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Fun Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas for 2013

Christmas is supposed to be a holiday about peace, love and the birth of Christ, but it often becomes a disturbing display of consumer spending and greed. Increasingly larger television sets, expensive gaming systems and high-priced clothing and jewelry are displayed under the tree to promote self-satisfaction and jealousy amongst the neighbors. Those who struggle financially, and those who look for a higher meaning in the holiday may want to forgo some of the spending at the box store and create a thoughtful homemade gift that can both be truly appreciated by the recipient, and offered by the giver with the love that defines Christmas.

Homemade Christmas Gifts

Homemade Picture Frame

This gift works for everyone in your life. You can paint the frame a solid color to match the recipient’s decor, or add more detail for specific themes. Glue shells to the frame and add a photo of his recent trip to Hawaii with the family. Paint the frame a sage green color, glue on tiny pine cones and add a photo from the family camping trip to give to Grandma. Paint the frame pink and decorate with gold and silver glitter glue to spell out your daughter’s name, then add a photo of her. The possibilities are endless and appropriate for everyone on your list. For an especially touching gift, have the kids create frames for grandparents or other family members. In addition to having a great frame and photo, your loved ones will have a lasting memory of your children’s artistic talents through the years.

Milestone’s Mosaic Stepping Stone Kit $21.04

Garden enthusiasts will love this addition to their pathway! Family members of all ages can get in on the fun and creativity to make this gift. The kit comes with seven pounds of cement and reusable mold to make the stones. You can use the colored glass that comes with the kit to make a mosaic, or find other items to press into the cement. You can also write in the concrete or press your handprint into it after it’s had a chance to set up for about 30 minutes. Stones can be tailored to the recipient and the artisan. You’ll want make these at least a few days before they need to be wrapped so that they can fully set. To save some money, make your own mold and purchase a small bag of cement from the home improvement store.

Family members who live far away might not be able to see your family throughout the year. Purchase an inexpensive scrapbook and create a photo collection of your family that can be enjoyed year after year. Get the family in on this project and have everyone create several pages featuring themselves. Use stickers and colored paper to make themed pages. This project can be completed for several gift recipients by having duplicate photos printed at your local drugstore or photo finishing store. Then, lay out the same pages for each person as you go. You can create several scrapbooks that are alike and no one will be the wiser. An important tip for busy families: Don’t try to get too intricate with each page. Focus on the photographs; that’s what your loved ones want to see anyway.

Edible Gifts
Everyone loves to have something yummy dropped off at their doorstep during the holidays. But we often get inundated with cookies and candy. Find some unique options when creating edible gifts, and your friends and family will thank you. During the fall season, make up various jams and jellies. An array of raspberry, apricot and pear jam can be enjoyed long after the tree has been dismantled and the decorations packed up. Offer pickles, relishes or chutney that you’ve canned (if you don’t know how to preserve jams and pickles, ask your local cooperative extension service. You’ll be surprised how easy it is). Homemade beef jerky, made using a food dehydrator, is another popular favorite. Make up a basket with a bottle of your homemade jam, a loaf of homemade bread and a pretty jam spreader. Or, offer your loved one a homemade dinner during the week following Christmas. Take over a delicious lasagna, garlic bread and salad, or whatever meal is your specialty.

Holiday Memories Ornament Frames by Faber Castell $8.99

A fun gift to give year after year, this kit allows you to make custom Christmas tree ornaments to give to loved ones. Families can snap some photos of the kids playing in the snow or in front of the tree, then sit down and get creative. Kids can make their own ornaments, or you can do the work yourself. Make sure to put a date on the back of the ornament to create a keepsake memory. The kits comes with four wooden ornaments, glue, glitter, ribbon and decorative bits. You’ll want to make this gift in advance and give it once your loved one has his tree up. Then, he’ll be able to enjoy them all season long and for many seasons afterward. The kit is a very reasonable price, but for those looking to save money, individual wooden ornaments can be purchased at craft stores for less than a dollar.

Video of the Year
Make a video or digital recording of your family to give to loved ones. Have each family member tell a story about something that happened to them during the year. Sing a song, do a dance, show off your latest karate moves — this is your chance to show off! If you have the equipment and knowledge, you can add music and photos to your movie. This is a fun gift to create annually, and the recipient can see how much you’ve changed over the years (and hopefully, how much your karate moves have improved!)