Thursday, December 7, 2017

Gift Ideas Galore


Christmas is the most wonderful time of year, but finding gifts for all the folks on your list can be a challenge. To make it easier on myself, I keep a running list on my phone of gift ideas for family and friends. As I think of things throughout the year that a particular person would need or want, or as people mention items they would like to have, I write them down. It makes holiday gift giving so much easier! Here are a few of my best suggestions:

Something Homemade
Every year, Mr. Handsome and I make small, homemade gifts for our family members and close friends, often in addition to larger presents. Ideas that we have done in the past include: homemade BBQ sauce (from my Buffalo Wild Wings Style Wings recipe), jars of apple butter--using our recipe, homemade scarves, paintings, and Christmas wreaths (tutorial coming soon).

Something Practical
One way to come up with winning gift ideas is to think of what the people in your life really need. Maybe it's a digital compass because they recently bought a car that doesn't have one and have discovered they can't live without it (my mother-in-law). Or perhaps all the fry pans in their kitchen are hand-me-downs from your husband's bachelor days, and every time you visit their house, you feel bad for passing down peeling Teflon pans (my brother-in-law). And how about that person who is missing half their measuring cups, or doesn't have a non-rusted cheese grater, or minces garlic by hand because they haven't yet discovered a garlic press? The possibilities are endless, but if you can think of something that someone desperately needs, you'll be a gift-giving hero!

Give the Gift of Safety
Last year, my brother and his wife gave everyone vehicle emergency kits. What a great idea! You can purchase them at your local auto parts store. Some of the must-have items include a first-aid kit, a tire gauge, jumper cables, a flashlight and extra batteries, and a combo seatbelt cutter and window breaker--which should be kept within reach of the driver's seat.

Coffee
Any coffee lovers out there? Several weeks ago, I was perusing the home goods aisles at TJ Maxx and came across a section of coffee. The smell was divine! It just so happens that Mr. Handsome's grandmother is a huge coffee drinker. Her favorite quote is, "Why drink water when you can drink coffee?" So I chose a bag of beans for her Christmas gift. One thing to remember is that some people don't have a coffee grinder. When in doubt, err on the side of caution, and buy pre-ground coffee.

Can you think of any gift ideas that I haven't mentioned? Go ahead and share them as a comment, as I'm sure we could all use more suggestions.

34 comments:

  1. Last year we did similar gifts for our siblings and there spouses. We had made baskets of homemade gift basket. they included the basket that they came in (my sister uses it as her slipper basket now), a few bottles of homemade wine we had done thought the year, a few jars of apple butter and jams i had made during the growing season, jars of salsa made in the summer, mason jars or recipe mixes like cookie mix and ranch dressing mix with instructions, made them each a scarf and a pair of slippers. they loved it!! It was all the stuff my husband and i do through the year that they raid my cupboard when they come over. it was great and easy to through together as we had been making everything through the year.

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  2. I like those gifts in a jar mixes that come with the instructions attached.
    If you crochet or knit, scarves or slippers are nice.
    A lady at church did snowmen gifts:
    Take an empty Coffeemate container(liquid Coffeemate) remove the label.

    Glue wiggly eyes on the cap.

    Wrap a narrow piece of fabric around the "neck" and fill with M&Ms.
    They came out really cute.

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  3. Anonymous12/07/2017

    We should remember that what we like isn't always what someone else will like. Too often we shop and something catches our eye because it's something we want or that we're attracted to. We have to remember that the person we're buying for might not be as interested. Consider their tastes and lifestyle, not yours.

    This can be hard to keep in mind, because we seem geared towards buying what we like and hoping to project those same feelings onto someone else. A recipe for disappointment. Stop and ask yourself, am I buying this because it's what the other person would want, or am I buying this because it appeals to me, and on some level, I want it?

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12/07/2017

      Excellent point.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12/08/2017

      This is true, and thoughtful.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous12/07/2017

    Magazine subscriptions are a good idea. The gift that keeps on giving.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12/12/2017

      Both my daughters grandparents give her a magazine gift subscription. She enjoys reading the magazines, and she is very excited when she gets mail. Magazine subscriptions are a nice Christmas or birthday present.

      Delete
  5. Those are all great!! I was having a difficult time finding nice gifts all my friends and family, and this really helped. Thank you!

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  6. I thought of a few more ideas:
    Homemade sugar scrubs. Be sure you use ingredients that are gentle to the skin.

    If you plan to give a slow cooker as a gift, include a supply of crockpot liners and a slow cooker cookbook

    Gift cards to a favorite store or restuarant are always good.

    If you sew there are tutorials on YouTube and blogs on making aprons from shirts.

    Basket full of tea related items is a fun to put together including the latest issue of Tea Time magazine



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    1. Anonymous12/08/2017

      Where do you buy crockpot liners? I have never seen them but I don't use mine that much either so I haven't looked for them. I would like to try them.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12/08/2017

      I think Reynolds makes them. Look in the aisle of the grocery store where you'd find aluminum foil and Saran wrap. Look up on the top shelf, where they sell oven bags. Blue boxes? Check Target and Walmart, too.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous12/08/2017

      What is a crockpot liner??

      Delete
    4. Crockpot liners are these bags that made specifically to use in your crockpot. They are also referred to as slow cooker liners. They make clean up so easy. As Anon said, you can find them where the foil and saran wrap are located. Don't substitute oven cooking bags though. Oven bags aren't made to work in the crockpot.

