It’s not too early to start thinking Christmas presents! With so many people on a tight budget this year, it might be difficult to buy presents for everyone. Why not give a gift made by your own hands and from your heart? This type of gift may be more appreciated than a dollar store trinket!
Now you may be thinking, “I can’t make anything!” Well, you don’t have to be a Martha Stewart to be able to do homemade gifts! You’ll be amazed at what you may be able to put together with a little bit of imagination, creativity and some investigating!
First, make a list of all those people on your gift list. From teachers, to girlfriends, to grumpy ol’ Uncle Ralph, list everyone you can think of whom you would like to give a little something. Do you have a Christmas budget? If so, you already know what you can spend per person. If not, put how much you think you can spend next to that person’s name. Ok, with that in mind, let’s explore our gift-making options.
Homemade Jam: All you need is mason jars, labels, fruit, sugar, and pectin. Everyone loves a good homemade jam! My favorite one to make is a triple berry jam (blueberry, strawberry, raspberry or blackberry). My nieces are already hinting at me that they’re out of jam and can’t wait till Christmas! I use the recipe that’s on the back of the Sure Jell pectin box. Follow the instructions exactly and in no time at all, you’ll be spooning that delicious berry concoction into jars and they’ll be ready to go! (PS…I don’t bother with the canning method, as this jam doesn’t last long enough to go bad!) But if you plan on making jam way ahead of time, you might want to check into the canning method of making the jam. In case you don’t know how, follow this link: (http://www.freshpreserving.com/getting-started.aspx ). Put a label on the jar with what kind of jam it is, a date, and tie a pretty Christmas ribbon around the neck and voila! Homemade jam for presents!
How about a basket filled with goodies, revolving around a theme? Examples: a cold wintery evening (some hot cocoa mugs, specialty hot chocolate packets, a cozy blanket, a good book – you could even put your own hot chocolate mixture into a mason jar with a label that says “add milk”!); a friendship basket (two cute tea cups/saucers, a few different kinds of specialty teas; some little goodie that would taste delicious with a cup of tea, you could even make your own!, a book about friendship). You don’t have to spend a fortune on creating a goodie basket! Go to a thrift store and pick up a basket – you’ll find all kinds and sizes of baskets there! You can even look for the items at the thrift store that you need for your basket. Treasures abound at thrift stores, you never know what you’re gonna find! (Hmm, is that “Forest Gump” I hear?)
Of course, baked goods are a wonderful gift. And there are so many ways you can creatively package them up for gifting. Just make sure to attach a label to whatever you bake, with the ingredients listed if you can, just in case someone is allergic to something in there. If you crochet, or knit, the possibilities are endless as to making a gift for that special someone. And as for sewing, well, I’m going to be attempting to make some satchels or tote bags this year. This will be a first for me, and I’m starting now so I have plenty of time – I don’t know how many times I’ll have to start over!
Make this year your homemade Christmas – I bet it won’t be your last! Oh, and Merry Christmas!