November 16, 2008

Handmade Holidays

The sluggish economy gives me great pause when I think about holiday gifting this year. I have a large family and though we don't have strict rules about gift giving, I do try to give something to each of them every year. It can get freakishly expensive when you have 6 siblings and a variety of off-spring, spouses, in-laws and friends. They all get soap, that's a given, but I like to change it up a bit each year so they don't get bored with my gifts.

In years past I have done foodie gift baskets, home-spa weekend packs, movie night gift certificates and a variety of cookie, candy and baked goods. I've been working on this year's gift ideas and I think we'll keep it simple and fun with some handmade goodies and unique accoutrements. I can't tell you what I'm doing here because my family reads my blog - Right, guys?

Here's a few ideas to get your creativity going:Babycakes Marshmallows
  • Homemade marshmallows, holiday mugs and coffees and/or hot chocolate mixes in a decorated basket. Kick it up a notch by adding a small bottle of decadent liqueur, a CD you burned of classic holiday music and a log for the fireplace. If you don't want to make the marshmallows yourself you can get them at Babycakes (and while you're there check out her incredible cupcakes).

  • A great gift for tween and in-between girls is a kit for making fairy dusting powder. You will need cosmetic glitter or mica, cornstarch and a small container for mixing and storing. Add a powder puff or soft brush, some glittery hair accessories and you'll be her BFF! You can get everything you need to make the fairy dust online at Coastal Scents.

  • Is someone on your list a bit stressed this year? Give them a coupon book you make on your home computer with coupons for things like free babysitting, a movie or lunch date with you, a foot massage - you get the idea. Upgrade this gift by presenting it with a good bottle of wine, imported beer or home spa goodies.

  • For someone who has no time to cook make pasta sauces or casseroles that you freeze in either single or family portions that they can just pop into the oven or microwave at a moments notice. Use disposable containers so they don't have to clean up afterward. They'll love you for it!

  • You know the old saying, "The way to every man's heart is through his stomach." Truer words have never been spoken! Is your guy the outdoors hiker type? Check out House of Jerky. They carry all kinds of great tasting jerky including exotic types like gator, salmon and and buffalo. You can purchase a Jerky of the Month pack for the gift that keeps on giving. There's even an option to purchase a Hero Pack that will be sent to your fave soldier with free shipping and a personal note. Pretty cool!
I hope this post will motivate your gift-giving-self to present unique and personal gifts this year that will put holiday smiles on your loved ones faces and will have you saying Ho! Ho! Ho!


Erin @ Bride Design said...

Awesome list that I think will really be helpful to me with those last couple of "toughies" I'm having trouble buying/creating gifts for. Thanks!

Grove Designs Co, aka Kriskropmemories said...

I can completely relate to you. I married into a family with 7 kids, all married with children. Gift giving can definitely break the bank. I have in the past made homemade chocolates and packaged them in pretty tins.
Thanks for your suggestions! Love the fairy glitter dust idea