Monday, April 08, 2013

Holiday Gifts On A Budget

Why am I publishing this so far after everyone's favorite holidays?  Because these all take a lot of time to make and if you did them right before the holidays it wouldn't be cheap.  These are things I give family who make more money than us, i.e., everyone.

1) Vanilla or anise extract.

2) Photo books.  I got three for $50 including shipping this year (buy 1, get 2)

3) Framed photos.   Frames from the thrift-store-outlet, paint and mats from the craft store.  Family photo for FREE through a JCP promotion.

4) Soap.  It's easy to make but has to cure for a few months.

5) Fruit-shaped pincushions. I made my own patterns by drawing them freehand.

Any other fun suggestions?  Tell me what you make, because... I need different ones for next year.  (Except the photo books. Those never get old.)  

14 comments:

  1. I make photo calendars. They even have a built-in expiration date ;)

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    1. Those are great! I should do those!

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    2. My mother in law makes them with photos of us, and much as I am annoyed by her, the calendar always makes me tear up.

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  2. Courtney in Amsterdam3:04 PM

    One year my husband made everyone flavored olive oils. For a while he was really into making chocolates, which takes up a lot of counter space and December evenings. (He made A LOT of chocolate for a lot of people, many Decembers in a row. That was pre-kids and before moving abroad.)

    I knit hats for babies and females. Last year I knit ten hats, nine for female relatives who I know will wear them, and one for my brother's wife, who has never seemed that excited about receiving a hat and I've never seen evidence that she wears them, but I know how I'd feel if my husband's sister knit all the women in the family hats except for me, so my brother's wife gets a hat.

    Next year we're making marmalade, which we just made for the first time a few weeks ago and thought turned out really well. But I'm not sure we can bring it into the US if it's homemade jam. But it can be made right before Christmas, so we can make it once we get there.

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    1. Hmm. Customs says it's okay if you declare it? Unless, of course, they take it away. I like the other ones too! I did give away quantities of apple butter this year. Oh, the apple butter.

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  3. Jalapeno pepper jelly, pickled peppers, fleece scarves, christmas ornaments (cross-stitch, kids handprints), those brownie or cookie in a mason jar mixes.

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    1. Ooh, pickled peppers. I did make handprint ornaments for the in-laws this year (my family = Jewish). At least this year my family's won't have to go through the mail!

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  4. NYKaren11:55 PM

    I love reading, so I always look for books at thrift stores that are in good condition. Usually fiction novels for people I don't know that well (e.g., in-laws). If they don't like, they can give it away to someone else to read.

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    1. I like that! I know my FIL likes the same kinds of books I do. And cookbooks for my sister! Will have to give it a go.

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  5. I would eat the F*** out of some pickled anything. Red onions, for example? I make lavender sachets with some nice embroidery or beading or whatever, to make 'em special. I grow some of the lavender but mainly buy it. I personally can never have enough lavender sachets.

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    1. Oh, that's totally what I should do with that GIANT bag of lavender in the closet!

      mmmmmm pickles.

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  6. fizzchick1:33 AM

    Limoncello and/or arancello is ridiculously easy and impressive, if you/your intended recipients do alcohol.

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    1. I've done extracts! Never alcohol though, but I like it. Maybe for my sister; my in-laws don't really drink (you will immediately see why... pretty much everything).

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  7. I do photo calendars- with pictures of the kids from each month. Then the aunts/grandparents always have a picture of the kids from 1 year prior.

    I usually use Vistaprint and it's cheap- like less than $6 per calendar.

    I've also gotten potted bulbs- like paperwhites- that will bloom in the winter.

    I've made chocolates. My mom makes Irish Soda Bread.

    What I really want to give this year is Choffy (ground up cocoa beans you can brew like coffee). I read about it somewhere, but haven't ever tried it- http://www.drinkchoffy.com/

    I also give cookbooks- most of which I find for like $1 on the libraries book sale shelves (got some good ones like Barefoot Contessa).

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