Ideas for a Homemade or Handmade Christmas

 

 

It’s that time of year again.  Christmas is fast approaching and I’m once again thinking about what gifts I’m going to give my friends and family this year.  Every year I try to make something for everyone. It may be a Christmas ornament, something baked or something canned from my garden, but whatever it is, it’s handmade.  For me handmade items not only add a personal touch to Christmas but they also can be thrifty.

How much money and time you want to put into your handmade Christmas gift is up to you, it can be very little or a lot.  For example: since I raise a large garden and preserve most everything that comes out of it, this year I plan on giving members of my family a variety of pickled foods that I made.  So, while this may have taken some time and effort to create earlier in the summer, it’s not costing me anything now.  I also grow a lot of herbs in my garden and dehydrate them.  Among the varieties I grow are mint, lavender and lemon grass, which I plan on giving as herbal teas for Christmas. For packaging these, I can either buy pre-made empty tea bags or I can create my own, or I can buy metal tea strainers, just depends on what I want to do and how much I want to spend.  Dehydrating is a great way to preserve fruits, veggies and herbs and with those you can create all kinds of things such as snacks, dip mixes, soup mixes and teas.  There’s really no limit to what you can do with these.

Baked goods are always a good thing to give, and it’s always fun for me to give baked goods that are not as commonly given for Christmas.  Several years ago, I found an excellent recipe for biscotti and every year for Christmas I make several batches to give to family and friends.  I put it into clear plastic food bags and tie them shut with colorful Christmas ribbon.  People love it because it’s not something that they normally would make for themselves or buy.

If you can sew or embroider, there are all sorts of things you can make as Christmas gifts, such as dish towels, potholders, placemats, and napkins.  To save money on fabric, look for pieces of fabric in the remnant bins at Wal-Mart or the local fabric store.

Are you wanting to give handmade Christmas gifts but you’re not the crafty type?  There’s an option for you too.  When I was growing up my mother and I would go to the local church Christmas craft shows.  This was one of my favorite things to do as there were always so many neat things at those shows!  You can find great gifts for anyone on your list and since most church craft shows are to benefit some cause, the prices there are very reasonable.  They are also a great place to get ideas to make your own handmade gifts too.

Another way to utilize your handmade skills for a frugal Christmas is to make your own Christmas decorations.  Handmade decorations can save a lot of money and add such a warm inviting feeling to any home!  If you have kids, getting them involved in any of these activities can be a great learning experience for them.  Not only will you teach them usable skills, you’ll teach them the value of making stuff with their own hands, and have a great time in the process!

Don’t be afraid to use your imagination, there are so many things out there to make and give, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like a handmade ornament or baked goodie! Finally, no matter what you decide to make, don’t worry about it being absolutely “perfect”, that’s the whole thing about handmade, it’s not supposed to be perfect, just heartfelt!

What are your ideas for a handmade Christmas?

Bio:  Anita is a manager for a electrical mining equipment manufacturer.  In her spare time enjoys working in her large garden, canning produce and hunting with her husband.  When she has extra, extra spare time she likes to quilt and do crafts.  She also is hoping to start raising chickens and possibly blog about the experience one day.

24 comments

  1. Cash Rebel says:

    I’m so jealous that you’re able to can fruits and make herbal teas for your friends and family. Those are awesome gift ideas. I’m going to have to look into making biscotti, that sounds pretty doable and I bet it wild got over well!

    • Anita says:

      If you are interested in starting to raise your own herbs, you don’t need a lot a space to raise them. Herbs are really easy to grow and many can be grown in pots in your home in a nice sunny window. You don’t need fancy equipment to dry them either, just cut, bundle together and hang somewhere to dry. Biscotti is easy to make and there are many great recipes available on the web! Happy baking!

  2. Anita says:

    I agree, baking is great because you can get several gifts out of one batch of whatever it is you are making and that saves time and money! (As long as I don’t sample too many!)

  3. Michelle @fitnpoor says:

    LOVE THIS. A few years ago, I made my then-boyfriend (now-husband) a picture frame and a handmade card for Christmas; he still talks about that gift to this day, even though I’ve gotten him some pretty awesome gifts in the meantime. It’s not just about saving money, either; the personal touches, the hard work, the love that goes into these types of gifts are, I think, at least as appreciated as bigger, more expensive “things.” That old saying that it’s the thought that counts really is true.

    • Anita says:

      Yes,that saying is true! I had the same experience as you, I gave a handmade ornament to someone I work with several years ago and she tells me every year when she decorates her tree she thinks of me! 🙂

  4. Cindy @ Creating at Home says:

    I love giving handmade gifts as well! This year I’ll give some of my home canning (pear butter, pickled beets, salsa and red pepper jelly), fudge, toffee, poppycock. Plus, some sewn items like pillow cases, zippy pouches, purses. And… My favorite knit cowls!

  5. Krista says:

    I think handmade decor is the best idea. I’m not huge on decorations in general just because I’ve seen so many people spend so much on trendy Christmas decorations and then want to change the style in another year or two. It seems like such a waste. Homemade decor helps you spend less and actually stay connected to your decorations.

    • Anita says:

      I enjoy looking at the trees in the stores with all the decorations, but I still love coming home and seeing mine with all homemade decorations on it. I guess that comes from when I was little and my mom was always looking for different ornaments to make not just for our tree but to give to as gifts too.

  6. Kay says:

    These are all great ideas. I usually do holiday baking and give cookies and other baked goods in gift baskets that I put together. Good idea about making decorations. I’ll have to try that with my son this year!

    • Anita says:

      Getting your son involved will be a great experience for you both! When I was growing up I looked forward each year to making new ornaments for the tree. Those are great memories that I will cherish! Happy crafting!

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  8. My wife often handmakes everyone presents – though she hasnt for the last two years because of our new baby
    I think the two that everyone enjoyed the most were alcohol made from autumn berries and pine wreaths for peoples front doors

  9. I’m becoming more and more interested in avoiding the whole consumerism aspect of Christmas and doing things like this – either homemade or handmade as a gesture. I think it’s thoughtful and well appreciated. Thanks for the ideas!

  10. MakintheBacon says:

    I’m not very crafty myself, but my partner’s mom is. She’s an amazing knitter. Every birthday and Christmas, I have received everything from knitted socks, to sweaters, to scarves. 🙂 I can sew a button and fix small tears. That’s about it. lol.

    • Laurie says:

      LOL, I’m in the same boat – my kids always go directly to my mom when something needs to be mended or repairs. Buttons I can do, but that’s about it. 🙂

      • Anita says:

        I love knitted stuff! I wish I had more time to learn to knit or crochet! I have some great crocheted potholders and would love to learn how to make those!

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