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Kat
10-10-12, 2:06pm
It's nearing that time of year again! Are any of you making anything to give away as gifts this holiday season? So far, I've only one idea for my daughter to give to her dad. It is a "Daddy/Daughter Date Jar." I am going to decorate a pickle jar and fill it with inexpensive ideas for daddy/daughter dates. Things like have a picnic, go feed the ducks, build a snowman, go get ice cream, watch for barges by the river, etc. I think he will love it.

What are all you creative folks doing?

IshbelRobertson
10-10-12, 5:56pm
Every year, I make Christmas puddings, Christmas cakes and Black bun for a number of friends and relatives. Also shortbread rounds, chutneys and jams. I also make butterscotch sweeties, too.

Gardenarian
10-10-12, 6:06pm
Potholders - love those little potholder looms. And really, they are the best and prettiest potholders ever! For Grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.

DD is making sea glass bracelets for her friends.

Sad Eyed Lady
10-10-12, 8:01pm
Knitting some simple dish cloths and pot holders for a few people I work with.

Tussiemussies
10-10-12, 8:33pm
Enjoying all the posts. I love to make gifts too. This year will be a no-gift year, since we are moving, and it's disappointing because I love to give gifts...

Blackdog Lin
10-10-12, 9:23pm
I always do homemade Christmas gifts, always involving food since I don't have a "craftsy" bone in my body.....but I don't have any firm ideas for this year. It seems like I'm tapped out on new ideas. Gonna have to put my thinking cap on.....

treehugger
10-10-12, 9:30pm
I don't really give holiday gifts specifically, but I do enjoy making, giving, and receiving homemade things. I canned a quadruple batch of Meyer lemon curd in 4-oz jars that will make lovely little gifts. I'm not crafty (I'm with you, Blackdog!), so if I am making something, it will be edible.

Kara

Rosemary
10-10-12, 9:40pm
I haven't planned all our homemade gifts yet, but I'm going to put together some quick bread and cookie "mixes" for my mother-in-law since she loves things like this but never makes them for herself unless it's out of a box. I'll just blend the dry ingredients from recipes I trust, and give her the instructions for the wet ingredients.

I'm currently working on cleaning up the yard and garden for winter and can't really contemplate the holidays yet! However, I will give some of the jam I made last summer as gifts. Homegrown, organic berries turned into homemade low-sugar jam, perhaps with a loaf of homemade bread.

Tussiemussies
10-10-12, 10:23pm
Blackdog and Rosemary, lust love the idea of homemade edible gifts. :)

Mighty Frugal
10-10-12, 10:52pm
Christmas cookies! My dh's Polish grandma's chocolate chip cookies, a linzer torte and pb balls-big hit. I give a plate of these to neighbours (we are a close community) and teachers and siblings and friends

Florence
10-10-12, 10:58pm
Does giving gift certificates to Hobby Lobby count? I could wrap them myself and the recipient would have all the fun of putting whatever they want together.

peggy
10-11-12, 9:40am
I usually make sugarplums and sometimes a little art of some kind. Cordials are fun to make too.

Miss Cellane
10-11-12, 9:49am
I'm crocheting scarves for two of my nieces. Same exact scarf for both of them, but since they live on different continents, that shouldn't cause any problems.

And I'll probably make something for my sister, but I haven't figured out what it will be just yet. What do you get the woman who has everything, plus a handsome French boyfriend?

decemberlov
10-11-12, 11:21am
I haven't planned all our homemade gifts yet, but I'm going to put together some quick bread and cookie "mixes" for my mother-in-law since she loves things like this but never makes them for herself unless it's out of a box. I'll just blend the dry ingredients from recipes I trust, and give her the instructions for the wet ingredients.

I'm currently working on cleaning up the yard and garden for winter and can't really contemplate the holidays yet! However, I will give some of the jam I made last summer as gifts. Homegrown, organic berries turned into homemade low-sugar jam, perhaps with a loaf of homemade bread.

