Homemade Holiday Gifts Add to the Magic of the Season
What makes the holidays magical? Is it the twinkling lights, the excitement of mysterious wrapped boxes under the tree, or the tastes and smells of special holiday treats? What makes your inner five-year-old show up in December? As fun as it is to shake boxes and try to guess what is in them, giving the perfect gift and watching the recipient's eyes light up as they open it can bring the greatest joy.
Many of these "perfect" gifts can be bought. Some can be made. Or you can do a little of both. Try some of these ideas this holiday season to create your own magic!
Create a Themed Gift "Basket" Start with a container that fits your theme or use a simple basket. Then, fill with related goodies. This works well for individuals or family to family gifts. Consider the following ideas:
Cheers! - Fill a personalized beverage tub with goodies for a home bar: wall bottle opener, neon bar clock personalized with a family or bar name, a wine bottle puzzle. Fill in the empty spaces with packaged pretzels, nuts and other snacks.
Nature-Lover Hostess - Begin with a wooden salad bowl and add some unique items, like mice cheese knives, a squirrel nut bowl and a deer serving board or a drinking giraffe bowl. Complete with a variety of cheeses or chocolates.
Bibliophile - Start with a personalized tote. Add a small book light and bookmark or two. Then fill with the latest best sellers. Not sure of reading taste? Include a gift card to their favorite book store and let them choose.
Movie Night - Fill a nostalgic Kettle Popcorn Popper with popcorn, Movie-Box candy, like Sno-Caps, Junior Mints and Dots and top it all off with a Red Box gift card. Let the show begin!
Recreate some of the tastes and scents from your own childhood for your loved ones.
Whip up a batch - Bake a few batches of your favorite cookies, candies, brownies or bread. Place on a special holiday plate that becomes part of the gift. Cover with festive-colored plastic wrap. Top with a bow and deliver with a smile.
Hot Chocolate Kits - Gather some small glass (or plastic) tubes or jars. Fill with individual servings of hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, and sprinkles. Pair with a chocolate spoon or peppermint stirrers. Bundle together with ribbons. To add a little adult beverage holiday cheer to the gift: bundle in single serve bottles of Peppermint Schnapps or Kahlua.
Light Up Their World
Candles convey the warmth of the holidays. Give the gift of light with these homemade candle ideas.
Stained Glass - Find small glass candle holders or decorative jars. Use a decorative scrapbooking hole punch to "cut out" various shapes of colorful tissue paper. Mod Podge tissue paper to the glass. Voila!
Teacups - Collect mismatched antique or vintage tea cups for this project. Melt soy wax then add wax dye and your choice of fragrance oil. Anchor wicks, fill the cups with the melted wax mixture and let cool for twenty-four hours. Hint: Tie the wick around a wooden kabob skewer centered on the teacup rim to keep it in place.
Rustic Citronella Patio Candles - Save tin cans from canned vegetables, fruit, beans, etc. Hot glue two or three wicks to inside bottom of can. Melt soy or paraffin wax. Add in citronella oil (1 ounce of oil per pound of wax). Add pine, eucalyptus, peppermint or mandarin orange scent, if desired. Pour wax into cans and let cool for forty-eight hours. Wrap twine or burlap around outside of can, using a hot glue gun to secure in place, for more decorative candles.
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