Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Celebrating Homemade Holidays

by Chiot's Run

With my family we celebrate a "homemade" Christmas. All gifts must be homemade with ingredients/supplies costing less than $20 per family. Used items can be used or purchased as gifts as well. It's so much fun to figure out what to make for each person. Last year I made cloth shopping bags for all of the women in my family. I used scrap fabric and free old curtains for the main family. I bought a spool of ribbon for $5 (100 yds), so each bag cost me only a few pennies.

I make cinnamon rolls for all the families on both sides. I love giving food gifts because it's not something to store or something people grow tired of after the holidays. I got these great tree-shaped pans for less than a dollar a piece.

I also make birdseed pine cone ornaments with my nieces and they love giving their own homemade gifts. It's great to teach them early to love making & giving homemade gifts.

What kinds of homemade gifts are you making this year?


megan/mason said...

Your cinnamon rolls look so good! I love food gifts because you don't have to find a permanent place to keep them. They never last long in our house.

So far this year, we've canned marmalade to give out. We'll probably make some jelly or chutney as well. I always make cookies, candies and nut mixes to give with other gifts (usually little things we've found at estate sales or a used book or two).

K said...

This year, all the adults get a re-usable shopping bag, filled with salsa, chocolate bark, hot chocolate mixes, and some sort of baked goody (haven't decided what yet) - all home-made. This is my first year of canning; hopefully next year, I'll have a few jams and jellies to add to the swag.

All out-of-town friends will get a card, and a donation made to their local food banks.

As for the "kids" in the family (the oldest is 23!!), they will still get gifts, but mostly money/gift cards - one is in Australia for a year, one is going to college and could use gas money, one is saving for college, etc.

This is a big change for me in gift giving, but I am SO tired of the stress of shopping, and the money spent, all for a gift that may or may not be appreciated, takes up space, won't last, etc. I'm done. I'm opting out of it, hopefully for ever. Home-made or nothing, from now on.

And this year, as I have done for the last 12 years, everyone gets a home-made Christmas ornament. Felt trees, this year!

renee @ FIMBY said...

Lots of homemade goodness!

- Notebooks/journal books for our siblings and their families (one per family), as inspired by the the one in Handmade Home by Amanda Soule.
- soap and herbal products - my own recipes
- slippers for my son and doll clothes for my girls - finding instructions on-line and making it up as I go.
- and cloth bags to give it all in - very easy rectangular bags with drawstrings.

This has been my most enjoyable Christmas season yet!

Sustainable Eats said...

What a great post - I'm surprised you didn't mention those chocolate covered cherries. Those are on my wants list! I did a similar post last week: http://www.sustainableeats.com/2009/11/28/giving-the-gift-of-self-sufficiency/ and Kimmi Harris had some great things on her site as well, although yours and Wardeh's were my favorites.

I just made hand cream and am making bath fizzies for all the girlies as well. So much more fun than shopping!!!

Rachel B. said...

Today's Christmas craft day for me. I made some melt 'n' pour soap wrapped in a pretty reused paper bag packaging. I still need to bake. I know for a few people who are getting homemade blackberry jam and pickles as well.

Tree Hugging Mama said...

DDs and I will be making Salt Dough ornaments this weekend. Then I have bags for the girls and an entire playroom. The challenge is to make it without buying anything new (maybe some fabric dye).

GooseBreeder said...

Lovely ideas!I've done lavender pot pourri from my own plants and made the bags from scraps of material that I've saved.Also make up hampers from things I've purchased from my barter group for nil cash...marmalade,olive oil, dukkah etc.Happy Christmas!

Lorna said...

I hope to make the boys bath bombs this year (they are 3 and 5 and love the fizzies!) Unfortunately, it is difficult to find baking soda over here, so I may have to think of a plan B :) I will also be giving "Snowman Soup" to our friends--pretty thrift mugs filled with homemade cocoa and mini marshmallow "snowballs" and a hand-dipped chocolate spoon!

Happy Holidays!

June said...

I love our homemade Christmas too. I do the same tree-shaped cinnamon rolls for the neighbors...unbaked so they can save the full pleasure for Christmas morning.

We'll be giving many food gifts this year, many featuring our hens' eggs.

Thanks for the glimpse into your holiday!

Eliza said...

I love homemade gifts, especially food. This year, I am making chocolates for our friends and family. Then I will make a few people something special, like magnates or salt dough ornaments. Maybe a family picture. I don't want to give people something they wont use. I really like the re-usable shopping bags idea.