Author Topic: Homemade Christmas 2013  (Read 57834 times)

Roses

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2013, 05:49:33 PM »
I'm in!  A few years ago my extended family decided to start drawing names so we'd each only buy one gift for the big family Christmas celebration.  Then we made a rule that the gift had to be either homemade or something we found at home.  So no purchases.  Now my immediate family has adopted the same rules.  Since I don't knit and am not at all crafty I have done photographs and food gifts.  I love canning homemade jams, compotes, or chutneys from my own fruit trees.  I've also done cookies and treats for neighbors and offices.  After seeing some of the ideas here I might try my hand at something else.  Maybe soap making or even homemade candles. 

kkbmustang

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2013, 07:14:05 PM »
So I just had to vent here because no one else would possibly get it. In our families it is not uncommon to share wish lists for holiday gifts, as well as sizes, etc. This works well for everyone because there are a lot fewer returns. However, as part of that, we always included items in various price ranges, usually starting at $10 and going up or as to be so generic that price wasn't an issue (flavored coffee, golf shirt, kitchen gadget, etc.).

I got an email from my brother this week with a link to an item he wanted that, with shipping, would be about $50. It was the only option he gave me. In August. For Christmas. I probably didn't respond well, because I told him what our budget was for our parents, him, his wife and their children. I told him id be happy to get him a gift certificate for the budgeted amount to that store. There has been no reply.

Even with the budgeted amount, the total for all of the people for whom we get gifts is obscenely high. Luxurious, ridiculous amounts. I'd be fine with scrapping gifts for everyone but the kids but that won't be happening. And I honestly like getting gifts, but at least give me several options and don't assume what we have budgeted for you. Especially when the last three years we've gotten you a gift certificate for the exact same amount. Significantly less than $50.

He probably just saw something he liked and sent it to me without thinking, but still. Okay. Rant over.

kkbmustang

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2013, 09:36:18 PM »
We have done that before when extended family has come but this year it's just our small families and our parents. Plus my mom likes gifts and wouldn't be happy with an exchange. For us it's more of the "they make a lot of money so it's not a problem" as compared to "they don't make as much and are forgiven for lesser gifts" where we are the former family, not the latter. Crazy.

I've been trying to do the half gifts to the kids in the form of toys and half in their 529 accounts for college to no avail. Works for the hubs family but not mine.

cats

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #53 on: August 17, 2013, 10:00:24 PM »
Last year I managed to successfully propose to my siblings that we keep our gifts at "student budget" level even though we are now employed with real salaries.  It mostly worked out so that was pretty good.  This year, I would like to do a little more homemade stuff too.  I've done quite a bit of knitting in the past (socks, shawls, hats, scarves, fancy lace tree ornaments for my mom), I'm trying to think of something different and not-knitted this year because knitting too many gifts stresses me out!  For my brothers, I keep meaning to put together albums of old family photos from both sides of the family that I have scanned in. I made one of my mom's side a few years ago for my half-sister and she really liked it.  Prints are cheap at Costco, so buying the album is the biggest cost.  Still, should be <$30 each (so no more than I would spend on a "real" gift), and will hopefully be something they can enjoy looking at and perhaps sharing with their (still hypothetical) kids sometime in the future. 

I'm not sure what to do for my parents, my brothers and I often just pool resources and get them a fancy-ass restaurant gift certificate, so we may do that again and maybe I'll make some small goodies to go with the envelope, like hot chocolates on a stick.  They always seem to save the GC for V-day to take themselves out on a date, and again, the cost to me is usually not very high since I combine resources with my brothers.

Co-workers are where I am having some quandaries.  Last year was my first year at this job and it didn't seem like the sort of place where people did much for gifts, so I just baked a plate of cookies and brought them in to share.  However, one of the other guys I work with gave me a $20 gift certificate to a kitchen supply store (very thoughtful since I like to cook), and I think gave similar levels of gift to everyone else.  He is a super nice guy and has helped me out a ton with learning the ropes, so I'm wondering if I should get him an actual gift this year, but I don't feel like getting gifts for everyone in my group.  I like my co-workers and all, but I don't really feel like dropping $200 on them, especially when I actually don't like one or two of them that much.

