This has been such a fun journey and it was started by Heart of a Mommys Blog so be sure to check out her posts as well as those linked through the MeMe she is hosting!
Well I will be honest, this year as of Christmas day I will officially be 36 wks pregnant and I have not made many gifts at all! I have been on bed rest with pre-term labor since 20 weeks so that has not allowed me much time to be up and around getting supplies etc to make any gifts. So this year my gift giving will be a bit more complicated than usual :( but I am still going to do my best to be "simple" about my gifts. I really don't like the comment of "we can't afford it" because even if we offer our time there is always SOMETHING we can afford for every person/family on our list's. Even if we just make a pan of brownies or cookies I am sure they will appreciate it, I know I personally LOVE getting homemade gifts!
Here are a few simple gift giving ideas I have used or seen over the years-
1- Make up your own gift baskets. These can be so simple to make up! Grab a couple of cheap baskets throughout the year from thrift stores or yard sales and store them for closer to Christmas time. Or you could even pick up a few of the cookie tins that many thrift stores have.... I know ours has TONS of them for only 10 cent each! You could add crackers, pop corn, hot chocolate, coffee, cheese, fruits, nuts, homemade goodies etc! The list is endless as to what you can make up!
2- Do you sew? Well if so the possibilites are ENDLESS as to the awesome gifts you can make! I have found tons of FREE craft/sewing ideas online... just Google whatever you are looking for and more than likely you can find a free pattern out there somewhere online for it :)
3- Gifts in a Jar anyone... this one, for me, takes a bit of planning ahead of time. I don't like to use jars that have been used by someone else for sanitation issues so I buy new jars if I plan on doing this. Well I have found that the best time of year to buy jars is around gardening time. Here at our local farm supply place I can get 12 of them for $4.49 if I keep an eye on their sales paper they send out. This is a quick easy gift and you can always pretty up the jars! Add a piece of material to the top of the jar and tie it with some raffia or ribbon. Or you can even go all out and print out a label for your jars and add those along with a large bow, and a small kitchen utensil (often found at $1 stores!). Again Google can help us out here as there are TONS and TONS of Gift in a Jar Recipes... check out this site for Gifts from Your Kitchen I have it set as one of my homepages when IE starts on my computer :)
4- Homemade toys for kids.... these are so much fun to make, no matter what you end up making! You can again find tons and tons of free patterns and ideas online for homemade "toys" for kids! One thing that is fun, easy and 2 gifts in one are I Spy blankets! You can buy lots of different already cut quilt squares now on ebay, or even buy the material and cut them yourself. But all it takes is some 5in quilt squares and some batting (or even 2 layers of flannel for the middle) and a little sewing know how. These little lap quilts are great for long trips because parents can tell the kids things to look for and they can search right there on their own little quilt... Here is a kit a friend of mine recently bought on ebay to give you an idea of the type of fabrics that are used to make them.
Gift giving can be really simple, we don't have to spend $50 per person to make a gift be "thoughtful" or "meaningful" to the receiver.
Be sure to hop over to Heart of a Mommys blog and join the Meme and share a link to your posts!!! We would LOVE to see all of your Simplifying Christmas ideas!