Our family on my side has decided to have a completely "homemade Christmas", due to the economy. Since not all people like "crafty items", my daughters and I try and make items I already know they like (or requested) and will be used. I also make cloth gift bags that can be reused-easy to make from pillowcases or old jeans (that can them be used as a purse or tote bag)
I thought I would share some of my ideas we are using or have used in the past, and hopefully get some others to add theirs!
By April from NW Missouri
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I loved the idea to interview older family members.
I gave these gifts to recent high school graduates but they would work well for new homeowners or college students:
Clothes basket full of laundry items: detergent, stain stick, dryer sheets, bleach, roll of quarters
Box full of baking items: 5 lb sugar, 5 lb flour, 2 lb brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, measuring cups/spoons, wooden spoon, spatula, mixing bowl, recipe box filled with blank cards and a few family recipes
What wonderful ideas.
I love your list of ideas. There was a lot I never thought of. I also have a few to add.Hope you don't mind. Stuffed Christmas tree, the one that stands alone. Christmas Stockings w/ name on it.
Christmas garland, make gingerbread boys/girls.
and stuff them joining them with ribbon between.(patterns from cookie cutters or coloring books).
Holiday place mats for all holidays, or use old shirts, dresses, what ever to make place mats for ever day use.
Little stuffed Christmas wreaths made out of little circles.they call them yoyos but over stuff them. and then use fishing line to string them together into a circle tie off, and add ribbon to finish off. There are more but just a few to add to your great list. Thanks for the ideas especially with todays times. Nancy Pottstown, Pa
I find that any gift I give that includes a photo; either an old one or a new one, is always welcomed. You can purchase any kind of frame your budget allows, even a plain wooden one from the dollar store can be painted and decorated with sea shells and various embellishments.
One year I received a photo of my Mother, shortly after her death, that was taken long before I was in her life. I treasure that gift and it brings me joy daily.
Not only would these gifts save money and help eliminate stress, but they would be appreciated and used. I'm at the age where I'm trying to eliminate the trinkets (dust catchers) from my home to simplify my life. Every year, more get donated. How I love gifts that are well thought out. A pair of flannel jammies would be much more appreciated than a crystal vase.
Don't forget canning supplies -- like boxes of lids, gardening gloves, sandpaper and boxes of nails or screws, helping with minor home repairs (fixing a leaky faucet or replacing a toilet ring), buying a gas card, paying a credit on someone's utility bill, a container of coffee or tea, reusable grocery bags, new plant pots, plastic lunch containers, anything that will be used regularly.
When our son was young, for Christmas we'd buy his teachers things they always needed for the classroom: Whiteboard markers, construction paper, pens, pencils, and paper for the classroom, replace classroom games, magnets, etc. His teachers were always so much happier than getting another mug or ornament for their tree.
A calendar with the whole family's birthdays and anniversaries on it.
A kit for the car, with wipes, rubber gloves, reflector, scraper, etc.
Emergency kit for home, with flashlight, batteries, blanket, pillow, little radio, candles, matches.
Personal repair kit, with eyeglass repair kit, needles and thread, small magnifying glass, and one of those grabbers on a handle for reaching things (Walgreen's).
Snow shoveling "gift certificate."
Leaf-raking, yardwork "gift certificate."
I really like the pillow case per month idea.
Also, I like to give homemade (by me or someone else) ornaments.
For children or grandchildren, when you give them an ornament each year, when they are grown they have their own set of ornaments & the memories attached to each one.
Great ideas! I received hand painted glass ornaments and well crafted felt tree ornaments from my best friend which I treasure and have used for years.
I love and have used most of the ideas listed in addition we do a home made tree and have for several years. One grandchild is designated to do the decoration. We supply the tree and two strings of white light the designated grandchild then makes all decorations for the tree. When tree is taken down decorations are given back to the person who decorated it.
I made Christmas stockings for everyone and we draw names for filling a stocking. No small children here. Youngest is 13
If anyone in family can do woodworking some things that have been made here
1 Saddle tree for holding saddle
3 Work bench for garage
4 A peg board for hanging halters
5 Woodburned jewelry tray
6 Woodburned replica of picture of deer
We are very lucky that there are many talents in our family
We had a nice driveway sign that had become weathered and not very readable and my son in law resurected it by sanding and refinishing
Painting and refurbishing loved treasures is always a hit as well.
I really appreciate these ideas. This will help. I will add 2 of my own:
The last 2 years, we give a new ornament a piece to each of our 3 grown children and included with it a small paper, on which is written, an activity to do with them after the first of the year. I.E.-night out to a movie with us, or restaurant, etc. That way, more money was available, as well as something to look forward to over the winter months.they picked the ornament from a pile without knowing what was included with each.
Last year, I used old burlap coffee sacs, cut them up and resewed them into smaller gift sacs. I stenciled a green painted Christmas tree onto each. Tied them with a raffia bow and attached a bell. They were a hit. I got my coffee sacs from a local coffee shop.
I love these gift ideas, especially the ones for teachers. I usually make gifts also. Last year I made bath salts for everyone (Epsom salts, scents, and coloring found at the craft store, shake in a canning jar and your done!) I found matching candles at a discount store. Add homemade fudge and you have decadence in a box.
Home made recipe book using a plastic 4x6 "brag" photo album including favorite, inexpensive and easy to make recipies, fun table graces, inspirational quotes and pictures.
A friend of mine made lap quilts by cutting up her DH old work shirts. We loved them and my kids have worn them out from tons of use.
We started this tradition 2 years ago. Not only have we saved money, but we have started up hobbies that we had long ago put on the back burner. It is also a tremendous amount of fun to open the gifts and see what everyone has made. I can't believe that anyone would ever want to give or receive a gift card!
Thanks for the great ideas! I will use some this year for sure. In past years I've given food gift baskets filled with homemade goodies, and sets of 3 homemade ripstop nylon shopping bags in a tiny stuff-sack to keep in a purse or pocket. Making cloth gift bags has been a great way to use up old fabric remnants, ribbons, trims, ricrac, buttons, and sequens as well as old linens and clothes. Our large family has also experimented with giving charitable contributions in each other's names instead of gifts. The most successful have been things that the recipient family member can "own-donate," such as a specific farm animal through the Heifer.org group, but we haven't yet found a way to make contribution-giving as personal and fun as gift-giving, especially since most of us do this on our own anyway and have our favorite causes. Any suggestions?
I love the potholder and Pillowcase idea! I cant wait to make them!
Just a thought. For years I got my empty burlap bags from the local peanut shop. When I was in girl scouts, I once made my grandmother a pair of bookends made from bricks that I covered with paper and colored. Good idea for kids, I guess. carla
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