I did use the gift certificate to get some silicone muffin cups (this one recipe I have *always* sticks to the pan, so they are great for that!), I was thinking I might just make him some muffins sometime this fall and be all "here's a serious thank-you for the gift certificate last Christmas", or is that just likely to be seen as fishing for a gift again this year?  I don't think he really expects to get anything back (nobody else gives gifts), but I feel weird getting and not gifting back.  Any thoughts?

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #54 on: August 18, 2013, 04:59:45 AM »

Co-workers are where I am having some quandaries.  Last year was my first year at this job and it didn't seem like the sort of place where people did much for gifts, so I just baked a plate of cookies and brought them in to share.  However, one of the other guys I work with gave me a $20 gift certificate to a kitchen supply store (very thoughtful since I like to cook), and I think gave similar levels of gift to everyone else.  He is a super nice guy and has helped me out a ton with learning the ropes, so I'm wondering if I should get him an actual gift this year, but I don't feel like getting gifts for everyone in my group.  I like my co-workers and all, but I don't really feel like dropping $200 on them, especially when I actually don't like one or two of them that much.

I did use the gift certificate to get some silicone muffin cups (this one recipe I have *always* sticks to the pan, so they are great for that!), I was thinking I might just make him some muffins sometime this fall and be all "here's a serious thank-you for the gift certificate last Christmas", or is that just likely to be seen as fishing for a gift again this year?  I don't think he really expects to get anything back (nobody else gives gifts), but I feel weird getting and not gifting back.  Any thoughts?

Personally I think that an autumnal gift of muffins for your generous co-worker would be perfect.

For years I have felt that I was waging a losing battle on the simplified Christmas front, but I think that others are starting to see the light.  One interesting thing that has happened is that family members now ask me to sew things for them.  Usually these are relatively simple items but something that seems challenging to a non-DIYer.  (For example, I have a request to sew a Kitchenaid mixer cover as a gift this year.)

My son loves wearing handknitted socks so this is his regular request.  (If anyone had told him when he was a tike that he'd be thrilled with socks in his Christmas stocking, he would have been horrified!) 

Additionally I make jams in the summer to give as small gifts, again well received, as is my husband's homebrew.

I think the tricky thing here is not to stress yourself out by creating unrealistic production expectations.  Knitting a dozen pairs of socks by December 25 might be impossible, but scheduling a Saturday to make a dozen packages of homemade ravioli to store in the freezer until Christmas is not.

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #55 on: August 18, 2013, 06:53:21 PM »
My gosh. I found the COOLEST idea. Okay, maybe you guys won't think it's as cool. I have a cat lover in the house. I was planning to make some wall art for the cat lover and searched Google for a cat outline. What I found led me to a page that shows how to embroider pillowcases with cat outlines.

http://thejunkdrunk.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/diy-cat-silhouette-pillow-cases/

I have never done any embroidery, but I am tempted after seeing the project above. As far as embroidery goes, it looks like it's beginner level (yet I don't really know).




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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #56 on: August 18, 2013, 07:23:32 PM »
My gosh. I found the COOLEST idea. Okay, maybe you guys won't think it's as cool. I have a cat lover in the house. I was planning to make some wall art for the cat lover and searched Google for a cat outline. What I found led me to a page that shows how to embroider pillowcases with cat outlines.

http://thejunkdrunk.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/diy-cat-silhouette-pillow-cases/

I have never done any embroidery, but I am tempted after seeing the project above. As far as embroidery goes, it looks like it's beginner level (yet I don't really know).

Those are so cuuuuuuuuteee!!!  I am tempted to make a pair for my house... Unsure as to whether my husband will like them as much as I do...  Maybe one on a throw pillow would be more palatable to him.

I might try to make them for my sister actually.  She just moved into her first apartment and is a huge cat lover!!

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #57 on: August 19, 2013, 08:51:20 AM »
That is great. Glad I shared the project then!

