Post # 1
my husband and i are incredibly grateful we have a handful of family members who pitch in and help watch our daughter (for free!!) a day or two every week, so we can save on ridiculous daycare costs. i would love to get them something thoughtful for the holidays so they know just how much we appreciate all they do for us, but spending a lot of money is not an option and would make them feel funny. also, there’s quite a few people (7 in total) that all help out, so that’s a lot of extra gifts!
any creative ideas? fyi, i don’t know how great my daughter will be with helping me craft as she’s only 16 mons. old and would rather eat crayons than draw with them.
Post # 2
thesaurus rex: Wonderful idea! We do hand made gifts a lot. My FI and I made most of our gifts last year and will again this year. With his siblings (4+ spouces) it gets to be really expensive. So we started drawing names, and the gifts have to be home made. I LOVE it!
I’m starting to get into jarring and canning. Last year we made apple sauce, blueberry jam (picked the apples and blueberries), baked cookies and put them in a nice box and made wooden ornaments. People LOVED it! Not a lot of people do home made treats and gifts anywho and people really appreciate it. I’m getting some tiny loaf pans and making lemon loafs with a glaze for everyone with year. Add a nice ribbon, and YUM! Gifts people appreciate and enjoy!
I used a wood burner to do different ‘Xmas-y’ things, then added a plaid ribbon as the tie.
I also made mugs for my cousin and her bf. She loved them and they were super easy! The other one said ‘handsome’ instead of beautiful.
Post # 3
We painted Salt Dough ornaments of my child’s hand or foot for the grandparents. They loved it.
Post # 4
thesaurus rex: I think even some home made baked goods would be awesome! You can get really cute gift boxes from the craft/dollar store that are holidayish. Even if your not a great baker or you dont have time, go to a local store that makes cookies fresh (like Costco, or something) and package them up! No one would be upset! Add a nice heartfelt card expressing your gratitude for all the help they give you, throw a nice bow on the box and done!
I know I’d be beyond happy with that, because, I’m not a big fan of nic-nac’s in general, and who doesn’t love fresh baked anything lol?
Post # 5
Homemade ornaments are sweet – especially if you can use a picture of your child with the person who is receving the gift.
Baked goods are great – you can get cute tins to put them in at dollar stores around the holidays.
Hot chocolate “kits” or similar can be really affordable if you buy ingredients in bigger quantities (like marshmallows) and put them into little kits yourself.
This may not work if you’re trying to have it be from you and your kid, but for adults, we’ve given “Holiday Survival Kits” – a small tin with an airplane bottle of alcohol, scratch-off lottery tickets, and Advil or similar.
Post # 6
- Wedding: February 2013 - Mansion House at the MD Zoo
I’ve made homemade sugar shower scrubs and lip balms for people. The shower scrubs are super easy–just coconut oil, cocoa butter, oil, sugar, and essential oil or a vanilla bean. You can find recipes online or on Pinterest. Melt it all together, mix, put into mini mason jars. I use the tiny ones that are about 2″ high and 2.5″ across. I’ve also put homemade cocoa mix (check food network, there’s a couple of good receipes) into the same Mason jars and tied a mini of Bailey’s Irish Cream onto them with a ribbon. People love those.
If you’re not feeling crafty, we’re getting cute lip balms, mini-notebooks, etc from sellers on Etsy for under $5 each.
Post # 7
When I was a grad student, I was always dead broke and could never afford nice gifts for all the many people in my family. One year I knitted scarves for everyone. But the absolute best was one year that I spent not a single penny. I was in grad school for genetics and learning about taking a pedigree (a drawn out family tree). I practiced by drawing out my family tree and talked to my grandparents and could go back several generations. So for Christmas, that year, I drew a family tree for each family member and on the back I wrote a note to them telling them how much they meant to me and what I loved about them. I think they were the best presents I’ve ever given. Most of the family cried. And it only cost me some time.
Post # 8
thesaurus rex: i second the salt/sugar scrubs! we make them all the time. you can get short, wide-mouthed jars to put them in for hand scrubs to be kept next to the sink – they are so nice!
Post # 9
I’ve made all of these things as gifts-
If they cook– make homemade vanilla extract. Vodka + a vanilla bean in a cute little jar, wrap with ribbon and a homemade tag. Vanilla sugar, vanilla salt (sounds weird, tastes good)
Layered cookies in jar– layer the ingredients to make cookies, soup, etc…in a mason jar. You could make a bunch all at once.
Lipgloss– beeswax, coconut oil, vitamin e oil. A moisturizing salve is easy to make the same way by adjusting the ratio of beeswax to coconut oil.
Sugar salt scrubs, epsum salt soaks (epsums salt, essential oil- I like peppermint cause it’s tingly, food color) (epsum salt, lavender or rose essential oil, dried lavender or rose petals)
Lip scrubs- sugar, coconut oil, strawberry flavor like for food, drop of red food color. Put it in a cute container and it works great to moisturize & scrub dead skin off lips in the winter.
Post # 10
You could also make little keepsakes with your little ones hand/footprint– there are lots of inspirations on Pintrest
Post # 11
Some kind of personalized or meaningful Christmas ornament, perhaps? They are not expensive, but I like giving them as a gift (when they’re meaningful) because I know that every year, I become a sentimental sap when I decorate the tree because I think about where all of my ornaments came from and who gave them to me. They’re really special to me!
Post # 12
thanks so much for all the ideas, keep them coming! so far, i’d love to be on the receiving end of any of these homemade treats.