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Friday, September 23, 2005

Homemade Gift Ideas For Christmas

Christmas is around the corner. I don't know about you, but from the looks of things around here...I think money might be in shorter supply than gas. It's probably going to be a homemade Christmas this year.

My kids won't mind. They'll still get regular Christmas presents, but my brothers, my mom and my in-laws are all going to get homemade Christmas presents. I've done homemade Christmas' before. Because I put a lot of thought and time...let me stress that again...a lot of time...into what I made for everyone, they all liked what I gave them that year better than what I had given them the year before. For what I saved in money, I definitely made up for in spending time making everything. Seems like by the time I finally decided what I wanted to make, I spent every spare moment for a month making gifts. I was still working on the last few on Christmas morning.

The other day I saw a website counting down the days till Christmas. Well I'm not getting that anal about it yet, but I figured since I am going to make gifts this year, I'm planning ahead. Earlier in the year I ordered a book on making gift baskets. They're all nice, but all the stuff that they show you to put in them is kind of expensive and honestly, I don't know anybody in my family that would actually appreciate any of the baskets it shows you how to make. One of the baskets had some kind of dried tomato basil and spinach noodles, a jar of spices you mixed together yourself, stainless steel cooking utensils, and the basket was a stock pot. If you would have gone and bought all that stuff you'd end up spending about $60 and that's just on one basket!

So what I needed was an affordable gift making idea and I kind of like the gift basket idea, but since I'm only creative in spurts...I really almost need somebody to lay it all out for me and take some of the thinking out of it for me. Otherwise I would come up with a mix of things that don't have any rhyme or reason for going together. Anyway, I came across this book Great Gifts In a Jar, and with a little bit of thought, a little bit of time and a little bit of money, I'm gonna be able to make some great gifts for my family. Also, it would be so simple to make inexpensive baskets that look like they cost at least $30 without spending near that for each one.

One of the ideas is for a jar that has Potato Soup Mix in it. My brother absolutely loves potato soup. Instead of putting the mix in a jar, I'm going to put it in a ziplock bag put inside one of those colored cellophane bags with a ribbon tying it closed. Then I'm going to buy a soup cup at Dollar General or Fred's for a couple of bucks....presto! Instant awesome gift for my brother.

My girls, 12 and 15, don't know it yet, but they're going to pick out a mix and make a gift in a jar for their teachers. I might even make them a list of the mixes I need put in a jar too, that way all I have to do is decorate the jar. Thank goodness they included ideas in the book for doing that too!

I don't really even have to do a basket. After I get through with decorating the jar with a square of material and a ribbon, I'll attach a really cool note card to it that I'll make on the computer and print out. If I'm making a cookie mix, I can attach a cookie cutter to it, drop it in a gift bag and walla...really cool gift.


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