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Christmas Gift Ideas?


Lukkychrm42
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Hi-

This is the first year in recent history that I've been super low on funds for Christmas presents. I know many of you are also unable to work, and I was wondering what sort of things you've thought of to give family and friends? I'm not very creative, so things to make by hand might better fall under the food category. Other than that, I haven't really thought of anything special. If I had the money, I'd like to do something really special for my parents, sister, brother, and fianc?. My parents are taking us on a catamaran cruise over New Year to the Caribbean, and that's our official present from them, and my sister is pregnant but giving the baby up for adoption, so it will be a hard year for her. I'm afraid my fianc? might be going the jewelry route again- he knows I'm not rolling in dough, but I still feel bad. :(

Any ideas??

Thanks a ton!!! :(

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I've been short on funds for many Christmases, so I've gotten in the habit of making gifts. Mostly crafty stuff -- this year I'm knitting dish clothes.

Depending on your energy and whether your family is local, there are a lot of things you could do with food. You could make something that freezes well or ships well (bread, soup mix, etc.). If they're near by you could give them gift certificates for hot dinners on an evening of their choosing. One year a friend of mine gave me 3 food coupons, and in exchange for two of them he made me big pots of beef stew and for the third one a pot of chicken soup. That was a gift I truly appreciated!

There are also some fun things you can do with presentation. You can get decorative tins, jars, or baskets at Goodwill, or use colored plastic wrap and curling ribbons.

Just a few thoughts. Let us know what you come up with!

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QS!

I LOVE knitting dishrags too! And they knit up so easily and NO concentration on pattern. And people go nuts for them!

I also have knitted using cotton chenille which can be used as a washrag and is a great baby gift or gift with my skin care products (I'm a Mary Kay consultant just for my own use and gifts). People love it!

Only problem is....drum roll please, I haven't felt up to kintting for ages now and it is sooooo frustrating!!!!! I really miss it!

Do you have a fave dishrag pattern?

Knitting is so meditative...that's why I miss it so much.

Just today, my friend called to thank me for a baby gift I sent him and his wife and he was very impressed by the handmade washrag for the baby...which I had knitted long ago before I got sooo sick.

Emily

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do you have mason jars? i was given a mason jar filled with ingredients that were layered pretty to make chocolate chip cookies. she knew those were my favorite kind of cookies and i loved the gift. you could make up some of those perhaps. those could go with the dish clothes :( . blankets... you can make them or they sell cheap ones too. i always love getting new blankets! gift baskets. get some cheap baskets some where and just put a few items in there. or since it is christmas... go to a dollar store and get a few stockings to stuff with cute and cheap finds. dollar stores!!! i go there a lot. ornaments? you can make cute ornaments out of everyday things that are cute. exampe: you could use shells you have from going to the beach and paint santas or snowmen or angels on them and put the little wire hangers on them. find a poem, bible verse, or saying to go with it. candles? could you make those? i am sure you could google candle receipes and make up a dozen or so. gag gifts could be cheap and that would be part of the gag if you know some one that would appreciate that. you could buy adults toys that they loved when they were younger since some toys are cheap and it would remind them of when they were young. there are endless possibilities.

i will think of more if you are interested.

dionna :)

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Okay, if you want to go the food route and to have folks love you for life- I have a peanut butter ball recipe that is LEGENDARY! Also, to go with the peanut butter balls, you can fill cone shaped cellophane bags with cocoa mix, topped with mini chocolate chips, then mini marshmallows, and a candied cherry- it looks like an ice cream cone- real cute!

Okay, only because I love my dysautonomia folks so much are you all getting this recipe.... (Shhhh- it's the one thing I actually get compliments on!)

Southern Snowballs

3 Tablespoons butter or margarine softened

1 cup confectioners sugar

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter (I swear by Jif)

white almond bark

Combine the butter, peanut butter, and confectioner's sugar. Form into 1 inch balls and place on a pan lined with WAX paper. Chill for 20 -30 minutes.

Melt almond bark in microwave- stirring every 15- 30 seconds- will probably only take a minute to melt. Dip the balls into the white "chocolate" covering well. Place back on wax paper to harden. After balls have been dipped use remaining bark (you may have to remelt it) and take a fork- dip into the melted chocolate and just sort of wave the fork over the balls- this will make them look professionally done. I'm telling you these are unbelievable!

Good luck and happy holidays!