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #58 on: August 19, 2013, 09:54:42 AM »
I don't think anybody has mentioned this, but wrapping with "alternative" wrapping materials saves money and the environment, and a lot of times people who "get it" will think it's really cool!

Around October I start popping into Starbucks just to collect the funnies pages on Sundays that are lying around at the end of the day. I also save old maps (from free maps given out at trips or old bicycle maps for my city), large fold out brochures or anything else that comes on large pieces of paper that lends itself to wrapping. I've even done simple newspaper! Then I tie a bow around it and voila! In my view, the purpose of wrapping is mainly to hide the gift and make it a real surprise when you open it. Any opaque paper will do that!

If I have someone I'm giving a gift too who won't "get it,"  I save gift bags I get and reuse them. Even the paper. Most of the time they look like new.

The presents themselves, this year I'm hoping to make spice mixes and stir-fry sauces for my friends. I have to buy the spice jars, but they are not that expensive.

For cheap canning jars, I've seen lots of ads on freecycle and Craigslist.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2013, 11:58:40 AM by worldstrad »

kt

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #59 on: August 19, 2013, 10:01:19 AM »
another wrapping tip i saw was to get a neutral colour (I have a nice silver) and use it for everything. no keeping tons of scrappy roles and you can use different ribbon to change it up if you want.

ace1224

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #60 on: August 19, 2013, 10:10:54 AM »
i am so jealous of all of you.  i hate homemade gifts only bc i suck at making them.  even scented bath salts.  all of mine end up looking tacky and hideous.
i now go with gifts of manual labor.  i will be painting my bff's living room for christmas, i already know this. 

maryofdoom

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #61 on: August 20, 2013, 07:25:53 AM »
My gosh. I found the COOLEST idea. Okay, maybe you guys won't think it's as cool. I have a cat lover in the house. I was planning to make some wall art for the cat lover and searched Google for a cat outline. What I found led me to a page that shows how to embroider pillowcases with cat outlines.

http://thejunkdrunk.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/diy-cat-silhouette-pillow-cases/

I have never done any embroidery, but I am tempted after seeing the project above. As far as embroidery goes, it looks like it's beginner level (yet I don't really know).

Those are so cuuuuuuuuteee!!!  I am tempted to make a pair for my house... Unsure as to whether my husband will like them as much as I do...  Maybe one on a throw pillow would be more palatable to him.

I might try to make them for my sister actually.  She just moved into her first apartment and is a huge cat lover!!

As an expert in embroidery, I can say with confidence that those cat pillowcases are a project that is well within the skillset of a beginning embroiderer. The stitch being used there is the backstitch, which is super easy and gives a nice solid line.

Here is a good backstitch tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQbPtXmNBBc

Embroidered pillowcases are a great gift idea, and you can embroider basically anything you want. If you go this route, be sure you get yourself some DMC cotton thread to work with, as it's colorfast and can survive multiple trips through the washing machine. Plus it's pretty cheap. And it comes in 454 different colors.

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #62 on: August 20, 2013, 09:34:17 AM »
My gosh. I found the COOLEST idea. Okay, maybe you guys won't think it's as cool. I have a cat lover in the house. I was planning to make some wall art for the cat lover and searched Google for a cat outline. What I found led me to a page that shows how to embroider pillowcases with cat outlines.

http://thejunkdrunk.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/diy-cat-silhouette-pillow-cases/

I have never done any embroidery, but I am tempted after seeing the project above. As far as embroidery goes, it looks like it's beginner level (yet I don't really know).

Those are so cuuuuuuuuteee!!!  I am tempted to make a pair for my house... Unsure as to whether my husband will like them as much as I do...  Maybe one on a throw pillow would be more palatable to him.

I might try to make them for my sister actually.  She just moved into her first apartment and is a huge cat lover!!

As an expert in embroidery, I can say with confidence that those cat pillowcases are a project that is well within the skillset of a beginning embroiderer. The stitch being used there is the backstitch, which is super easy and gives a nice solid line.

