Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Gift Giving

When making homemade gifts it is important to think about the recipient more than anything – which is true for all gift giving! Many years ago I began reducing our purchased Christmas gifts, so most of the gifts are homemade now. Some of my homemade gifts didn’t go over so well and some were huge hits! But isn’t that true of purchased gifts too? How many times did you purchase that “OMG I gotta have that $30 doll!” for it to only be played with twice?

Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, Birthdays, etc. does not have to, and should not, break the bank! I realize kids want the latest and greatest $80 video game or that new cell phone that’s $200. But do they NEED it? I feel we are not teaching our kids the difference between a want and need, and what it takes to fulfill either! At the same time parents tend to feel guilty as if they are depriving their children if they do not get them “the latest and greatest”. IF that is the case and it really gnaws at you, purchase only one or two high dollar gifts and supplement the rest.

Many people ask for ideas on what they could make and or at least not spend a ton of money and here is a small list of ideas:

*A travel game made from felt, one side checkers and the other tic-tac-toe. (can be for boy or girl) This is a no sew project, just use the “wonderunder” or “stitchwithcery” stuff, all you need is an iron.

*A poncho made from a fleece blanket (more girly ;) )

*Sew pj bottoms, either pants or shorts (boy or girl – can even use a fleece blanket too!)

*Make a book for the “String Game” you can find many of the directions to make the different shapes and print them out (remember “cats cradle?”)

*crochet or knit scarves, face warmers, gloves, socks

*Make up a board game (small wooden pieces can be purchased at a craft store for very little)

*crochet, knit or sew an mp3/Ipod/Cell Phone cover

*sew up some dress up clothes and props, one year made daughter a “fairy” skirt, headband with ribbon and tissue paper flowers, and “fairy” wings made with two hangers with the hook duct taped together and the “arms” of the hanger were the wings. I covered it all in cheesecloth, ribbons, and more silk and tissue paper flowers and used elastic to put around the shoulders.

*for all my kids (have two and two others who were not really mine but in my heart they are) made a binder with their favorite recipes in it and old family recipes with who they were from – and if they were handwritten I photocopied them along with any time we had “special” recipes or traditions (is: cabbage rolls with a foil wrapped dime in one roll for New Years with Black Eyed Peas etc and why we had them) Now every year I send them new recipes I think they may like to add to their book. This is a wonderful example of what you can do http://crafted-love.blogspot.com/2011/03/spring-cleaning-recipe-journal.html

*Sew a bucket buddy from fun material or made from old jeans for tougher users. This is great for those adults who have tools – and don’t just think of it as just for the guys with hammers etc, does anyone in your family go to Bingo Halls? I am sure they would love to have a bucket buddy for their daubers! Or your crafter in the family, a bucket buddy works wonders for being able to craft on the go! BTW a coffee can makes a great "bucket" :)

*macramé plant hangers (all it is is tying knots!!!) Maybe start rooting some cuttings now to put into pots for the plant hangers!

*crocheted sponges (work GREAT)

*Sew lap quilts from the kids old clothes for the grandparents (“rag” lap quilts can be done in a day)

*sew “doorags” (my crews favorite) or scarf coolers. The polymer beads you can purchase online; here is just one source http://www.watersorb.com./

*sew/knit/crochet up some doll clothes or furniture

*Make a “Fort Kit”. You can get all kinds of ideas from the net on different “forts”. Or you can go simply with a sheet and clothes-pins!

Stocking Stuffers:
*brushes / combs / hair ties / toothbrushes
*special shampoos / soaps (even homemade!)
*the mp3/Ipod?Cell Phone cover!
*fruits or granola bars to tide the kids over till breakfast is ready
*coupon books (ie: extra hour of video game, or skip a chore, etc)
*small games. Do you remember Jacks? How about “Chinese Jacks”?  If you have a Gibsons, they carry the small plastic rings used to make them – if not then use colored paper clips! Google it. (a little secret – I still love to play with both!)

There are so many ideas out there and we have such a useful tool now to get the ideas, the internet! Just use your imagination and go "shopping" for ideas on the net, believe me you will find all kinds of nifty suggestions!

Do you have any other suggestions?


  1. I remember all that stuff :) totally legit :) oh! So I might need a bed side hanger like the one in my room... Maybe just plain black or black/grey with some green? Lol love you mommas!
    -your daughter

  2. Haha - I forgot about the bed hanger/caddy thing! Done deal :) But - did you like the gifts???

  3. Yes I did :) I still use my "don't frogget it" cell phone holder/charger thing :) and I wore the crap out of that white fleece poncho :) but can't use my recipe book yet till I have an apartment or just a kitchen in general haha! So I should be paying attention to my cal professor... Silly lecture is messing with my "reading moms blog" time! LOVE YOU!!!
    -your daughter


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