By Krystal from Kenora, Ontario
Make some unusual "promise" coupons; your kids and fiance will love 'em (making cookies together, letting the other person win at a favorite game - it's so fun to try to lose on purpose and will bring oodles of giggles!, doing chores together with feet only, making a meal with foods that begin the first letter of each of their names, etc.) Be creative, and forget store-bought stuff that may or may not last, will have to be cleaned, put away, stored, etc.; make memories instead! Blessings to you all!
This year many adults are taking a back seat to make sure the kids have something at least for Christmas. Your fiance should understand that. Check dollar stores, KMart for bargains, Walmart and even thrift stores for some really good finds. I don't know how many kids you have, but think of one thing each and then get one gift that they all share together. Take $1 of that and make some nice cupcakes or a cake that kids can all decorate together. Here's a great tasty shortbread recipe (no eggs!) that you can all make cut-out cookies with or just slice and bake:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon flavor of your choice, vanilla, lemon, almond, etc.
Cream the butter, add sugar, mix well. Gradually add flour, finally add flavoring. Shape into a roll, wrap in plastic wrap, chill for at least 2 hours. These cookies can be sliced from the roll, or rolled out and cut into shapes. Bake at 300 degrees for 18 to 20 or until lightly browned on the edges.
These cookies can be iced and decorated, dipped in melted chocolate, or left plain, and they're delicious!! They don't rise too much, but they're great.
Another idea is to make Applesauce and Cinnamon ornaments:
* 3 cups applesauce (1 1/2 cups works better for clay-like consistency), see note below
* 3 cups ground cinnamon
1. Mix applesauce and cinnamon together until it is thick enough to hold a form when cut into cookie cutter shapes. Flatten the mixture on a flat surface and cut into cookie cutter shapes.
2. Place cookie shapes on a cookie sheet to dry for 3 to 4 days depending on the size and thickness of the cookies. If using as a hanging ornament, make hole with toothpick before drying.
*Note>1 1/2 cups applesauce to 2 cups cinnamon works for me to get a clay-like consistency. Dust hands with cinnamon for handling. You can add a teaspoon of cloves, ginger and allspice to round out the fragrance. To get them DRY QUICKER, bake on an un-greased cookie sheet at 150 degrees for one hour. Remove from the cookie sheets and bake on the oven racks for another hour and a half. (Don't roll thinner than 1/4 inch if you're using this method.)
Making them each an individual ornament will make them feel special..or they can help you and design their own! Merry Christmas!
I am thinking a group day together enjoying a home cooked meal made by you and renting a nice movie you can all enjoy together and maybe playing a fun card or board game together too :-) Christmas really doesn't have to be about buying gifts but giving a gift of self in sharing time and love with others.
Visit salvation army and tell them your situation maybe they or they know someone who can help.
You can always find stuff at a dollar store. WalMart has kids t-shirts for about $5.00 and adult ones for $10.00. WalMart also has some toys in the $5-10.00 price range. There were times when I was married that my now "ex" and I didn't exchange gifts because we couldn't afford it. I would think your fiance" would be satisfied with a nice card. As far as making things, I don't know what your abilities are. I do a lot of craft work and sometimes by the time I buy the required materials it costs more than buying something ready made. If you sew and have little girls my WalMart has kits to make "funky" looking rag dolls. The hair and every thing is printed right on the fabric. All you have to do is cut it out and sew it and stuff it. I can't remember how much they were, they were back in the fabric department. A lot of what you get depends on where you live. I live off $700.00 a month total and I have been done with my Christmas shopping for two months. I buy for my two adult daughters, three adult grandkids and one teen age grand son. Also buy for an elderly aunt and one cousin. I start shopping right after Chrstmas and buy one thing a month. In fact last night I went online and ordered next years gifts for my 24 year old grandson and my 14 year old grandson. They will go on the top shelf of my linen closet where I store things like that. Target had the one item on sale for $3.00 off the regular price, so that was too good too pass up. Good luck!
I am looking for new inexpensive xmas gift ideas for a brother (36) sister in law (37) and grandfather (85) I usually buy clothes and such for each, but we are on a tight budget and need to find more inexpensive, but wonderful gifts for these family members. Thanks.
Another thing you could make is candy cane bath salts or peaches and cream bath salts. They run about $1.50 per jar. We are giving our baskets as couples gifts so it is about $15 or less per couple. You can do a similar idea for a family basket. For the singles in our family (bachelor college age men) we are making them some baked goods. I also shopped at season end sales and got an outfit for each of our nephews for about $5 each child. The items were about 50-75% off. Next year we are going to make family fun night baskets for each family w/ideas/snacks/maybe some mixes, etc. The website I got my mixes from is: http://holidayorganizer.com/gifts/giftsjar/index.html. It even has tags you can print off for each gift mix and links for more gift mixes. (11/08/2001)
My aunt made my step dad a personalized Monopoly game, she used an old board she had with all the pieces, but personalized all the cards and spaces on the board, so for example Boardwalk was now Tim Horton's and Park Place was Starbucks. It's kind of neat.
Also hand painted Mason jars for tea lights, or soup can tea light holders are nice. Take a regular soup can and decorate with acrylic paint, poke holes all over with a nail and pop in a tea light, it makes a neat pattern on the wall when its done and can look quite appealing.
Of course the cookie, brownie, and cake mixes in the Mason jars are always a hit.
However its getting harder and harder each year to come up with different ideas. I need some fairly inexpensive, but interesting ideas to make for all members of my family. Someone please, help. (09/17/2009)
After she got it assembled she used yarn and tied it in several areas to keep the layers from shifting. It is perfectly OK to give married couples a gift together. Another idea would be a gift card to a restaurant or one of their favorite stores. I always give my daughter and son-in-law together a $40.00 gift card to WalMart. They really appreciate it. (12/11/2009)
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