Here is a good backstitch tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SQbPtXmNBBc

Embroidered pillowcases are a great gift idea, and you can embroider basically anything you want. If you go this route, be sure you get yourself some DMC cotton thread to work with, as it's colorfast and can survive multiple trips through the washing machine. Plus it's pretty cheap. And it comes in 454 different colors.

Thanks! I am also thinking of creating a pillowcase for my sister. I had a feeling this was an easy project, and now you have confirmed it. =-)

KatieSSS

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #63 on: August 20, 2013, 11:09:11 AM »
Speaking of cheap wrapping - I save a few paper grocery bags and use them as wrapping paper. Since I knit and crochet, I always have yarn around. I just tie that on and it looks great! I can also write on the grocery bag paper, so no need for name stickers :)

swick

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #64 on: August 20, 2013, 01:00:18 PM »
Hubby's mom made quite a few cloth drawstring fabric bags in various sizes a few years ago and gave them to all the kids. We reuse them and they travel back and forth between family members.

Also, my sister and I have gotten into the habit of using Furoshiki to wrap homemade presents for each other. I wrote a post about it a while ago. http://growingcreativekids.com/furoshiki-and-creative-kids/

Samsam

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #65 on: August 20, 2013, 01:06:32 PM »
I really like this thread, it is giving me a lot of good ideas for the holidays!

Hubby's mom made quite a few cloth drawstring fabric bags in various sizes a few years ago and gave them to all the kids. We reuse them and they travel back and forth between family members.

I have a friend that used to make bags out of old hoodies, they were really neat!

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #66 on: August 20, 2013, 05:58:42 PM »
Speaking of cheap wrapping - I save a few paper grocery bags and use them as wrapping paper. Since I knit and crochet, I always have yarn around. I just tie that on and it looks great! I can also write on the grocery bag paper, so no need for name stickers :)
Nice idea. I use reusable bags, though, so would have to think of grabbing some. As someone mentioned, I keep around a  "neutral" wrapping paper called... Kraft paper! Yep, put a piece of ribbon or yarn around it and it looks cool. Can also be decorated by kids or adults with stamps or drawings or whatever.

EK

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #67 on: August 20, 2013, 07:23:10 PM »
Kraft paper is so great for wrapping!  Some years I've gone a little crazy buying wrapping paper, but Kraft paper always looks nice.  Maybe this year I'll just do Kraft paper with yarn/ribbon and holly from the holly bush in my yard.

I made a list today of what I'll plan to make as edible gifts, and printed out all the recipes. I'm going to just do edible gifts for everyone- people low on the list will just get maybe a small thing and some cookies, and for my parents and grandparents I'll probably give one of everything.  The only people getting non-edibles will probably be my husband and sister.

I'm planning to make:
Spiced pear jam
Spiced plum butter
Meyer lemon curd
Vanilla extract
Vanilla sugar
Homemade marshmallows
Selection of cookies

Worsted Skeins

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #68 on: August 22, 2013, 09:30:56 AM »
Whew!  Just made homemade peach jam for holiday gifts.  Unfortunately I did not have pectin in my cupboard so I had to make a quick trip to the grocery before getting started.  Pectin in hand, I ran into an acquaintance who told me that one of her elderly clients has a productive fig tree and is happy to share figs with anyone.  Looks like fig jam may be next on the list!

SavingMon(k)ey

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #69 on: August 23, 2013, 07:40:01 AM »
For those of you jamming, I HIGHLY recommend Pomona Pectin.

www.pomonapectin.com

It is NOT sugar activated, so you can totally control how much sugar, if any, you will use. You can use other sweeteners if you like, such as honey or stevia or whatever. It is calcium activated (there is a little packet that comes with it), and it has worked great every time I've used it. I've made grape, apple, and cherry jam, and also used it in pumpkin butter. Fantastic stuff. I recommend ordering the pound package online if you do regular jamming, as it does not go bad and is a lot cheaper. Locally, I've found the small packets at Natural Grocers (more expensive!).

Jam on!

