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Christmas wreath

Let’s Make Our Own Christmas Gifts

Saving Tips for Christmas Cheer.

Christmas comes around so quickly every year and it is always a time when finances are under strain.

What with all the pre Christmas parties, then the Christmas cooking and all the cards and gifts that are bought. You need bucket loads of money. But we can lessen the strain and have some fun with the family by making a lot of the things we need at home and together as a family fun activity. I am only going to give you a few ideas here, you will come up with many more. This will be just enough to get you thinking of ways to engage your family in the process of making and giving gifts at Christmas.

Some Home Made Treats

If you give family gifts, a box of home made treats is always a welcome. Everybody has so many things these days that choosing appropriate gifts can be extremely difficult so why not make it more personal by making your own.

Delicious Christmas CookiesA variety of cookies look wonderful and can be decorated to present a real Christmas touch. Here is my favorite shortbread recipe which you can make in all shapes and add macadamias and chocolate to make a bit more special and they are so easy to make.

Shortbread

250 grams butter, chopped

i/3 cup rice flour

11/4 cups plain flour

2/3 cup icing sugar

3/4 cup chopped macadamias

Simply mix and knead all the ingredients together, flatten on a board with your hands, then cut into shapes. Bake in a moderately slow oven for about 45 minutes. To make chocolate shortbread, leave out the macadamias and add 1 tablespoon of good quality cocoa.

Chocolate Truffles

These are always a favorite and again are very easy to make.

  • 250g pkt plain biscuits (e.g. Milk Coffee)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, (optional) chopped
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 395g can condensed milk

Crush the biscuits by putting them inside a plastic bag and rolling with the rolling pin. Mix all the ingredients together, roll into balls then roll in extra coconut. How easy is that?

The children could decorate a box to put them in and make a card to match. They will look great on the Christmas table and delight everyone.

There are many sites on the internet which will give you more ideas. One of the best I have found for kids cooking is this one : Kidspot

Deco Mesh Christmas Wreaths:

Get into the spirit of Christmas right from your front door.

Create a welcoming Christmas wreath for your own door and perhaps one for a friend as well. They are easy to make and give a little extra Christmas life to your home. They are fun for families to work on together, collecting the materials, deciding on the colors and creating.

More Christmas Gifts to Make:

Bon Bons for the Christmas table: We all use toilet paper, so save the empty rolls till you have enough to make a bon bon fr each person coming to Christmas dinner. You will need two rolls for each. Use brightly colored Christmas Wrapping paper and ribbon to decorate. For the inside the kids could write out their favorite jokes and put one n each bon bon, also include a sweet treat and a small gift or a coin of any value. We no longer put cos in the pudding so this is a way to bring back the coin element which we all looked forward to. You can also add things like a bath cube a silver charm, a small pencil or a letter. Be creative.

Christmas Stockings:

Purchase some Green or red felt and some other colors to decorate. Draw a template of your Christmas stocking and cut out two pieces of felt for each stocking. Decorate these pieces before they are stitched together, by stitching on other cut out shapes of stars or bells or simply just patches of color. When happy with the look of your stocking, use blanket stitch to join the two pieces together. Use a contrasting colored thread and large stitches as you work around all but the opening at the top. These will look bright and cheery around the fire place. Fill them with some practical gifts such as pencils, textas, a small book, a pair of socks a piece of jewelry or some sweets. Make sure each child has identified their own stocking

g.

The most important thing is for families to have fun. Christmas is not meant to be a time of big spending but of heartfelt giving from the heart. Give time and effort and have fun together.

I know a local family of 11 children and each year they all made all of their Christmas presents. It was lovely to see them all deeply engrossed in the creative process of making gifts for friends and family. Those children have all grown up and are now doing the same thing with their families.

Enjoy Christmas and enjoy being creative with your family.

 

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Comments

  1. Reply

    I’m the last of seven kids, and there are so many nieces and nephews and cousins…oh, my! that buying gifts just got out of hand. I wish every family would adopt some tradition like this…much more meaningful!

      • admin
      • November 7, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you for commenting Terri. You are right, it does get out of hand and we can quickly lose the whole meaning of Christmas when we get so caught up in the need to be buying gifts for everyone. It is more fun to put some effort in and be creative as a family.
      All the best
      Judy

  2. Reply

    Oh…reading your article really did bring back fond memories of my childhood holidays.

    I really do believe that baking and making ornaments with family really can create fond memories. I still have a few of the soldiers that my sister, my mom, and I made out of clothes hangers and cotton balls for the Christmas tree. Those ornaments are over 40 years old, with some soldiers showing noticeable battle scares…but I will treasure them always!

      • admin
      • November 7, 2017
      Reply

      That is gorgeous Veronica, that you have kept them all that time. I would love a picture they sound wonderful.
      It is fun to work together as a family to make Christmas gifts instead of going through all the stress and expense of buying everything.
      Bless You
      Judy

    • Fred
    • November 6, 2017
    Reply

    Nice clean looking site, I have not even thought about Christmas yet, good sounding recipes though. Keep it going

      • admin
      • November 7, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you Fred. Christmas is only 6 weeks away. It seems to come around faster every year, Christmas promotions have been in the shops now for a couple of months. That is what made me think about it. Have fun
      Cheers
      Judy

  3. Reply

    Those are great ideas. Awesome way to get the family bonding together. Adding the fact that there should be screen free moments involved.

      • admin
      • November 7, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you Charlotte, I can see from your pic that you have young children. Its a great time to start and teach them the value of real giving and the value of a home made gift as opposed to a bought one.
      All the best
      Judy

    • Morgan
    • November 6, 2017
    Reply

    These recipes here look so good. I will have to try some of them out myself! Thanks for all the good ideas for the upcoming hoilday’s.

      • admin
      • November 7, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you Morgan, the recipes are there only as an example of some of the things we can do instead of buying everything. You can find heaps more easy recipes online. I think its the thought that goes behind making something that gives it more value. All the best
      Judy

    • Ronnie
    • November 6, 2017
    Reply

    I love the artistic approach. I use to love making wreaths because it gives you a chance to be really creative as to make it express what you are trying to say. Are we still using the metal clothes hangers these days or is there a new way as well?

      • admin
      • November 7, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you for your comment. You can buy a wire form already to go from craft stores and 2 dollar shops. I use a piece of chicken wire or bird wire. I find it works well and we usually have some around the farm. If you want it to be perpetual you need to use artificial materials to decorate and add things like pine cones to make it more authentic. If you want a fresh one each year, weave something like ivy al through the wire till you can no longer see the wire. Then add your gum nuts or pine cones and some colored ribbon.Just be as creative and as original as you can and above all have fun.

    • Alex
    • November 6, 2017
    Reply

    As a cash poor college student, I really appreciated this article. I cannot afford the many gifts that others are able to give, so I seek alternatives. It is great to know that there are a lot of options other than simply buying something. All of the gift ideas you listed are something I can easily do. Thank you for sharing.

      • admin
      • November 7, 2017
      Reply

      Hi Alex and than you for visiting my site. I know you can do some of those things and do you know what? I think gifts that are made with love are so much more valuable than anything money can buy. I wish you well for your studies and hope that soon you will no longer be a poor college student but have your own successful business.

  4. Reply

    So many great ideas here. Thanks for sharing.
    I was just trying to think of some activities we could do last weekend with the kids.
    Truffles are on the money and look delish.

      • admin
      • November 7, 2017
      Reply

      Thankyou Vince, they are so easy to make and so long as the kids do not eat them all first they can make a lovely gift for someone else. Like I said there is often more joy in giving than receiving.

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