Saturday, December 16, 2006

I thought I would share this email from the folks at Spark People.  I love creating homemade Christmas gifts.  Not only is it much gentler to my budget (most of the time), but it shows that I took the time and effort to do something special for that person. 
December 15, 2006
Expressions of the Heart

Creating Meaningful Homemade Gifts

The gifts we craft with our own hands are often the most significant because the love that drove us to create is infused in the products of our creation. And the recipients of these homemade offerings receive a token of our willingness to invest ourselves in their joy. Allow these ideas to inspire you:

1. When you craft a beautifully decorated prayer box (or jar) for loved ones, you give them the gift of spiritual awareness. As you share this gift, explain that it should serve as a receptacle for their hopes, dreams, and loves—as well as worries—and thus a reminder of who they were, are, and will someday be.

2. If you love journaling, share your writing joy with family and friends by giving each a unique, handmade personal journal. A simple spiral notebook dressed up with paper, fabric, photographs, or other embellishments will give your loved ones a special place to record their private thoughts.

3. Erase the distance between yourself and your far away loved ones by presenting each with a photo journal documenting how your life has changed in the past year. Or introduce them to your locale with a homemade guidebook that highlights everything you love about your town or city.

4. When you sew medicine bags for the people you care about, you can rest assured your gift will always be close to their hearts. A small pouch can be filled with many meditative or symbolic items, such as quartz crystals, sage, or magical objects.

5. A progressive photo album, wherein pictures tell the story of your relationships from the past up to the present, can be a simple yet poignant reminder of the many wonderful experiences you and your loved ones have shared over the years.

6. Give the gift of serenity with a guided meditation you create and record to CD or tape. Your loved ones will take pleasure in being led through tranquil landscapes by the soothing sound of your voice.

7. Hand-crafted ornaments that can be hung on trees, in windows, and on walls afford you an opportunity to surround the important people in your life with beauty. Whether you prefer to work with clay, crystals, fabric, baked dough, or natural objects, your gift can serve as a calming focal point in your loved ones’ homes.

Whether you choose to give a gift or simply share your friendship and love, remember that it is the intention behind the thought that is most important.


The following are some homemade gift recipes taken from my Web page, JillMarie's Stuff.  Real creative name, huh?  LOL  I just couldn't think of anything at the time that would desribe everything on there. 

Anyway, I hope you find something you like here.  These are all easy enough for the kids to do with a little help from you.  I love how excited and proud kids are about making and giving their own gifts. 

Now, remember that recipe I posted recently about the bakers clay dough that you bake?  Take a clean old jar with a metal lid.  Let the kids make something cute out of the bakers clay to cover the lid and bake it.  While it's baking have them mix up some coffee mix or something that can go into the jar.  What a great way to spend some great quality time with your children.

Spiced Mocha Mix

2 cups sweetened cocoa mix
1/3 cup instant coffee crystals
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Combine cocoa mix, coffee, and cinnamon.  Stir thoroughly.  Store in airtight containers.  Makes 2 1/4 cups mix.

Directions to pack with mix:  For one serving, combine 3 Tablesppons mix with 2/3 cup boining water in a cup.

Hot Tea Mix

1- 9 oz jar orange flavor breakfast drink powder (1 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup iced tea mix with lemon and sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine all the ingredients and mix well.  Store in airtight containers.  Makes 2 cups mix.

Directions to pack with mix:  For one serving, combine 2 tablesppons mix with 1 cup boiling water in a cup.

Hot Choco Coffee Mix

2/3 cup Granulated sugar
1/3 cup Cocoa
1/4 tsp. Ground cinnamon
1/4 cup Instatnt coffee granules

Measure sugar into small bowl.  Sift cocoa, cinnamon and coffee granules into sugar.  Stir.  Store in plastic bag or jar with tight fitting lid.  Makes about 1 cup mix.

Directions to include:  Heat 1 cup milk in large mug in microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until very hot.  Add 1 1/2 Tbsp. mix.  Stir.  Serves 1.

Trail Mix

Combine 1 Cup each of the following in large roasting pan:
Chopped dried apricots
Golden raisins
Dark raisins
Chopped dried pineapple
Chopped dried pears
Dried banana slices
Pecan halves
Broken cashews

Melt 1/4 cup magarine in small saucepan. Add 1 tsp. seasoned salt. Stir. Drizzle over the fruit mixture. Stir to coat well.

Sprinkle with 2 tsp. salt. Bake, uncovered, in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Makes 9 1/2 cups.

For added flavor, add 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce or 2 tsp. barbecue sauce or 2 tsp. teriyaki sauce to melted margarine.

Bath Salts

Makes 3 cups of bath salts.

You will need:
Large glass or metal mixing bowl 2 cups Epsom's salts 1 cup Sea salt, rock salt or coarse salt Food coloring 1/4 teaspoon Glycerin Essential oil for fragrance such as vanilla, citrus or peppermint, optional Clean, dry jars with cork stoppers or metal screw-on lid

How To Make It

Try and do this on a day with low humidity, the salt will absorb moisture from the air.

1.Combine salts in bowl and mix well. Add a couple drops of food coloring and mix well.
2.Add glycerin and essential oil (4 or 5 drops) and mix well.
3.Spoon salts into the jars and close them.
4.Make a gift tag with the scent (if you used one) and suggesting using 1/3 to 1/2 cup in the bath.


Rylie and I are off to visit Santa today.  Ray is out of town, so Samantha is going with us.  I wonder if I can get Sammi to sit on Santa's lap with Santa so I can get a picture of the two of them.

I hope you found something useful by visiting me today. 
Have a wonderful weekend.

1 comment:

mastersblynn said...

Have fun with Santa take lots of pictures! xoxBarbara