Avolonte

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #70 on: August 23, 2013, 08:37:09 AM »
Handmade presents I've made in the past that have gone over well: walnut sea salt caramels (recipe from Martha Stewart I believe), espresso caramels without the walnuts from 101 Cookbooks blog. Also, cashew brittle. If you're at altitude (since it seems that several people here are from CO) you need to adjust candy recipes for that. 

A friend of mine made me a papercut that she framed matted in a simple frame. It's just a random design, but it's beautiful. I think that would be an inexpensive gift, and I found an outline of a chicken that I might do for a friend of mine who raises chickens.

Other ideas I'm thinking about: "bug off" lotion bars for my friends and family in the South (from the Wellness Mama blog), peppermint lip balm, sugar or salt scrubs, peppermint marshmallows dipped in chocolate. I'm still mulling over ideas... I have to get through my Halloween party before I think too much about Christmas!

Miss Stachio

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #71 on: August 23, 2013, 08:51:26 AM »
Good idea to get an early start! I want to get my mom a nice keyboard so she can learn the piano but will keep an eye out on CL for it.  I have limoncello, grapefruit-cello, limecello, and vanilla fig rum in process of infusing for bottling and gifting.

The home made -cellos are such a good idea!!  Do you have any good recipes?

Just bottled up my first batch.  The recipe I followed is here:
http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/09/27/diy-homemade-limoncello/

The -cellos did come out very delicious.  I think about them at work which is probably not so good.  Here are some notes from this batch:

- I choose to use 190 proof grain alcohol because I was standing in the liquor store staring at a bottle of grain alcohol in one hand and a bottle of vodka in the other (at 10am in the morning) and an older gentleman passing by said to me,"I bet you're going to make limoncello!  Use the grain alcohol - it will be much better."

- The simple syrup in the recipe made the -cellos a tad sweeter than I would have liked.  Other people have mentioned making a simple syrup with 2 cups sugar to 4 cups water which lets the zest flavor shine more and I'll try that next time (already have another cupboard full of jars of grain alcohol and zest).  It's important to have high enough alcohol content that the -cello doesn't freeze in the freezer.  One can calculate it here:
http://limoncelloquest.com/limoncello-calculators/limoncello-alcohol-percentage-calculator

- The lime-cello rocked!  I used a microplane zester to do the limes as their zest is too thin for a potato peeler.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 09:07:58 AM by Miss Stachio »

Katnina

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #72 on: August 24, 2013, 12:32:22 AM »
knit slippers are my current plan for all the ladies I have to give presents to (mom, grandmothers, sister, close friends).  I found some fabulous ideas on Pinterest and am testing out patterns now.  Bought an old cotton sweater off ebay for 99cents including shipping to use for yarn recycling, so hoping to buy some more of those and my yarn costs will be quite low (already have some in my stash that will work). 

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #73 on: August 24, 2013, 07:14:20 AM »
I'm a bit nervous about the holidays. Of all of our family, two couples said they want to cut back. One has. A third couple is a bit spendy and may expect that in return. Another couple said they don't need gifts, but I am going to give them some photo books and maybe some food items. I am most concerned with the spendy ones as I have felt in the past like they think I am cheap because I have made homemade items. One of them LOVES a food I make, and I have given that.

Any thoughts? I am wondering if I should talk to the spendy ones about our plan to give homemade gifts. I have told them before they can give me used items, but I don't think they've taken me up on that. They are not the kind--thus far--to create homemade gifts. To be quite frank, I'd be delighted with a picture drawn for me by their child. That would be worth more to me than anything they could buy.

Perhaps, there's clash of values? Or expectations?


EK

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #74 on: August 24, 2013, 07:17:16 AM »
I've been collecting some pictures of inexpensive wrapping ideas mostly using newspaper and craft paper- thought someone else might like some of these ideas too!

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #75 on: August 24, 2013, 07:19:27 AM »
I've been collecting some pictures of inexpensive wrapping ideas mostly using newspaper and craft paper- thought someone else might like some of these ideas too!

