1. Start early, plan a few homemade gifts and make a lot of them
The earlier you start with your homemade gifts, the less stress you'll feel when the crunch of the holidays is upon us. By choosing only several homemade gifts, and making a bunch of them, you'll save yourself time and resources. These gifts can be used for stocking stuffers, co-workers, teacher gifts, or party favors. Here are a few of my favorite ideas for this holiday.
Make a batch of felted soap
Make ready made muffin mix (or other baking mix)
Make handmade handwarmers
At the holiday times, the stores are full of greens and decorations for your home. This year make your own centerpieces and wreathes, and decorate your home with simple seasonal items you make at home.
Make your own holiday wreath
Use potted poinsettias to decorate around the home
Make these simple little wooden Santas
3. Choose the people who appreciate homemade gifts the most and spend your time on those gifts
Sometimes there are people on your list who simply don't want and will not use homemade gifts. Don't make homemade gifts for these people, it isn't worth it. Spend your time making gifts for people who appreciate them. Also spend some time choosing gifts that you know they will like. Don't give homemade muffin mix to someone who hates to bake.
4. Forget the processed foods and make your own eggnog and other treats
The holidays are a wonderful time for baking and making homemade foods. Cookies, eggnog, ginger bread, chocolates, and all the other treats are some of the things we remember from our own childhoods. Creating special things in the kitchen is a wonderful way to build traditions that your family will remember year after year.
Make this Peppermint Bark
Try this homemade eggnog
Check out these crazy gingerbread house designs
5. Send homemade holiday cards
For those who send holiday cards, make your own or create your own digital ones. You can easily get the supplies you need at your local craft store, and if your season is too packed already, send out New Years cards instead!
Try these felt ornament cards
Look at some of these digital cards
6. Choose homemade gifts for your wish list
Choose gifts that you want that are homemade, or ask for crafting supplies to get going on next years gifts (if only I was that organized!) Choose items that you can't make yourself, but someone you know can. A few unique gifts I've seen out there
These coasters are beautiful (I like the idea of an ornament like this too)
Check out Etsy gift ideas
I love these garden dibbles
7. If you are running short on time, keep it simple and purchase handmade gifts from Etsy or local fairs
I love Etsy. In fact I'm slightly addicted to Etsy -did you know you can sort for items by color!! When you buy something handmade, you are bringing joy to both the person making it and the person receiving your gift, it's a win win. You can easily do your own searches on Etsy for your favorite gifts and look nearby for people who are selling right in your community!
8. Make your own stockings, tree skirts, gift bags and other items you use every year
If you want to make some holiday items that will be used year after year choose fabric and knit goods that will become part of the tradition of the holidays.
Make this quilted tree skirt
Use this free pattern to make a knit stocking
This is a gorgeous pattern for simple gift bags
9. Plan a holiday meal or party that includes only food and decor that is homemade
Throw a party or plan a meal where the theme is homemade and ask people to bring food or a gift they made by themselves.Cookie exchanges are a great way to do this. When you sit down to a meal prepared from scratch or exchange only homemade gifts, you creating a celebration you will remember for years.
10. Choose holiday activities that are simple, free, and bring joy.
Instead of spending your holidays at the mall standing in line, find activities that celebrate the joy of the season: go caroling, check out the lights,visit with friends, get outside, and keep the holidays simple. If making homemade gifts is stressing you out, find ways to simplify and give the gift of time with your loved ones instead of store bought (or even homemade) items, because truly, that is what it is all about!
Enjoy the holiday season, and if you make something special this season, share your photos in the Made by Hand Corner here on the Backyard Farming Connection!