Carmen

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i make myown christmas cards for my famly and they all laugh because i'm not very good at it, the christmas trees are always wonky and stuff lke that!

this year my boyfriend and have made pudding for our famlies and we are ging to get some muslin to wrap them in with a ribbon and some holly, they look really pretty - however they have that much alcohol in them you could remove teeth and feel no pain!

or you can make one huge rectangular chrismas cake and cut it into big wedges for family, wrap in cellophane (which is normally pretty cheap for a big roll) and decorate with holly, mine is courtesy of the next door neighbours garden! that way i don't have to go far.

one year i embrodered cheap cushions with peoples names and a chistmas tree, that was actually quite easy, i love sewing. (i found the pattern for the letters in a library book and the coton only cost a pound for two colours, thats about $1.50)

i'll try and think of other things, oh remebered one, truffles n little decorated boxes, they were just left over cake that you crumble and roll into little balls and cover in cocoa powder and chocolate vermicelli put into tiny cupcake cases i a little box and wrap. they're really cute and cheap.

becks x x x

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carmen -

your PB balls sound almost just like the "buckeyes" i've grown up with except for with white chocolate instead of milk/semi-sweet/dark (cook's choice). the recipe may be a tad different but it's definitely the same idea. and we always used a double-burner rather than the microwave but the end result sounds the same....DELICIOUS.

i have two other fairly quick & easy things that have been staples in our family for years and VERY popular with anyone on the receiving end but i'll have to get back with the recipes as i don't have them handy. one is for peppermint bark & the other for wreaths (made of cornflakes....think rice krispie treats but with cornflakes instead...and green food coloring, shaped into wreaths.)

i simply can't physically get any type of gifts made for people this year & don't have the funds (or ability) to shop for many either, even online, so only my immediate family is on the list this year. friends & family that know the downward slope of my health the past few years understand & know that i'd be doing more if i could.

:) melissa

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My friend makes cookie dough for wonderful slice and bake cookies that are awesome. She makes milk chocolate cookies with milk chocolate chunks and pecans, white chocolate and dried cranberries, cinnamon, brown sugar and nuts, and a chocolate and macadamia nuts... mmm mmmm. She rolls the into a cylinder about 2 inches in diameter, wraps 2x in plastic wrap (to ensure no freezer burn), wraps again colored alluminum foil, labels with holiday stickers and written label, and ships frozen with ice packs. It's awesome.

I've also recieved soup mixes in mason jars, cookie dough mix, bread mix, cornbread mix, and brownie mix.

Nina

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You can always make some book marks for the ones who you know like to read. Maybe a mouse pad for the computer. I found these ideas on a kids site.

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Hello,

It sounds like many of us are in the same boat....low funds and energy!

Last year I made a set of greeting cards for a couple of people on my Christmas list (Just tie them together with ribbon/string and wrap them up as a gift. I just buy blank cards/envelopes at a craft store and then design with various fancy papers or embellishments. I leave the insides blank so they can be used for any occasion.

Lisa

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I have been in the same boat many years. One year it was gifts for our kids only. That year I decided to write a letter to each of my family members and tell them how I felt about them and appreciated their help/prayers etc. The letter to my mother detailed how "bad" a teenager I was and that she continued to talk to me and love and and it made me a better mother myself. She still says, years later, that the letter was and is her favorite present of all.

Sometimes we forget that it's not the gift, but the thought and if you just let them know how you feel about them it is better than any amount of money you could spend on a gift.

Just a thought for you. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Nolie

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i'm seriously drooling over the 'buckeyes' as melissa called them and the ones that carmen posted a recipe for! and they are gluten free, dairy free, etc. etc.!!!!

now, i have to get my mom to make them for ME! :) oops, this was supposed to be about gifts for other folks. B)

QS,

as for patterns, i just kind of make things up. but, i will try to post a couple that i like that don't require concentration!

but, do you know how to do seed stitch??? that is always a safe bet!

also, i really like to do this:

knit two rows

then do two rows of knit one, purl one

knit two rows

again two rows of knit one purl one

just repeat that for the whole thing.

i like the little stripe type pattern/texture you get on the rows that are knitted and purled in contrast to the knitted rows.

so if knit is x and purl is o...

you get....

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

sometimes i just do variations on blocks...like four knit, four purl for four rows and then switch so you get a block look. you can do whatever....even just two rows of four and four and then switch, it looks cool....

i also get this knitting magazine which i haven't been able to read or do anything with, forget what it is called too...but it is well layed out and each month they have a dishrag pattern as a way to learn a new stitch. i love that idea! now, just need the energy to knit!

happy knitting!

emily

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SOme beuatiful idea's!!