Love these ideas!

swick

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #76 on: August 24, 2013, 09:07:06 AM »
I'm a bit nervous about the holidays. Of all of our family, two couples said they want to cut back. One has. A third couple is a bit spendy and may expect that in return. Another couple said they don't need gifts, but I am going to give them some photo books and maybe some food items. I am most concerned with the spendy ones as I have felt in the past like they think I am cheap because I have made homemade items. One of them LOVES a food I make, and I have given that.

Any thoughts? I am wondering if I should talk to the spendy ones about our plan to give homemade gifts. I have told them before they can give me used items, but I don't think they've taken me up on that. They are not the kind--thus far--to create homemade gifts. To be quite frank, I'd be delighted with a picture drawn for me by their child. That would be worth more to me than anything they could buy.

Perhaps, there's clash of values? Or expectations?

Is there any chance you could suggest something experiential instead of gifts? Like you plan a fun family outing for all of you and they do the same? Then you get two guaranteed visits with them and get to do something fun that doesn't "need" to be expensive and lessons the burden if they aren't DIY.

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #77 on: August 26, 2013, 03:21:20 PM »
Good idea. Thanks!

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #78 on: August 27, 2013, 07:17:54 PM »
I thought I'd try making these homemade tea towels using my 92 year old mother's handwritten recipes and I even have some of my grandmother's recipes. Nice gift for the relatives and it preserves some family history in a unique way.
Here's the website with the directions
http://blog.spoonflower.com/2012/07/turn-recipes-into-tea-towels.html

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #79 on: August 28, 2013, 09:26:55 AM »
I thought I'd try making these homemade tea towels using my 92 year old mother's handwritten recipes and I even have some of my grandmother's recipes. Nice gift for the relatives and it preserves some family history in a unique way.
Here's the website with the directions
http://blog.spoonflower.com/2012/07/turn-recipes-into-tea-towels.html

Awesome idea!

Katnina

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #80 on: August 28, 2013, 11:01:26 AM »
^^ That is SO COOL!!!!

geekette

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #81 on: August 28, 2013, 02:00:31 PM »
I thought I'd try making these homemade tea towels using my 92 year old mother's handwritten recipes and I even have some of my grandmother's recipes. Nice gift for the relatives and it preserves some family history in a unique way.
Here's the website with the directions
http://blog.spoonflower.com/2012/07/turn-recipes-into-tea-towels.html

I love this idea!  Too bad I'm the first in line of cooks in my family (mom hated cooking!)  I think my SIL might have some interest in her family recipes, though.

Katnina

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #82 on: September 01, 2013, 11:48:17 AM »
I scored 6 pounds of overripe peaches at the farmers' market for $1/pound.  Made 8 half pint jars of jam from them, going to make homemade biscuit mix or scone mix and give the mix + a jam jar + an antique hand mixer (i have been collecting them) as x-mas gifts.  Hooray!
Hope they have more overripe peaches this week, cuz I'd love to make more jam.
I used the recipe in Canning for a New Generation.

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #83 on: September 02, 2013, 11:07:02 AM »
Our budget is around $150 this year for 12 people. How about you guys?

I am wondering if the above budget is realistic or not.

To organize myself, I listed out all of the items I'm making and then put them under each person. Then, I went through and listed out how much each item cost. For things like relishes and jellies, I estimated around $1-$3 per since I'm buying canning jars.

My plan--if the spouse agrees--is to sprinkle in a few store bought items, such as books.

We were reading Little House on the Prairie, and the Christmas scene is lovely. The family members each receive 1-2 gifts, and they are so grateful! It seems like a good example of how less is more.




KatieSSS

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #84 on: September 03, 2013, 09:41:18 AM »
I just thought of a fantastic homemade Christmas gift idea for my dad. This is worth celebrating, because he is extremely hard to buy for. He's been making homemade beer for the past year using the Mr. Beer kit. The other day, he made the comment that it would be nice to have labels for the bottles. So that's what I'm going to do, make beer bottle labels!

I'm pretty into design, so I think this could be fun for me too. Plus, this will help me figure out how to use Photoshop for something other than picture editing. Yay!

