Last Minute Homemade Gifts from the Heart
Written by Leah Courtney
Although the holiday spirit of giving should be joyful and fun, gift giving can sometimes turn into a chore. Whether you have a large extended family or many friends to buy for, the cost of gift giving can add up. Often homemade gifts can be a more frugal option. And homemade gifts that truly come from the heart are much more meaningful to the giver and the receiver.
Over the years, my family and I have made many different homemade gifts for our family, friends, and acquaintances. Sometimes the kids like to make things on their own to give family members. Sometimes we make things together and give them as a family. Here are some of our favorite homemade gifts.
1. Food. Everyone loves to get goodies around the holidays. I have frequently made goodies for our extended family members for gifts. And, every year at Christmas, I make homemade goodies for my husband’s friends at work. Because many people seem to have food allergies now, a little note telling what makes up your goodies is always nice. And if you are specifically making a gift for someone with an allergy, use caution to avoid contamination. Knowing that you went out of your way to make it safe for them makes it even more special!
Some of our most appreciated goodies have been pretzel rods dipped in white chocolate and rolled in sprinkles; Chex cereal, nuts, pretzels, and M&Ms coated in white chocolate and spread on wax paper to dry; homemade fudge; and sugar cookies made from refrigerated dough and decorated with love.
2. Ornaments. I am not extremely crafty and creative here. I’ve often just purchased a kit for making ornaments. But in my craftier years, we’ve come up with different ways to showcase a small picture of the kids in an ornament. Grandparents and aunts and uncles especially love something with the kids’ pictures. One simple way is to cut out small frames from cardstock. Let the kids decorate the frames with drawings and Christmas stickers or foam shapes. Have wallet sized pictures of the kids and crop them to the needed size. Attach the picture to the back of the frame with glue and put a ribbon in the top of the frame to hang it from the tree.
3. Blankets. This was my oldest daughter’s idea one year. It turned out to be an easy, inexpensive gift that she could make. It’s easily personalized and makes a nice gift for anyone. It’s simple enough that an older child can make it.
She bought pieces of fleece (hers were smaller pieces for small lap blankets). She made cuts about two inches long and half an inch wide along all four sides to make strips. She then tied a knot in each strip. The blankets turned out really cute, and everyone she gave one to loved them. It was really nice because she could choose a fleece color theme that fit each recipient like a Clemson fleece for one cousin and a John Deere tractor fleece for another.
4. Photobooks. This gift isn’t necessarily made at home, but it is created by you and your family. I have frequently ordered photo books or calendars for the grandparents for Christmas. If you keep an eye out on the online photo processing sites around the holidays, you can usually catch some great deals. You can upload your own pictures using their easy-to-use uploader. Then the site guides you through choosing your book or calendar and designing it. Every time we’ve given these, the grandparents have been thrilled. It’s a great way to showcase pictures of your kids with the grandparents receiving the gift.
We love to give homemade gifts. And I know, from the ones we’ve been privileged to receive, that receiving homemade gifts makes us feel loved and appreciated. Enjoy making some homemade gifts with your family this season.
Leah Courtney is a homeschooling, blogging mom.