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.