My family loves to make homemade things at Christmas, which adds meaning to our holiday. I am always touched to know someone spent time working on a gift with their own two hands. When a friend or family member takes the time to create something entirely unique just for them, how can you help but to be touched by the gesture?
Even if you’re not totally crafty, you can make great gifts for people. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
Dating or Relationship Scrapbook
If you’re in a relationship with someone, why not give them a scrapbook with mementos of your courtship? For example, did you pick up a book of matches at the last restaurant you visited? Or a coaster from your favorite pub? Paste them in. Have a favorite poem that sums up your feelings? Write it out on special paper and include it in the book. Don’t forget to include copies of emails you’ve exchanged, movies ticket stubs, theater programs, photos, and any other item you’ve saved along the way to make the book individual and unique.
Not very crafty? Homemade bread and cookies made a great Christmas gift, especially if you are sharing a unique family recipe. Presentation is really a must with food gifts. So wrap up cookies in a pretty box with tissue paper, or bread in a bag sealed with a custom made tag. Find out your recipient’s favorite recipe that they don’t often make themselves.
Tee Shirt or Sweater Pillow
I know people make quilts out of old tee shirts, but if you’re not a big sewer you can still make a pillow. Does your son or daughter have a favorite tee shirt they love but don’t fit anymore? Their favorite jersey or even sweater can be easily cut up and made into a cushion for their bed. Simply cut along the seams to form a square, then sew edges. Leave a small opening to stuff with batting, and close.
Make a Memory Calendar
I’ve done this a couple times for family and it’s always a hit. Get a blank calendar (from a craft or hobby store) and some markers and scrapbooking supplies (stickers, papers, etc.). Write out birthdays, anniversaries, and other special holidays specific to your family. Add in odd days that they’ll appreciate, such as the birthday of their favorite actress, the date a new book they’ll like goes on sale, or when they reach a milestone in their life, such as learning to drive or going off to college.
Make a Recipe Book
Hand down favorite recipes by placing all in a handy to use binder or scrapbook. Make sure you put the pages in plastic sheets to keep them fresh. Don’t forget to include stories about how you made the dish in the past, where it came from, and variations you’ve tried.
Showcase the Creative Work of Other Family Members
Hand down old potholders, pillowcases, or even jewelry by placing them in a shadow box. Use decorative pins to align objects in a pleasing way. Very often we keep favorite items from family in a drawer, and this allows the items to be enjoyed all year.
Update Old Jewelry
Got old jewelry you don’t know quite what to do with? I did this years ago with an old necklace of my grandma’s. Some of those old-fashioned necklaces are beautiful but not stylish anymore. So take crystals or beads from an old necklace and making them into bracelets and earrings. Incorporate current embellishments with old gems. Your recipient will have something new to wear and yet still appreciate it for the historical value to your family.
Write a Poem or Letter
Gifts don’t have to be elaborate to have special meaning. Write about a moment you and your recipient have shared or why the person means so much to you. (Here are a few tips on writing a love poem for the first time.) Be specific in your wording to highlight exactly what it is about that person you adore. If written right, these types of letters can be something your recipient will cherish for years to come.