Carrie

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #85 on: September 03, 2013, 10:04:46 AM »
Any ideas for making gifts for your own children?
The past several years I've made gifts for other people, but none for my own children.  The challenge here is to make things without them finding out, but thanks to school being back in session, I think it's possible.

In the past I've made delicious spice mixes to give as gifts.  My BILs particularly enjoyed the barbecue spice rub (and I supplemented that gift with a manly apron). 
I've made throw pillows, placemats, stockings and hot pads.

I'm just having a hard time coming up with ideas that would be appreciated by children.

Miss Stachio

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #86 on: September 03, 2013, 11:09:57 AM »
I don't have children but I put together a fort kit for my friends' kids.  Instructions here: http://www.armommy.com/ideas/build-a-fort-tutorial/
One of the most well received kids gifts was a bag of freeze dried mangoes from Trader Joes.

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #87 on: September 03, 2013, 11:17:48 AM »
Any ideas for making gifts for your own children?
The past several years I've made gifts for other people, but none for my own children.  The challenge here is to make things without them finding out, but thanks to school being back in session, I think it's possible.

In the past I've made delicious spice mixes to give as gifts.  My BILs particularly enjoyed the barbecue spice rub (and I supplemented that gift with a manly apron). 
I've made throw pillows, placemats, stockings and hot pads.

I'm just having a hard time coming up with ideas that would be appreciated by children.

My preschooler received a homemade apron from a relative which he just loved.  It was a simple pattern with a train theme and had his name on it.  He wants to put it on and help me every time I'm cooking.  It's so cute!  She also gave him some kiddie kitchen tools to go with it.  This same person has knit him sweaters and gloves which he thinks are very special.  It probably depends on the age of the kid what they'll appreciate but something personalized is always nice.  Also, food treats are popular with kids.

Carrie

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #88 on: September 03, 2013, 11:24:16 AM »
I had forgotten that I'd made aprons for nieces before (and included a children's cookbook).  A couple of years ago I made felt food for young nephews (I had plenty of time to hand sew the items -- I was pregnant and spending hours in the OB waiting room).

I want to do a combination of old fashioned (wood/tin) gifts - and homemade. I think I'll make a throw quilt for my oldest son based upon some artwork he's done, and make a few little felt or sweater monsters for my little one.  I might even be able to get my husband to make some wooden toys -- the oldest would probably love a handmade chess/checker board.  I need to get busy.

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #89 on: September 03, 2013, 02:18:18 PM »
Any ideas for making gifts for your own children?
The past several years I've made gifts for other people, but none for my own children.  The challenge here is to make things without them finding out, but thanks to school being back in session, I think it's possible.

In the past I've made delicious spice mixes to give as gifts.  My BILs particularly enjoyed the barbecue spice rub (and I supplemented that gift with a manly apron). 
I've made throw pillows, placemats, stockings and hot pads.

I'm just having a hard time coming up with ideas that would be appreciated by children.

  • Individual little cakes in jars. This was a hit with kids and adults.
  • Knit stuffed animals.
  • Decorate a cigar-sized box with beautiful pictures and make a label that says, "Suzy's Story Box." On the inside, add a label that says, "Tell Suzy a Story About..." Then, include prompts from you and the lives of other adults that say things like "the trip to Idaho," "the time Mommy rode an elephant," "How Aunt Joanne met Uncle Bill." Kids love stories and attention.
  • Make stuff for American Girl dolls. I have made leg warmers, a purse, and am making a hat for a doll for the holidays.
  • Cookie making kit
  • Hot chocolate kit
  • Wall art (I making my daughter a framed wall hanging with a cutout of a girl and a cat. She saw one like it in NYC, so I am taking the idea and doing my own thing with it.

You can also make play dough and give it with cookie cutters or melt down partial crayons to make multi-colored crayons in whatever shape you want. Add a sketch pad to the crayons, and you've got a gift!

