Buying holiday gifts for your friends and loved ones from Amazon.com or the nearest department store may be tempting, yet they’re a far less personal option. Do-it-yourself gift ideas have become more popular than ever this year due to the recession. Here are a few possibilities…
1. Recipe collection
Martha Stewart was on to something when she suggested the idea of a recipe booklet. Make a collection of your favorite recipes and tie them up with a bow to offer a true gift from the heart – or belly.
Etsy.com is full of homemade jewelry for inspiration. Better yet, wander into your local art store and explore the collections of gems and beads and rocks. Buy some clasps and a chain and let the colors of the beads guide your creation. Add one or two particularly stunning jewels for a touch of sophistication and flare.
3. Picture frame
For a recent dear friend’s birthday, I purchased a plain wooden frame and placed a picture of the two of us in it. I then found some acrylic ink and decorated the picture frame with colorful polka-dots and two small rhinestones. I enjoyed giving her my own designed frame, instead of the more generic one with the words “Best Friends” already written.
A favorite in my family, the Why-I-Adore-You notes brighten anyone’s day. In honor of a friend’s birthday or accomplishment, think of something you admire in his or her personality, and tell them. Pre-written cards often express emotions and sentiments for us. This time, pick a blank card (or make your own), and write down five Why-I-Adore-You’s. This is a card that will never be thrown out.
5. Share your favorite tunes
Make the old-fashioned mix-tape (now use a CD, or better yet, customize an iTunes playlist) and share your favorite tunes with others. If you have a mellow sibling, make them a mellow mix, or for your Zumba instructor friend, think of some Latin beats for her classes.
6. The mason jar gift
From soap making to chocolate-chip cookies, mason jar gift ideas are creating quite a buzz. You can get ever more creative and fill mason jars with your own gift ideas such as chocolate-covered pretzels, a jigsaw puzzle, an ocean scene filled with sand and shells for a bathroom, or even some fresh herbs for dinner seasoning.
7. Doggie treats
For your pet-friendly pals, make your own doggie treats! Pet owners love their pets, and they will be thrilled you thought of their pet. Additionally, offer to take their pet for a walk, or a trip to the vet when they need it.
Lastly, give gifts you love. If something is special to you, chances are it will be special to your loved ones. The gifts that are filled with meaning are way more significant than bulky sweaters or, worse, the dreaded pair of socks. Homemade gifts are a delight to make and are generally cheaper. During this holiday season, avoid the malls and give something homemade.