Monday, December 8, 2008

At last! A LIST!

May I first say thank you for your words of kindness, empathy and encouragement and most of all for your patience. Hopefully this post will make it worth your wait.

Before I begin my list, let me share some great ideas from my very creative readers.

*Bonnie wrote:
I had my kids draw pictures of what they thought Christmas was about (my daughter is quite prolific). Then I copied the pictures onto muslin and I am going to stitch out the picture with a cute Christmas saying, frame it and give it to my mom and Grandmother. I bought the frames at a second hand store for about a dollar a piece. Other than my time, it will cost me about $3.00 per gift.
Also I bought cute Christmas plates for about 33 cents a piece at the second hand store and I am going to give some of my neighbors their treats on them with a plate stand. Total cost under $3.00.
*Andrea posted some wonderful ideas. Be sure to spend some time looking through her December and November posts where she shares ideas for making your own ornaments, topiaries, coasters, bath salts, and MORE!
*Amber made and posted three great gift ideas here, here and here.
*Immortal Beloved shared her recipe for yummy peppermint bark.
*Cheryl has a great recipe for five minute fudge wreaths that would make a delicious gift.
*MARYANNE420 has a TON of Martha's ideas that she's been crafting.

If YOU have a some inexpensive gift ideas to share, please add them to the comments on this post!

Now, on to my list.
I purchased almost everything from the dollar store to show you these ideas. Remember that I am giving you a SIMPLE version. It's up to you to customize it and make it special.Practical gifts are always nice. Who can't use an extra extension cord this time of year? Attach a tag that says, "EXTENDING special wishes your way, for a Happy Holiday!"
A multi-purpose lighter is nice for lighting candles. Give it with candles and a tag that says, "We're de-lighted to have you as our neighbors."
The tall glass candles (referred to as religious candles) look very special when covered with foil wrapping paper, beautiful scrapbook paper, or vellum. Add on ribbon, bells, a monogram, or scrapbook letters that spell out JOY or NOEL.
Give a gift of art. You or your children can paint a special picture on canvas. Or paint your child's hand and print it onto the canvas and mod podge the saying, "Hands down, you're the best grandparents in the world!" You could even use spay adhesive to make a collage of special photos.
Paint or cover the wood plaques with scrapbook paper. Add a monogram or spell out a name, or another word with small wooden letters. Mod podge on
a meaningful scripture or poem, or paste on several words that describe the person. Don't forget to replace the string with pretty ribbon. Give a photo album with a tag that says, "Have a picture perfect Christmas!" If you want to spend a little more money, add a disposable camera or place the album in a basket filled with travel sized toiletries.
Try filling a basket with a board game and lots of edible goodies and present it to a family with a tag that instructs them to "Enjoy a Family Fun Night!" You could also fill the basket with drinks, packages of popcorn and a movie.
How about giving a cute apron with a tag stating, "Hope you're cooking up a Special Christmas and a Happy New Year!" Include some hot pads and say, "From our PAD to yours."
Who doesn't love cinnamon sugar? Pour it into a pretty container, tie it with a ribbon and include a recipe or two that uses this ingredient (snicker-doodle cookies, for instance).
Give a box, refrigerated roll, or a frozen home-made batch, of cookie dough with a tag says, "Everyone could use a little extra DOUGH this time of year!"
Bake a batch cookies, stack them in a bag of cellophane, and place them in a pretty glass or mug. Write on the tag, "Santa's not the only one who loves milk and cookies."
Or fill a mug with packages of hot chocolate and add a pretty spoon or two that's been dipped in melting chocolate.
The cute ice cube tray could be given with packets of drink mix and a tag that states, "It's such a TREE-t to be your friends!" Or how about filling the tray with delicious melting chocolate and sprinkles and tying it with a pretty bow? Or use the tray to make several batches of chocolate trees and present them on a pretty glass or festive plate.
Tie a ribbon around a seasoned salt grinder, or two, along with a tag stating, "SEASONS Greetings."
Another easy treat idea is to make a batch of chocolate rice krispie treats. Press portions of the mixture into a large funnel sprayed with oil. Wait a minute or two and gently remove the mixture from the funnel form. Notice how you now have what appears to be a big chocolate kiss? Repeat this process until you have several. When cool, wrap the krispie kisses in foil and include a long, thin tag that says, "We wish you a Merry Kissmas!"
I bought these simple gift ideas from a friend. The star is made from branches tied together and spray painted. Wouldn't it be extra special when given with scripture or quote about a star?
The tag is made from thin wood with the word stenciled on. It would be so fun to give a stack of these tied with string or hanging from a small wreath or tree.
My theory for giving gifts is much the same as decorating, you don't have to spend a lot to make it look like you did. What you save in money, you should make up for in presentation. Put a little time and love into your gifts. Adding a tag with a cute/corny saying can make the gift seem special. Tie your gifts with REAL ribbon or at least be generous with the curling ribbon (use five strands instead of one). Add on a bell, unbreakable ornament, or a candy cane. You can even use wrapped candy for filler in gift baskets.
When a gift looks like it's had love, time and thought put into, it doesn't really matter how much it cost. It really is "the thought that counts."


