Great Homemade Holiday Gifts
By Shannon M. Medisky
Say “Season’s Greetings” with homemade sweets and treats. Nearly everyone enjoys a homemade dessert, but not everyone has the time or the ability to do the making or the baking. Make the edible gift even more special by presenting it on a beautiful plate, tray or dish as part of the gift. (Visit a local thrift store to go treasure hunting for just this purpose.) Friends and family on special diets will be even more touched by your gesture as they often get overlooked when it comes to holiday treats. Your willingness and creativity to whip up some homemade sweets that even they can enjoy (courtesy of a swap of Splenda for sugar, for example) shows not only that you care, but that their health is important to you, too.
Give the gift of “take-and-make.” Give something that’s great now and that keeps on giving. “Take-and-make” gifts provide recipients the ability to readily enjoy something now, as well as enable them to recreate it later on for future enjoyment. From cookie mix in a jar with beautifully layered dry ingredients to soup in a jar with a variety of colorful beans, pastas and spices, gift recipients of these gifts will always enjoy the added touch of getting their hands on a new, tried-and-true recipe to add to their own repertoire.
Homemade health and beauty. Want to give the gift of luxury without incurring the associated expense? Prepare homemade bath salts by mixing 1 cup of Epsom salt, 3 tablespoons of baking soda and 4 to 5 drops of essential oils. Beautify the mix by adding a few drops of food coloring or make it even more luxurious by adding 2 tablespoons of finely ground (regular, not quick cooking or instant) oatmeal.
Wouldn’t it be great to give yourself (not to mention friends and family) a gift that smelled just as yummy as a homemade sugar cookie, but without the calories? With holiday baking ingredients on sale, you can do just that for only pennies. To create a homemade sugar body scrub, combine 4 cups of white granulated sugar, 1 cup of vegetable oil (or unscented baby oil) and 4 teaspoons of imitation vanilla.
From the hands of babes. If you’ve got kids, than you’ve got pint-sized Picassos on your hands just waiting to get in on the gift giving (and creating) action! Put their creativity to good use by having them create all sorts of beautiful artwork. Scan it and burn it on a CD to give as creative, colorful computer “wallpaper” or shrink it down and print it onto cardstock, cut and fold and package with a few envelopes to create special stationary sets.
The gift of words to live by. Give a gift that keeps on giving, a gift of affirmations. Find a pretty jar or box and cut a variety of strips of paper on which to write a short sentence about the special person in your life. Pictures may be worth a thousand words, but straightforward words are pretty important, too.
Photo credit: whiskeyboytx
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