When I shop, and especially when I Christmas shop, I search high and low for gifts that are unique and fit my recipient’s personality. I want the gift to really make them light up with excitement. I’m not looking for expensive or big, but fun and out-of-the-ordinary. My three tenets of gift shopping are unique, local, and family owned. So, for Christmas this year, I’m going to feature gift ideas that fit at least two of my tenets. I hope these gift ideas will help you find fun gifts for everyone on your Christmas list and will support family businesses.
Sometimes the best gift can’t be bought. It’s fun to branch out. Be creative. Think outside the box. Whether it’s to save money or be different, homemade gifts are often my favorite. It means someone put some time and effort into a gift, and the sentiment, not the dollar value, is what counts. Here are a few of my homemade favorites:
Skincare: We often make skincare gifts and include lip balm, lotion, soaps, and sugar scrubs. These are all easy to make at home, and the ingredients are not terribly expensive when you divide the cost among several gifts. Mountain Rose Herbs is one my favorites places to order supplies, including oils, beeswax, and containers. (This is an affiliate link. I will earn a commission off any order you place by clicking from this link. But I really do use MRH and highly recommend them.) I use essential oils to scent many of our gifts. I have recently started using Young Living and like them the best because they are therapeutic grade. I won’t try to explain what that means in this short post, but it’s the best quality. I prefer that for anything that goes on my skin and my face, especially. If you’re interested in ordering Young Living essential oils, I am happy to help you. Contact me directly.
Food: I often make cookie trays and bags for clients and friends. Two of my clients are law firms that receive expensive gifts around Christmas, but they are always eager to get my trays. Now, I’m no gourmet baker, but everyone enjoys homemade. Typically, I make several batches of toffee. I use this recipe from MarilynMoll.com. Two tips for toffee: use name brand butter and never EVER stop stirring. It’s a solid 30-minute process, but then you’re done and have a large pan of toffee that makes several yummy gifts. I also make a Linzer-cookie knock-off. In other words, I use a regular sugar cookie recipe for the cookie part and a store-bought raspberry jam for the filling. It’s really good and much easier than the traditional cookie. I know some people are fudge-fanatics. I’m not, but it’s another idea for something that can make several gifts at once.
Gift Packages: A little bit of this and a sample of that turns an empty basket or bag into a treasure chest. Make it a theme with teas and a cup or hot chocolate with mini-marshmallows and homemade chocolate mix or s’mores with graham crackers, a couple of chocolate bars and marshmallows, or a spice basket with various herbs and spices for cooking. Anything goes! I gave a friend who is moving to Cambodia an essential oil to take with her. Access to medical care is extremely limited there, so I thought Thieves Oil would serve her well. She can make hand sanitizer, use it as an immune booster, or diffuse it for a relaxing and air purifying experience.
Spa Day: If you have a diva on your list, a spa day is a great way to treat her. Of course, the real spas are very expensive, but you can transform a bathroom into a spa for an hour or two for a lot less. It just involves some bubble bath, a diffuser with lavender essential oil, a face mask, and a mani-pedi. Voila! Spa-on-the-cheap. I may do this for my girls. Experience gift at its best.
Movie Night: I’m not sure what happened to dollar movies, but yowza movies are expensive these days. We never go to see a movie at the theatre anymore. It doesn’t help that there is rarely anything worth seeing. But we enjoy movie nights at home. We have a collection of family friendly favorites, or we rent from Netflix. We pop popcorn, make ourselves comfy on the couches and the floor, and enjoy a good comedy, like The Apple Dumpling Gang, or a Christmas favorite, like How the Grinch Stole Christmas , or a chic flick, like The Sound of Music. (This is an affiliate link. I will earn a commission off any order you place by clicking from this link.) I mean, we’re pretty easy to please, and we’re hanging out together. Family time. That’s the real gift.
Time is getting short, now. If you’re in a bind, break out of the box and plan something fun and practical.
I’d really love to hear what everyone is doing. Leave comments to give us more ideas!