I was going to make homemade bake good packages this year for close friends.. christmas tins filled with home made bon-bons,2 types of fudge. and maybe sugar cookies.. I found cute christmas tins for a $1 at the dollar store.. and also a few snow men jar.. that i was going to fill with fudge.. those where also a $1...

Emily I love the idea of knitting dishrags or scarves!.. I know how to crochett very well.. but i dont know how to knit.. ive tried reading a learn to knit book.. and my brain fog mind just cant wrap its self around directions!:)...

uh you can work on these a little bit at a time. as i know i have to in order to get them done thru the year.. but either bed quilts or lap quilts or afgans are always loved presents as well....and if you find a yarn or fabric on sale..(like walmart has fabric thats out ofseason on sale for like 1-2 dollars a yard on sale allthe time..

they make cool gifts.. but you have to energetic to this..

Oh also you can make home wreaths(???SP).. you can buy christmas wreaths for a (again the dollars tore is cool!).. ribbons and christmasy decorations or ornaments and you arange them around the wreath.. and hot clue them on.. my gramma made me one for only $6 bucks after she got everything.. and its beautiful...

you can make candy cane tree ornaments out of red and green beads.. and pipe cleaner...you shape the pipe cleaner as you go.. to form a cane shape.. and alternate red and green beads.. the bigger beads.. and you tie a red or green ribbon around the top part of the cane and you have a tree ornament...

I get most of my craft idea's from my gram so when i talk to her again i will ask her for some more idea's.. and post...

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These are some awesome ideas. Thanks so much, everyone!!

My mom is from Ohio, and always makes buckeyes... must be an Ohio thing! Hehe.

I still don't know exactly, but this definitely gives some starting points!

Thanks!!!

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Em,

Thanks for the dishrag ideas! The kind I learned first was just knit every row, but it's worked on the diagonal. You do a yarn forward two stitches in from each end every other row to increase, so you get this nice little lacy border around the edge. I'm playing around with other patterns now. I just need someone to drive me to the store to buy more yarn. :)

Dizz,

I hear you about brain fog and knitting! I've been crocheting for long enough that I can kind of tell what stitch comes next, but learning to knit has been an adventure. There are some days when there's just no point in trying.

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I have an idea for a relatively easy gift and it can be overall inexpensive if you find coupons for Sears. Each year for christmas my husband, I and my two children get photos at Sears. I give them as presents to all my in laws, my parents and my brother. That is the only present that they get. Although it cost 100 dollars this year, that cost provided gifts for 9 people plus we have photos for us too. They love it, and I don't have to shop at all. I only shop for my husband and children.

Karyn

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Many great ideas already given - many done in our family as well. Just wanted to add a few ideas that I loved. One was we have a family party where we need about 20 gifts, cheap- so one year an aunt printed off computer photos of great grandparents for the family and put them in very cheap christmas frame ornament- you could even get creative and make ornament frame. EVERYONE loved them and it hangs every year on our tree. For me they were my great grandparents, for some it was parents, grandparents and even great great grandparents, depends on the generation. We have a couple of these of loved ones no longer with us. This ia also great for the younger ones who may not have known the loved ones .

Also photo one sheet computer calanders were big gifts and cheap. Pick a fav photo and run them off your computer in calander style or order pretty cheap. Photos of family, old family homestead, vacation spot, memory- whatever

The other thought was a picture frame, maybe something funky for frame to put photo of all of you on your cruise in. You could put something about looking forward to a photo for lasting memories of your great time together- whatever.

Funny -dishtowels were a hit with the women in our family made by grandmother, the hand towels that can hang over the dishrack also-lol. My grandmother passed away many years ago and I still have towels and dish rags she made- I think of her every time I take them out.

ALso, family tree sheets done on computers were popular- they can be done as far back as you can remember and then have as topic of discussion for others to fill in.

One last one that was also a wonderful keepsake- a cousin scanned a bunch of old family photos and put them on CDS- loved it.

Happy Holidays!!

I just wanted to add that I love the letter idea that Nolie mentioned. I once gave this as a gift to my mother on mother's day - it was a letter of several pages and I can't tell you how moving it was for both of us on so many levels. It was the best gift for both of us.

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new cookie recipe-super easy. i package of oreos cookies crushed fine, 1 8 oz cream cheese. blend together.

now dip in melted white bark and let set. can drizzle with dark chocolate or sprinkles. They totally disapeared at thanksgiving within 5 min.

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