Welcome to Blogmas 2017! Today blogging with us is our friend, Jennifer at This Mommin’ Life be sure to go say “Hi” to her one her website! After reading this post I can’t wait to start making my gifts for neighbors, friends, teachers, and coworkers!
I love Christmas. It has always been my favorite time of the year. There is something about all the decorations, smells, and lights that make it such a fun time of the year. I think it always comes back to how Christmas was for me growing up. I have a fairly large family and so when we were younger it was not uncommon for us to “make” gifts for each other. I have the fondest memories of these gifts and have continued using this tradition as I have gotten older. Many of the things I started making years ago are still requested for this year. Below are some ideas for you to make homemade gifts that are easy to make, budget-friendly, and are crowd pleasers.
I started making these on Snapfish several years ago when I had a coupon for a Buy One, Get One free. Not only was it super easy to make but my mother in law LOVED hers. It was so much fun to look back at the pictures from that year and reminisce about how much everyone has grown. There are certain designs that you can also include quotes from things your kids have said through the year. It helps to add a little extra personalization. This one you do need to make sure you have it created by mid-November so you don’t have to pay extra for shipping. Depending on which photo print service you use, look out for coupon codes that allows you to order a calendar for more than one person.
This is one of my absolute favorite things to make for a couple of reason. First, I always think of my grandmother when I am baking up a storm in the kitchen. I always loved helping her in the kitchen. Secondly, this is one of the gifts where a little goes a long way. Pick your favorite things you make every year for Christmas. I always make peanut brittle, fudge, peppermint bark, and Christmas Tree cookies. I will then gather up any Christmas tins I have around the house or go to the dollar store and purchase some Christmas tins. Fill the tins up with all the goodies! Tie them up with a festive ribbon and you are all set! You would be amazed by a number of people who love homemade treats. This is a great gift to give to co-workers, neighbors, extended family, and teachers.
Hot Chocolate Mix
This is my other favorite thing to make when I need a gift for a work gift exchange or for my kid’s teachers. I make a peppermint hot chocolate mix and pair with a cute Christmas mug. Below is the hot chocolate mix:
-1 cup of powdered milk
-1 cup of sugar
-1 cup of unsweetened cocoa
Layer all these in a pretty mason jar. Add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of crushed peppermint to the top. Add a lid to the top and tie a pretty ribbon to the jar. On the card to attach to it put the following directions:
Pour all ingredients into a large bowl and mix. Boil some water and add 1/3 cup of hot chocolate mix to a mug. Pour the boiling water and stir well.
Meals in a Basket
Since most of our family members have their own families, why not help them out by giving them a dinner for a busy weeknight. My go-to meals are either a soup they can cook in the crockpot all day or a pasta type meal.
For the soup, you can include a dried bean soup mix, disposable bowls, disposable spoons, crackers, and a quick dessert. Here is the recipe I use for the soup mix:
-Two (2) cups of dried beans (1/3 cup of each black beans, lima beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, and navy beans)
-1/4 cup dried minced onion
-2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
-1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
-1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
In a 1-pint glass jar, layer all the ingredients. Store tightly covered at room temperature (up to 2 months).
Make sure to include the soup directions below:
-8 cups water
-2 medium carrots chopped
-2 medium stalks celery chopped
-2 lb smoked ham shanks (or ham steaks)
Mix all ingredients in crock-pot and cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. Skim fat if necessary. Remove ham shanks and remove ham from bone. Cut ham into 1/2 inch pieces. Stir ham back into soup and heat until hot.
For the pasta meal, you can include a box of spaghetti noodles, spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, a bag of pre-made salad, and disposable plates. I would make sure to purchase the salad right before you give this gift so it doesn’t go bad. You can then include a cute card to go along with the meal.
I made several of these one year for Christmas. It was so easy to make and was another gift that was loved by many. I took about 3 yards of fleece that were two coordinating prints. Pinned them together and cut out a 2×2 square in each corner. Then I cut 1-inch strips along all 4 sides of the blanket. Once those were completed, I tied the strips together to bind the blanket. It was an easy gift for anyone who is hard to buy for.
Homemade gifts just add something a little special to the holidays and help your wallet at the same time. I hope you enjoy making these gifts as much as the recipient enjoys receiving them!
Bio: Jennifer is a southern girl who stays busy with her 3 kids and husband. She lives in North Georgia and loves spending time outside running, kayaking, and fishing. Jennifer blogs over at This Mommin’ Life