Aaaand, I am probably making this:
http://thejunkdrunk.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/diy-cat-silhouette-pillow-cases/
« Last Edit: September 03, 2013, 02:22:20 PM by oldtoyota »

HappierAtHome

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #90 on: September 14, 2013, 10:10:49 PM »
For the last couple of years I've been making:
Jam and sweets for adults - it's easy to make rumballs, candied pecans, caramels etc and package them up in cute containers.
Crocheted toys for my nieces and nephews.

One of my goals for the next little while is to learn skills that will both lower expenses and potentially lead to small amounts of side hustle income. Sewing and jewellery making are on the list. When she was a broke uni student, my sister learnt how to make basic dangly earrings and made a few pairs for everyone (or at least the girls!) for Christmas. They were very cool and I believe they were cheap and easy to make.

I'd also like to try my hand at vanilla extract, vanilla sugar and limoncello. Yum!

I'm still buying some components of presents to go with the homemade parts, but I want to wean my family off the need for us all to buy crap for each other at Christmas.

NinetyFour

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #91 on: September 15, 2013, 10:05:28 AM »
Just curious--if you are in a hetero relationship, is it usually the female who takes on the task of planning all the gift giving?

geekette

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #92 on: September 15, 2013, 11:48:41 AM »
Yup.  To the point of populating my Amazon wish list for his ease.

We do have that sort of arrangement, though.  He brings in the money, and I do virtually everything else.  Works for us, but I can see that it wouldn't work for others.

I always make stuff for the nieces and nephews (and money, that's all they really want).  But when they get out on their own, they'll have some one of a kind ornaments for their first Christmas tree.

I've made vanilla (talk about easy) and am working on getting caramels right for this year for the adults.  Tryouts are tasty, just not quite the right consistency yet.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2013, 11:52:54 AM by geekette »

kt

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #93 on: September 15, 2013, 01:03:53 PM »
jars bought with credit card points / internet survey vouchers.
first batches of jam made (blackberry, black forest).
now to pretty them up so i can resist using them!

oldtoyota

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #94 on: September 16, 2013, 07:49:18 AM »
Just curious--if you are in a hetero relationship, is it usually the female who takes on the task of planning all the gift giving?

Not here. I carefully kept from falling into that trap after seeing how my mother did all the work.

This year might be different because I am planning *now* and DH has not given the presents any thought yet. (Not a judgment.) My concern is DH will start to buy stuff if I don't plan/make things.

ace1224

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #95 on: September 16, 2013, 07:57:42 AM »
Just curious--if you are in a hetero relationship, is it usually the female who takes on the task of planning all the gift giving?
i do but i like it.  i also take charge on all birthdays and holidays for his family too.  otherwise they would get nothing ever.  he does handle the gift buying for me, and likes it but thats it.

Lauran75

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #96 on: September 16, 2013, 09:59:36 AM »
Any ideas that travel well? I am single and fly out to my dad's family most Christmases. That means a single suitcase, or perhaps just a carry-on. Also, most of my family (on that side at least) is pretty health conscious and older.

HappierAtHome

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #97 on: September 17, 2013, 06:05:21 AM »
Quote
Just curious--if you are in a hetero relationship, is it usually the female who takes on the task of planning all the gift giving?

Yes.

Though this works well, as I'm sort of crafty and will make some homemade gifts, lowering our costs for presents. If I didn't plan the presents, they would all be store bought.

But it's a small price to pay for having a man take out the bin for me!

kt

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #98 on: September 17, 2013, 06:47:14 AM »
Any ideas that travel well? I am single and fly out to my dad's family most Christmases. That means a single suitcase, or perhaps just a carry-on. Also, most of my family (on that side at least) is pretty health conscious and older.

how much before christmas do you get there? could you order gifts online and have them delivered there, wrapping them once you arrive? I often do this with my family and it works quite well for making holiday travel easier.

Lauran75

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Re: Homemade Christmas 2013
« Reply #99 on: September 22, 2013, 02:21:13 PM »
I'll probably get there the day before or the day of Christmas Eve. We exchange gifts on Christmas Eve.

Having the gifts shipped there though is a good idea - thanks!