Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Works for Me ideas.

How I get inspiration for homemade gifts:

I make up a recipe,  find a theme I'd like to coordinate with it, and then I select a photo of someone I know to go with it.  

This picture was called : Uncle Bill's Beer Bread

 This is the head of  "Uncle Bill". The body is a 40 year old friend of ours, and the background is somewhere in Canada. 

I used to sweat the details over Christmas.  It seemed like a daunting task: either spending a lot of money on gifts OR slaving away until midnight every night for the weeks prior, trying to make everything by hand.  

I learned quickly that it is impossible for someone like me to give everyone "the perfect gift".  Gift giving is not my love language.  It's not that I don't want to be generous or thoughtful; I just have a hard time doing it in the form of gifts! 

So, my solution has been this:
1) gift cards for the children and 
2) hand-made consumables for the adults (like the picture above)
3) DH and I do not get each other gifts.  We are perfectly happy with that. Sorry if it sounds unloving, but we would rather just spend time together.  

About the handmade consumables:

I started with a very easy recipe for "orange spice tea" or Russian tea as some have called it.

I placed the tea mix with directions and a cute picture of the kids on the outside of the jar.  
Over the years, I've experimented with packaging ideas.  So, they all know they are getting something "to eat" with a picture of the kids on it.  (I have to be careful.  I hear my mother-in-law reads my blog!) 

So, without telling you specifically WHAT I am doing THIS year, I can tell you what I have done in the past.

:homemade crunchy, spiced pecans
: pancake mixes
: beer bread mix
:hot chocolate mixes

My Mom makes:
:chocolate covered pecans
:fruit cake
: party (chex) mix

Packaging ideas: 

Mason jar with decorative top
food packaging bag with stick on picture of kids
ziploc bags or plastic containers
metal can sprayed with chalkboard paint (on outside) Chalk message on each!

Hope this gets you going on some great ideas! 
Check out others at : Works for me Wednesday.


Mom24 said...

My hubby and I don't get each other gifts either. It's nice to know there are others like us out there!

I love your ideas.

Anonymous said...

Here is another couple whose husband and wife generally do not exchange gifts at Christmas.

I like the fact that you know where your talents and and use them accordingly. It is wonderful that you do not stress over the "perfect" gift. I think too many people lose sight of what Christmas is all about and your method helps keep the focus on love (God's love, family love, and friend's love).

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Anonymous said...

These sound like some great homemade gift ideas. Our church usually does a gift exchange, and some of the things you list would be perfect.

Herbert Bowen said...

The joy of brightening other lives, bearing each others' burdens, easing other's loads and supplanting empty hearts and lives with generous gifts becomes for us the magic of Christmas. Very interesting work.

nice post and thanks for sharing...