Buying Christmas gifts produces a great deal of stress. As promised last week, I’m sharing a few ideas for making this year fun with handmade Christmas gifts while decreasing stress. Besides the financial benefits, creative efforts somehow soothe the soul, perhaps bringing back memories of a more simple time. Enjoy reading the ideas in this post and let your creativity come alive. Share your own ideas too. Then turn on some sounds of the season and get busy.
Gifts from the Kitchen
My mother always made quick breads, fudge, divinity, pralines and all sorts of candy at Christmastime. I still love that tradition, but don’t need the sugar or fat in my diet. I started making these treats with my girls, but we’d use them as gifts for teachers. Placed in a dollar store decorative dish or mug, they became an inexpensive gift. Chocolate cherry mice became one of our favorite treats to make each year. Paired with a cheese ball, they also make a fun centerpiece. A mug with teas, cocoa packets and candy canes also make wonderful gifts for co-workers, friends or teachers. Search Google for more ideas – there are more than I can put in a short blog.
One year, my firstborn grandchild expecting something fun and my bank account lacking funds, I made a stick horse for him. My mother found the pattern in a magazine. This year, my second-born grandson informed me I needed to make horses for him and his younger brother. Very low cost and easy to sew, I am inclined to agree. Now where did I put that pattern?
Not long ago, my mother made sock monkeys for all her great-grandchildren. They still love them—perhaps more since their Grammer passed away in October 2011. The Internet has many sites featuring these types of projects. Know what the child, or adult for that matter, likes and match their personality to the perfect gift. If you don’t know how to sew, this might be a great time to learn.
Handmade Christmas Ornaments
Every year I made or bought ornaments for my girls, putting their name or initials and the date somewhere on the creation. As they left home, a box went with them holding the ornaments ad memories. Putting up their first Christmas trees they had a least something to hang without spending money on purchased ornaments.
My favorites included light bulb reindeer, patchwork ornaments (made from Styrofoam balls and scraps of fabric), and of course, the wonderful cookie cutter applesauce ornaments. Let your creativity flow and come up with your own ideas, or search the web for more.
Home Made Gifts for Adults
Aprons are making a comeback and many simple patterns exist to make an apron. Use your imagination to decorate a simple apron. If you don’t sew, purchase an inexpensive plain apron and embellish it with decorative buttons and ribbon. Pair it with inexpensive kitchen gadgets. For men, include a simple version and add bar-b-q tools or seasonings.
My niece made a wall hanging for me. She printed out my favorite Scripture (a page with several versions) as a background. Mounted a simple wooden cross on the background and then framed it in an inexpensive frame. Using the meaning of a person’s name and decorating the frame or corners with something they like or collect is a nice takeoff of this idea. Dollar stores often carry decorative or wooden frames in various sizes, so this is an inexpensive yet personal and meaningful gift.
Your turn. What are handmade gifts you’ve created or want to try?
Let these few suggestions start the thought process. Do a quick Internet search for ideas or directions. Come up with variations of what others suggest. Most of all—have fun, and don’t forget the music, popcorn and hot chocolate while you work.