Makeover Monday: Creative Gifting

With the current US economic woes, I’m sure this will be a tight year for many Christmas or other holiday celebrants who are accustomed to an abundance of gifts, parties, and food during the season. I’m thinking that’s not necessarily such a bad thing. Maybe this will be the year of the smaller, more intimate Christmas. There’s no reason we need to go into debt to give our loved ones expensive gifts we can’t really afford, and incurring debt for gifts to folks we can barely even tolerate is even more ludicrous.

There are scads of project sheets available for creative gifts at the hobby stores, and those are great if you’re a crafty sort of person. (Those of you who ARE have probably already made your gifts, wrapped them, and stored them in a closet.) Unfortunately, I’m not one of those persons, but that doesn’t mean I can’t come up with a few ideas for inexpensive, personal gifts from the heart. Here are a few of my favorites and one I have yet to try. Maybe you’ll reciprocate and offer any ideas you have in your personal warehouse of great ideas?

Inexpensive Holiday (or Anytime) Gifts

Themed Gift Bag (or Basket) – My favorite to give and receive! Here are a few I’ve done:
-movie theme (Blockbuster gift certificate, microwave popcorn, Raisinets)
-exercise theme (bottled water or water bottle, hand towel, protein bars)
-gardening theme (seed packets, Farmer’s Almanac, gloves)
-tea theme (antique tea cup from thrift store, packets of tea from World Bazaar)
-relaxation theme (scented candle, book of poetry, bath salt(see below))

Tip: For Christmas, you can use a Christmas stocking instead of a bag or basket

Chocolate Spoons – put them in a coffee mug along with some individual coffee or cocoa packets

The how-to:
You need a package of plastic spoons (I use red and green for Christmas, but you could use blue and white for Hanukkah)
Melt some chocolate chips over low heat (or in the microwave)
Dip spoons in chocolate and shake off the excess.
Place spoons on wax paper and sprinkle with crushed peppermint candy (or sprinkles or crushed toffee or whatever intrigues you)
After they’re dry, wrap each spoon in cellophane and tie with a ribbon.

Candy Cane Bath Salt – I like this one as a gift for me, too.
2 cups Epsom Salts (I have tons of this stuff on hand since I started exercising regularly)
1/2 c. sea salt
4-6 drops peppermint oil
2-3 drops red food coloring.

Place one cup of Epsom Salts,1/4 cup sea salt, and 2-3 drops peppermint oil in a bowl or resealable plastic bag.
Place the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and mix well. Layer the red and white salts in a clear bottle or jar. Tie a ribbon around the bottle/jar and you’re done.

Coupon Book – It’s been a few years since I gave anyone a personalized coupon book, but they always went over well way back when. I made special coupons for things that were important to the recipient: babysitting, yard clean-up, a shopping day w/lunch provided—those types of things. You can make your own coupons or print off blank coupons found here and there on the Internet.

Gifts in a Jar I haven’t done this one before, since I’m not much of a cook, but I’ve received a couple. I might have to give it a whirl. Surely I can asssemble dry ingredients.

Those are just a few ideas, but the possibilities are endless. I’m counting on you to supply even more ideas! And I may be back in the comments, because I’m certain there’s something I’m forgetting.

Happy Monday!