I was thinking of doing the same thing this year with my girls! I've seen some in mason jars (i have a love affair with jars!) and they look so cute too :)

Last year we found a scrabble game at Goodwill and I had the girls spell out names and different seasonal words and make Christmas ornaments for family. They turned out super cute!! Here's a link for anyone interested: http://christmas.yourway.net/personalized-scrabble-ornaments/

herbgeek
10-11-12, 11:45am
Now I'm incented to start thinking about this. I only do "real" presents for hubby and my grand niece. My siblings and I don't exchange typically, but I like to give out a little something. Last year, I made socks for everyone, which was way too much work, and I'm not sure fully appreciated by all. This year I think I'll do some food gifts, one basket per family/household. I'm thinking mostly sweet goodies, except some savory/salty stuff for my nephews who don't care for sweets.

So far, I'm thinking shortbread cookies or biscotti of various kinds, some chocolate cherry fruitcake and caramels. For savory, cheese crackers and flavored salts (for use in cooking- both nephews are good chefs).

Polliwog
10-11-12, 5:22pm
Knitting some simple dish cloths and pot holders for a few people I work with.

I am making dish cloths and face clothes too. So easy to do, in between larger projects. I knit every morning and every evening in front of the T.V. It's the best hobby ever.

EDIT: I mean "face cloths"

Kat
10-12-12, 12:40am
Love reading about all your projects! :-) I am thinking of doing some food gifts, too, and MAYBE knitting a scarf. I have very limited skills--only know how to cast on and do the knit stitch LOL. But I guess I have to learn, right? I have some lovely green Woolease that would make a nice, warm scarf!

Tussiemussies
10-12-12, 12:43am
I was thinking of doing the same thing this year with my girls! I've seen some in mason jars (i have a love affair with jars!) and they look so cute too :)

Last year we found a scrabble game at Goodwill and I had the girls spell out names and different seasonal words and make Christmas ornaments for family. They turned out super cute!! Here's a link for anyone interested: http://christmas.yourway.net/personalized-scrabble-ornaments/

Hi December, those ornaments look so cute, especially since I love to play scrabble! : )

Tussiemussies
10-12-12, 12:44am
Everyone's ideas sound so nice...Peggy how do you make sugarplums? Have never made those... : )

JaneV2.0
10-12-12, 10:36am
I've thought about making foundation-pieced Christmas cards this year. Time will tell.

Stella
10-15-12, 4:16pm
The girls and I are busy little elves, planning our gifts for each other and our friends.

So far I know that I am making a floor pillow (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sew-old-pillowcases-together-t-151312) for each of the kids for movie nights. Seating is in short supply if we are all sitting around watching TV, so this would be a fun thing for them to have.

Cheyenne and Isabella are going to make Charlotte a no sew tutu. They are going to make Travis one of those fleece tied blankets and they are going to make each kid a microwavable heating pillow to take to bed with them on cold Minnesota nights. They are going to make each other some outfits for their AG dolls.

We are thinking of making beeswax peppermint lip balm for some friend gifts. I am also thinking of making some limoncello for a few select people.

Kat
10-16-12, 4:38pm
Stella, I want to make a little floor mattress for my DD, too! Perfect for watching a movie on a rainy day! I am also making her a one yard pouf chair for everyday:

http://emmmylizzzy.blogspot.com/2011/02/have-you-seen-new-pouf.html

Is it cute or what?

Tussiemussies
10-16-12, 10:37pm
The girls and I are busy little elves, planning our gifts for each other and our friends.

So far I know that I am making a floor pillow (http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/sew-old-pillowcases-together-t-151312) for each of the kids for movie nights. Seating is in short supply if we are all sitting around watching TV, so this would be a fun thing for them to have. I

Cheyenne and Isabella are going to make Charlotte a no sew tutu. They are going to make Travis one of those fleece tied blankets and they are going to make each kid a microwavable heating pillow to take to bed with them on cold Minnesota nights. They are going to make each other some outfits for their AG dolls.

We are thinking of making beeswax peppermint lip balm for some friend gifts. I am also thinking of making some limoncello for a few select people.

