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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun. 18, 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    560

    Default Christmas Gift Ideas? Anyone?

    Short on disposable income this year and would prefer to do something lower cost and creative. I make fudge and horse cookies every year for my horsie friends already-which is time consuming and has to be done the last 7-10 days.

    I have a friend that does bead jewelry, so I am going to make jewelery for my SIL's-but I am not very creative. Does anyone have designs?

    Aside from that, any other ideas? Did I mention that I am not very creative.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2007
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    5,075

    Default

    No ideas but I just want to let you know that I hate you for even thinking about planning so far ahead!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    7,197

    Default

    Things like banana bread can be made well in advance and frozen.

    There are TONS of cookie recipes that freeze well. Make ahead and pull them out a few days before. Get the festive holiday plates (in one of my rare jaunts through Walmart the other day I noticed they have plastic plate chargers in festive colors and designs for 98 cents that would be great food-gift trays) and bring everyone some food.

    I just got out of college and have been there (lack of money) for gifts before. I MUCH PREFER getting some sort of food item that I can chow down on vs. little arts and crafty stuff. (Unless someone is truly talented and makes me a personalized horse ornament or something.)



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
    Posts
    5,040

    Default

    In the past I have purchased the taster sets from coffee and tea shops. Haven't priced them recently but no doubt the prices are much higher now. An option is to purchase 2-4 "larger designer coffee bags" and/or designer teas, divide them into 3-4 size servings and then package for your family and friends.
    or
    As someone suggested to me one time, give them an IOU, to babysit kids, help with house work, help with yard work, sit with an ill family member so someone can have time away or whatever your family or friends need or would appreciate.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2011
    Posts
    1,192

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GoForAGallop View Post
    Things like banana bread can be made well in advance and frozen.
    This works very well and I've done it before. If anything, I think it makes the bread tastier once it's been frozen for a spell.

    If you go with the smaller foil loaf pans (mini loaf, I think they're called), you can get several loaves out of one batch of batter. It makes giving assortment gifts easy.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2012
    Location
    Fern Creek, KY
    Posts
    3,015

    Default

    The best gift that I think I've ever, ever gotten (that wasn't horse related) was one of those no sew blankets. They are super easy to make, durable, and pretty cheap if you go pick out the fabric yourself. It's lasted me almost 10 years and I bring that thing EVERYWHERE.

    My sister made one for each of my girls and the older one is just as obsessed with hers.



  7. #7

    Default

    Mason jars filled with cookie base, pancakes, hot fudge, etc. Tie with a pretty ribbon. Sometimes I even cross stitch a topper that goes between the lid a screw top (glue it to the lid). There are some really easy single color patterns you can do like snowflakes or monograms.

    I have a great hot fudge recipe I can post if you want it.
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,871

    Default

    My go-to cheap gift is vanilla sugar. People love it and will think of you every time they use it in their coffee, oatmeal, baked goods, etc. And it's the gift that keeps on giving because they can keep topping it off with new sugar. To make it, get yourself a big bag of white sugar, some vanilla beans, and cheap jars (either upcycled from your other food, or a flat of one-cup Mason/Ball jelly jars). Put a bean or two in each jar. Pour in some sugar. Put on the jar lid, shake, and leave to sit. In theory you can use it 5 minutes later, but to get the full-force effect, let it steep for 2 weeks. If you're feeling fancy, put a beautiful ribbon around each one. I usually add a little piece of card stock explaining what it is and how to use it.
    http://bakingbites.com/2007/05/how-t...vanilla-sugar/

    If you have a good kitchen mixer, like a KitchenAid, or you don't mind a serious arm workout, maple cream aka maple butter is another variation on the vanilla-sugar theme. It's just whipped maple syrup, but it tastes divine, and people rarely think to make it for themselves.
    http://ohsheglows.com/2013/01/29/pur...read-on-earth/

    Yet another variation on this theme: cookie butter. Speculoos Cookie Butter, from Trader Joe's, is all the rage and not that hard to make at home. There's also Oreo cookie butter if you don't mind having stuff in your teeth.
    http://chicagoist.com/2012/02/15/how...ok.php#photo-1

    Finally, there's that holy promise land of cheap cute ideas, Pinterest. I had these two links pinned on my Life Hacks board. 25 Handmade Gifts under $5, Parts I and II:

    http://www.the36thavenue.com/2011/11...s-under-5.html

    http://www.the36thavenue.com/2013/10...0-dollars.html

    Idea #9, the shaped sugar cubes, are perfect for horsey friends. And you can do them way ahead of time.
    http://www.niftythriftythings.com/20...gar-cubes.html
    ________________________
    Resident COTH saddle nerd. (CYA: Not a pro, just a long-time enthusiast!)
    http://twitter.com/jenlmichaels



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 7, 2004
    Location
    Linden, CA
    Posts
    871

    Default

    Another awesome thing to put in jars: http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2...oasted-pecans/
    Quote Originally Posted by HuntrJumpr
    No matter what level of showing you're doing, you are required to have pants on.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2013
    Posts
    1,007

    Default

    My grandmother makes friendship bread and gives some of the starter with it. I love it! Flavored vodka is also an option. You can put vanilla beans or fruit rinds in it and decorate a bottle nicely.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2006
    Location
    Colorado- Yee Haw!
    Posts
    3,162

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    My SIL sent us a mason jar filled with pretty layered cookie mix about 9 years ago. Chocolate chip oatmeal. Very pretty and tasty. Apparently it made an impression on me as my mouth is watering just thinking of it.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2010
    Location
    S. Calif.
    Posts
    786

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by MyGiantPony View Post
    I have a great hot fudge recipe I can post if you want it.
    My husband and I go through a several jars of Smucker's Hot Fudge every month and I would love to try your homemade recipe!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2013
    Posts
    2

    Default

    I think flowers are best ..... !!!!!!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 7, 2002
    Posts
    3,996

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vindicated View Post

    I have a friend that does bead jewelry, so I am going to make jewelery for my SIL's-but I am not very creative. Does anyone have designs?

    Aside from that, any other ideas? Did I mention that I am not very creative.
    For the jewelry, if you go on any website selling beads / stones they have designs you can use for inspiration, such as:

    http://www.artbeads.com/lc-last-minute-gift-ideas.html

    As for hand made gifts that people loved AND used / wore, in the past I've made:

    jewelry
    horsehair bracelets and keychains
    hand painted silk scarves
    hand painted pottery

    Of all the above the hand painted pottery is the easiest and quickest, if you have a place nearby that provides the plain pieces and fires them for you. I've painted tiles that I then set in wood, to use as trivets, and then of course mugs, platters etc. It's a lot of fun to paint, too!
    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!



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