      Delete
  7. I enjoy making homemade clothing detergent. There are many "recipes" on line which include scented or unscented.
    Depending on the Fells Naptha I use, the color is either pink or yellow. Put it in a jelly jar, add a tablespoon scoop, tie with a decorative ribbon and directions attached!
    Not only does it make a wonderful gift, it's a great money saving tip for home use.

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  8. Anonymous12/07/2017

    Candles, chocolate, cozy socks, maple syrup, good movie, fruit cake, neutral or white color cotton long sleeve t shirt, patcholi oil for women, cd of music, cookies, musk or good after shave for men, silver pendant or bracelet, sun glasses, gloves, slippers, candies, non alcoholic wine, cotton pj pants n t shirts, blankets,touques and scarves, pre paid credit cards, pressure canner, printer copier scanner, prepaid coffee shop or restaurant cards, thermos, craft kit, electric back massager, organic oils like olive, spices, pasta night kit with sauce and cheese, etc etc etc or ho ho ho!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous12/07/2017

      How do we get on your gift list??

      Delete
    2. Anonymous12/08/2017

      LOL, yeah! I'd like one of everything, please! :)

      Delete
  9. Anonymous12/07/2017

    This year for the grandparents we did photo albums, and we wrote a little something for each picture. My daughter helps me, and that is her gift to them. Plus we give them money, so they can go out to eat somewhere nice for Christmas .

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  10. Anonymous12/07/2017

    For years, when the family got together every summer, I made quilt squares to sign or decorate. I supplied the blocks, the special fabric pens, the instructions, and let everyone get creative. Then I'd finish the quilt between the summer and Christmas. So we have some amazing family autograph quilts now. The blocks signed by the members that are no longer living are very poignant. Think ahead to Christmas when you're together with family, because you can do any sort of craft project with them...make ornaments, make stockings, whatever.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12/12/2017

      Aw I love these ideas ! I'm sure those quilts are huge treasures to you and your family.

      Delete
  11. Anonymous12/07/2017

    What I want for Christmas, I'm going to have to give myself. I want our old vinyl albums copied onto CD so I can play them again after all these years, or play them in the car. There are companies that do this.

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  12. Anonymous12/07/2017

    I know people blog and are on Facebook, but to me there is something so calming about taking time to do handwriting. I love to give journals. There are so many different kinds that you can really personalize them for each person. I also include a really nice pen. I try to sign them inside.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12/08/2017

      Thank you for mentioning that, because I was going to make some fabric-covered journals this winter, but I didn't know if there'd be a market for them - if anyone still used journals.

      Personally, I use blank sketchbooks from the craft store and carry a small one with me at all times. I just doodled in one in the doctor's waiting room today.

      Delete
  13. Anonymous12/08/2017

    I have been given an orchid plant in bloom and really liked it. It became my focus for a long time.

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    Replies
    1. Anonymous12/08/2017

      Aren't they hard to keep alive? My dentist has one in his office and get this, an orchid specialist who comes in to take care of it!

      Delete
  14. Anonymous12/08/2017

    Ellie, please show us a pic of your Christmas tree!!

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  15. For kids, I like giving things that parents don't have to find a place to store. So, fun bed sheets and towels, character themed shampoo, toothpaste, and toothbrushes, or colorful dishes just for them. Basically upgraded practical things that get used up or are useful. I get my young daughter a grocery store gift card. It's not a huge amount of money, but I take her on her own shopping trip and she gets to pick out a few things I'd usually decline to buy.

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    Replies
    1. Hey that's a really neat idea to get a grocery gift card for a child! Thanks for the idea!

      Delete
  16. Anonymous12/08/2017

    As I've gotten older and especially now that I have my own family, I realize more and more how much I don't like accumulating 'things'. I'm constantly trying to declutter my house, and the vast majority of material gifts are unnecessary and eventually just become more things that I need to get rid of. Many families with children feel the same way. For that reason I've moved away from typical gifts and try to give mostly consumable gifts, like food or (for children) art supplies. They either get consumed quickly, or if the recipient doesn't like it, they can throw them away without feeling too bad about it. Magazine subscriptions are also good because they don't take up space (they are basically consumable) and you can find a magazine to match anyone's interests or hobbies.

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  17. Anonymous12/08/2017

    Thank You for these ideas and suggestions.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

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  18. Anonymous12/08/2017

    I like to give people experiences, especially my older relatives who have everything they want already. I like to give my parents tickets to theatrical events, concerts, comedy performances, and lectures.
    I’ve given art and dance classes as gifts, as well. My grandparents were married for 74 years when my grandfather died, and the last gift I gave to them before he died may have been the best one I ever gave them. I found the top 10 songs from the year they were married, and gave them recordings of them. Watching my 94 and 96 year old grandparents spontaneously dancing around the living room was a most wonderful experience.
    One of the best wedding presents that was given to us was a guided white water rafting trip.
    I like to give young people art supplies, musical instruments, and journals.
    I really love figuring out gifts for people.

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  19. I'm a coffee lover, so coffee sounds like a good gift to me! I like to give sampler/votive candles as Christmas presents. They're more affordable if you don't have enough for a bigger candle,and also a good size if you're sending to someone abroad. Other things would be hand creams and chocolates. (I can't send hand cream abroad any more because postal regulations have changed unfortunately).

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  20. Anonymous12/13/2017

    There are many good ideas for gifts. Does anyone have any ideas for home-made ornaments? My kids are older now (14, 23, 24) and I still have ornaments from when they were in elementary school that I put on our tree every year. I would love to add some new ones. Georgia

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