Hi Stella, what is limoncello? Have never heard of it before. :). How do you make it?

peggy
10-17-12, 10:00am
Sugarplums are pretty easy to make. Basically they are a mixture of finely chopped dried fruits and nuts, moistened with a little liquor if needed, rolled into balls and then rolled into sugar. You can see why they were very special treats in days of old as chopping all that dried fruit very finely was quite a chore. Of course now I use a food processor.

puglogic
10-18-12, 6:11pm
Last year I made flavored vinegars and they were a big hit. I think the most popular was the blackberry ginger balsamic - which I'm down to my last drops of, so I'd better make some more :)

I'd love some ideas for other edible gifts this year. People seem to really appreciate them, especially people who don't cook nice things for themselves much.

Zoe Girl
10-21-12, 12:10pm
This is the coolest floor cushion I found on etsy
http://www.etsy.com/listing/82405647/floor-cushion-crochet-mustard-the-last?ref=sr_gallery_22&ga_search_query=crochet+floor+&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=US&ga_search_type=all

If I can't make something I am trying to buy some handcrafted for everyone

Mrs-M
10-21-12, 7:44pm
What a totally awesome thread this is!

CathyA
10-21-12, 8:13pm
Pug.........do you buy the balsamic vinegar already made and add the flavorings to it?

CathyA
10-22-12, 12:24pm
I usually make food gifts for the extended family, but I don't know if I even have the energy for that this year. Some of the things I have given in the past are: pumpkin bread, white chocolate/almond/craisin bark, white chocolate chex party mix and some others. This year I was thinking of making granola for everyone. Its really good and has lots of good things in it. Part of me wants to just take several appetizers to the extended family christmas eve get-together, but I guess I always succumb to making more for people individually. I know I have posted about this in the past. I hope I can finally simplify, but its hard. I think the granola is a good idea.

mira
10-22-12, 2:41pm
OooOoOooh, so many excellent ideas!

I think I'm going to make berry liqueur, rice-filled hand-warmers and maybe some fudge. Never made any of those things before, so we'll see how that pans out!!

CathyA
10-22-12, 5:21pm
Someone made my DD a corn-filled heating pad. Its wonderful. Its just dried corn sewn up in a piece of material. You put it in the microwave, and it gives off moist heat. Really nice!

herbgeek
10-22-12, 6:33pm
Cathy- how do you keep the heating pad from being full of popped corn when you put it in the microwave?

CathyA
10-22-12, 9:11pm
Field corn and popped corn are two different animals. Popcorn has alot of moisture in it, which causes it to explode when heated. Regular corn doesn't.

peggy
10-23-12, 9:36am
You can also use rice in the cloth bags. My mother sewed one for my daughter years ago to help her with her women's issues each month. It was about 6 inches wide and 20 inches long, and she sewed it in 4 sections so all the rice wouldn't shift to one end when she draped it across her belly. It's also great across a sore shoulder or neck, soft and flexible. She used flannel.

CathyA
10-23-12, 11:08am
I was surprised at how moist the corn made the heat. I don't know how long that would last though.
Did the rice make it moist too?

peggy
10-23-12, 12:17pm
It did Cathy. We have had this thing for several years now and use it maybe 3 or 4 times a year for this and that, and it still makes it moist. We used it this past weekend in fact, and it was just as moist and wonderful as ever. Maybe the rice absorbs the air moisture, I don't know.

CathyA
10-23-12, 12:19pm
Thanks peggy!

Kat
11-11-12, 8:37am
I thought of this thread this week when I had my monthly OB check-up. My nurse practitioner was talking about rice bags and how nice they are for aches and pains because, unlike a heating pad, they provide "moist heat." You folks on here are so smart! :-)

I wanted to add a couple of more homemade holiday gift ideas:

1. Flowers--forced paperwhites or amarylis (I am doing paperwhites this year)
2. Frozen cookie dough (how cute are these?):
http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/holidays-occasions/christmas-decorating-ideas-00400000059442/page84.html
http://marcicoombs.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2011-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2011-12-20T18:44:00-08:00&max-results=50&start=7&by-date=false

Kat
11-11-12, 8:49am
Oh, and I am also toying with the idea of making some homemade ice cream.

