday season.
7. Vanilla Sugar
For the coffee or tea lover on your list, consider preparing a super simple batch of vanilla sugar. It takes just minutes to put up a batch. Give it a week or two for the vanilla to infuse the sugar with flavor, then scoop it into a lovely, decorative jar, tie it with a ribbon, and wait for the ooohs and aaahs as soon as they open the lid and take a sniff.
6. BBQ Rub
Another gift for the foodie in your family is a simple BBQ rub. Gather together your spices and concoct a variety of rubs for a gift basket for your favorite food lover (or make small jars as stocking stuffers).
Admittedly, homemade quilts can take a bit of time. But consider a lap throw, or a smaller quilt for a wall hanging, as a way to share your talent and love with a special someone. To make it even more unique, you can use cloth from your recycle box: well-loved clothes that have grown too worn to wear, a child’s favorite outfit that they outgrew, or that flannel shirt that Grandpa Joe always used to wear.
A moment frozen in time, a smile captured forever … a photograph is a memory you can hold onto. Encase it with an elegant frame and you have a lovely gift—especially for friends and family who live out of state and don’t have the luxury of seeing one another on a daily basis.
3. Family Recipe Book
For a child going away to college, or for your new daughter-in-law, give the gift of heritage, and comfort, and home … a family recipe book! Collect all of those beloved family recipes in one collection. Make notes of what simply must be included at each holiday, and mark your child’s favorites for easy reference. Don’t let those bits of family history get lost to time.
2. Family History Book
A family’s genealogy too easily fades into the past. Before long, ancestors are forgotten and heritage becomes murky. Preserve a bit of the past for future generations with a Family History Book. Provide family members with a sheet or two of lovely paper to preserve their favorite memory, a bit about themselves, and to jot down their immediate family names and dates of birth. Once you have collected the memories, compile them in a scrapbook. This gift is also wonderful when several family members wish to collaborate on a gift.
Perhaps the best gift you can give is the gift of time. Present loved ones with coupons for babysitting services, for errand running, back rubbing, or homemade meal cooking. Perhaps they hate mowing their lawn, or washing their car…take over these chores for them and give them more time to do the things they would really like.