Christie said...

Last year I put a Christmas-scented votive candle in a little glass holder with Christmas confetti, and wrapped it up cute in a bag. I added a bow, and a scripture about how Christ is the light of the world. Very cheap and it was pretty as well:).

salmagundi said...

You put lots of thought into that post; and it shows with a multitude of great ideas!! Thanks, Sally

Valarie Lea said...

Great ideas!

Sandy Toes said...

What fun ideas!!! I love the chocolate and friends..that is great!
-sandy toes

tidymom said...

What AWESOME ideas!! Only you could make an extension cord sound like a wonderful gift!! LOL YOU ROCK!!

Thanks for the link up too!! I'm enjoying all of these ideas!!


Lorilee said...

Wow, you are full of ideas!

Inspired Kara said...

This is an AMAZING list of idea. It's hard to pick which ones I want to use, they are all so great!!

Darlene said...

Wow Joy what a great list of fabulous ideas!! Thanks so much!!

Karyn said...

I love it! Those little bells at the end are so cute. Thank you so much for taking the time to share these ideas :)

Kasey Hunt said...

Great ideas. Well done.

the voice of melody said...

These are such great ideas! Thanks for sharing. :)

Empty Nest Full Life said...

Thanks for the ideas. Now I need to get some rolling at my house. Jackie

Life on the farm... said...

Neat ideas!

Cottage Rose said...

Hey Joy; A few years ago I made baked gift bags for my hubbys side of the family. In Nov. I bought the small foil loaf pans and baked up some pumpkin bread and banana but bread and froze them until Christmas, it was a very inexpensive gifts. One box of mix will get you about four loafs. I then added two packs of hot coco they really loved them. I so love all of your ideas too.


Elizabeth B said...

Thanks for the wonderful ideas!

Amanda@Imperfectly Beautiful said...

Joy, those are all great ideas. I will be borrowing/stealing several of them in the next few weeks. I love inexpensive handmade gifts. I posted several of them on my blog last week if anyone's interested.

p.s. Joy, my last post is a prayer request for my little niece who was born almost 15 weeks early. If you have time, come over and check it out. We can use all the prayers we can get!

Blessings to You ~ Amanda

Angie said...

I have got to go back and read all these great ideas again and write them down! You are just so darn creative!

Kristy said...

Great ideas! Here's a few more I've seen:

(1) Fill a whisk with Hershey kisses, and add a note that says, "We WHISK you a merry KISSmas!"

(2) If you're giving the gift before Christmas day, how about a last-minute survival kit? Extra rolls of tape, batteries, scissors for opening presents Christmas morning, things like that.

(3) Create a round of Christmas goodies - decorate a nice plate (or buy one specifically for this purpose), fill with homemade or storebought goodies, and include a note inviting the recipient to pass it on.

Wendy said...

Lovely ideas!

AndreaLeigh said...

Those are awesome suggestions! Thanks for linking me.

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