Selah
11-12-12, 6:45am
I am going to make some gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free oatmeal raisin bars for a friend who has celiac, lactose intolerance, and diabetes! I am also going to try my hand at making terrariums (sp?) for other friends, and an art project for DH.

That was a GREAT idea about the flannel rice heating pad, Peggy! DH bought a heating pad from America that didn't work, despite our using a transformer/converter/adaptor. They won't let him mail it back to the company from Israel, but insist that he takes it back to the store that he got it from. Since he won't be going back to America until the end of May, we're SOL. I'd been looking for ways to create my own microwaveable heating pad, and this looks like this is just the way!

peggy
11-12-12, 9:33am
Great Selah! I was using ours just last night for a sore shoulder and it's still moist warmth. I did notice that it was sewed into six little sections along the length so all the rice won't scoot to one end or another when you drape it. I think I heated it for 2 minutes.

puglogic
11-14-12, 12:58am
Pug.........do you buy the balsamic vinegar already made and add the flavorings to it?

CathyA, I do. I mull the fruit and ginger in the vinegar for a couple of weeks, then strain and bottle. It's wonderful stuff.

I made sugarplums last year too -- they did NOT last long. Really delicious.

frmeital
11-26-12, 3:48am
I love making (and receiving...) homemade Christmas gifts. I've just collected some of the best ideas I found online into a post about this exact topic, there are some pretty great ideas there..you can see it here: http://www.natural-alternative-therapies.com/homemade-christmans-gift-ideas/

Rosemary
12-14-12, 5:46pm
My homemade gifts are now completed so I thought I'd report on what I actually ended up making.

Homemade jam from our garden - made this in June.

Truffles, both cocoa/coconut and cocoa/pecan. They are delicious.

Homemade caramel. This and the truffles are mostly for teacher gifts - DD has a LOT of teachers. They get lots of food gifts so we will just give each a few small pieces.

Tea bag wallets. I used this pattern http://quinceberry.blogspot.com/2011/03/tea-bag-wallet.html
and can report that it needs some modification, as the top pocket is too small for most tea bags to fit inside without sticking out the top of the wallet. I made 4 all at once without making a prototype, but found a few tea bags that fit in the top pocket when placed sideways, and I like the compact size, so they are being given as is. I used scrap fabrics and buttons, and it was fun to go through my fabric stash and find some old favorites that go well together.

Baking mixes. Found recipes that were easily adaptable to mixing all the dry ingredients together, with wet ingredients that are standard even in a kitchen that is not well-stocked. Also looked for recipes that did not require a mixer, to minimize mess for these relatives who aren't into cooking. Put them in zip-seal bags and attached the recipe. Made some for MIL and aunt. Put notes to myself on the back about where the recipe came from, and will ask them to mail the cards back to me for the recipes they like so I can prepare them again. Some of the items I made: oatmeal-raisin cookies, snickerdoodles (cinnamon/sugar for rolling cookies is in a smaller bag inside), cocoa brownies, coffee cake, chocolate chip cookies, bran muffins.

A felt appliqued, beaded, and embroidered ornament of an ice-skating snowman. This was DD's and my annual after-Thanksgiving craft and it is beautiful. She wants to give it to her homeroom teacher, so I'm going to embroider a note on the back of it.

sweetana3
12-14-12, 5:53pm
Since we are talking about homemade holiday presents, I just finished a purse/bag for my mother in law. It took only fabric I already had and one zipper plus 4 buttons. Love love love it. So I also made her a hearing aid battery wallet, a tissue holder and a checkbook cover to match.

It took 4 hours plus the time to cut out and do some minor quilting on the cover to make this purse and I am going to make a bunch next year for presents. They can be made out of any design so I am going to try and customize for each person. Such fun.

The pattern was the City Bag by Lazy Girl patterns.