Now, we don't have any kids in this group, so maybe this wouldn't work for your family (I know I loved getting toys when I was little!). But there comes a time when adults just realize we don't need more stuff cluttering up our homes, & the holidays are made more stressful by spending so much money & running around buying things that people don't honestly need. And yet, it's still a great deal of fun to unwrap presents on Christmas morning & share some little surprise with those you care about. We can get that same experience by making something & donating to favorite causes.
Of course, this does add the complication of "what to make?" (Charities are pretty easy to select & give to.) Our family is kind of creative, & my mom, in particular, pulls out all the stops, so we've had a wide range of crafty, homemade goodies.
The old standby that everyone loves are food gifts. It's hard to go wrong there -- breads (sweet or savory), cookies, candies, seasoned nuts, granola, infused cooking oils, sauces, you name it! Even better is when someone includes the recipe or suggestions on how to cook with an ingredient, in the case of oils, sauces, etc.
Food "kits" are popular & fun to receive too: You assemble all the non-perishable ingredients for a dish & print out the recipe, then put it all together in a basket, bowl, or maybe a pot. This is easy to do with bean soups, hot chocolate, cookies, & breads, anything where the recipient of the gift only has to add one or two more ingredients, like water, milk, or an egg.
Finally, here are instructions for crafted things similar to gifts I've given in the past. I tend to gravitate towards sewing projects, because that's easy for me, but I only do ones that are fast straight-stitching. And none of these projects require special tools, & they don't cost much in the way of materials. Set aside an afternoon, get crafty, & have fun!
- Stamp-decorated candles
- Sachets for drawers
- Coffee-cup sleeves
- Fabric grocery bags
- Stamped cloth napkins
- Heating pads
- Travel-photo calendars
More DIY gift ideas from Offbeat Home, make sure to read the comments too!