Giving gifts for the holidays has become uber consumerist and less meaningful. Think for a moment what early settlers did for holiday gifts when there was no Macy’s and no Wal-Mart. They gave each other handmade gifts that were treasured. Here are some handmade gifts, along with the instructions that you can make and your recipients will treasure.
1. Recipe Book – Why not fill a small notebook with a collection of your favorite recipes. I have found that the small 1/4 scale size notebooks make great recipe books. To separate the recipe book into sections such as casseroles, desserts, cookies, etc., fold two papers together in half lengthwise back toward the spine of the notebook and write the section name on it. You can decorate the divider pages. Hand write your favorite recipes and you’ve just made a gift that can be passed down from generation to generation.
2. Spice Jars – Spice up your holidays with a gift of a variety of spices. Small jars such as baby food jars or the type that pimento can be bought in are wonderful, but test tubes or vials are great as they contain no writing and can be corked and labeled. I would suggest that you choose a recipe and bottle the spices from the recipe. Chili, jambalaya, rib and chicken rubs are great ideas for a blend of spices. Label your jar with write on stickers or printed labels from your home computer.
3. Bookmarks – We all know someone that is an avid reader and often you see them use a grocery store receipt being as a bookmark. Bookmarks are easy and fun to make. Ribbon works well for simple bookmarks, but more creative bookmarks can be constructed using card stock and your PC. Using your favorite word editing software, place a picture at the top of your bookmark and add your own words of wisdom. You could put several on one page to give all to one person or for several people on your list. Laminate these so they last longer.
4. Coupon Cards – This is one of the most thoughtful gifts that gives all year. Using a business card maker software or Word program, make coupon cards to give to your family members. On each card, write or type something that you are willing to do for that person that they can use any time. For example, if your recipient has children, one coupon could be for babysitting on a Friday or Saturday night. Perhaps you could give a home or garage cleaning coupon, driving the kids to school for a week, mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, making dinner for their family or any little thing that could help them out. Put these cards in a decorated envelope or nice box. Take it one step further; after the holidays, remind them of the coupons from time to time.
5. Journal Jar – This is a great gift idea for avid writers. Write story starts on small pieces of paper and place them in a jar. These story starts are simple one line ideas to help the writer in your life with new story ideas so that they can practice their writing art. Use a label-making software to uniformly create these, but instead of using label paper, use plain paper and cut them out. Decorate the jar and lid for a more personal touch.
These are just a few ideas for home made gifts. The possibilities are endless. Use your imagination and create wonderful home made and hand made gifts that they’ll treasure.