Homemade gifts are a fun way to share your hidden talents. Maybe you have an incredible biscotti recipe that everyone raves about, or you’re known for your knitted socks. Homemade gifts are a great way teach kids to think about the special people in their lives like grandparents, godparents, and teachers.
Past Homemade Gifts
One year, I made knitted socks for my side of the family. Having knitted different size socks for my kids and my husband, I felt confident tackling 4 pairs of grown up-sized socks. Since I started a little late, I finished 2 pairs after Christmas.
Home Canned Foods
When I spent more time on our vegetable garden, I used to make pint and half pint jars of bread and butter pickles, Dill pickles and Concord Grape Jam, all coming from our garden. I love making canned pickles and jams because I could get the making done in the summer when life was less rushed.
Cookie of the Month Club
One year, I made one type of cookie monthly and brought it to my mother-in-law. The kids would come along, and we would have lunch with her. Since she loves spending time with her grandchildren, it was a way to make sure we saw her on a regular basis.
Make a Plan
Now is the time to plan your homemade gifts. Be serious about your time; if you truly have lots of time, then tackle time-intensive gifts like a quilt. If you have limited time, plus you want to involve the kids, keep your gifts simple and limit them to a few hours of time for each gift.
ListPlanIt has a several planning tools in the 2013 100 Days to Christmas Ebook for making planning homemade gifts a snap. First you’ll need a calendar – September through December. Next is the holiday budget planner to ensure that your homemade gifts remain frugal. Gift List Plan B helps you think of all the people in your life that you would like to give to.
Finally, the Homemade Gifts planner asks you what supplies you need, how much time you need to complete the project (add extra time!), instructions for the project, and any notes you want to make about each project. When you follow each of these planning steps, you’re more likely to have a gift for someone to open Christmas morning than a IOU for an unfinished project.
This Year’s Plan for Homemade Gifts
Family Photo Calendar
Technically a family photo calendar is NOT homemade, however, I’m including it because the best photo calendars include special moments, ordinary and special occasions, in your family’s life. I make one that goes to the grandparents, aunts, and my husband. Thanks to Picaboo, it’s easy for me to include at least one photo of all the kids in the calendar.
Peppermint Bark Candy
I made several batches of Peppermint Bark Candy last year, and everyone in my family and otherwise loved it. The candy is easy to make, and not expensive. Last week, I bought a bag of Wilton Candy Melts for $1.99 on sale at Michael’s Craft Store. A box of candy canes usually runs about $1.99, maybe cheaper on sale. One tray of Peppermint Bark Candy is enough for 4 to 6 people, depending on how generous you are. Tins are available at the dollar store.
If you’re worried about the ingredients in the candy canes, Trader Joe’s carries candy canes starting in November which are a bit healthier.
Spiced Nuts are a good afternoon project with the kids. The kids can help measure the spices and mix everything together; you do the baking. I like giving spiced nuts because they’re gluten-free, and a good appetizer for a holiday party. If you need to keep your cost down, walnuts are generally the cheapest nuts to use.
Find more Christmas Handmade Gift Ideas on my Christmas Ideas, Gifts, and Recipes Pinterest Board. Don’t forget the gift container, too!