Monday, December 1, 2008


1. UNBAKED, MADE-FROM-SCRATCH COOKIE KITS: Get the dry ingredients of your favorite cookie recipes together, along with a mason jar, a note card and some “country” style ribbons. Layer the dry ingredients in the mason jar, screw on the lid, print the recipe on a note card in an old-fashiony looking font, and tie it to the jar with ribbon.

2. A SECRECT HOLLOW BOOK: Find an old classic book at your nearby Goodwill or used bookstore. Using an X-Acto knife, hollow out the center of the book. It can be used as a place to store treasures.

3. CREATE A RECIPE BOOKLET: Use a collection of your favorite holiday recipes, and then include a small assortment of samples. Pass your culinary traditions on to your friends.

4. GIVE THE GIFT OF TIME OR SKILL: What skill do you have? Can you help somebody set up a blog? Teach someone how to change the oil in their car. Can you give bike tune-ups? Mini lessons on sushi or wine? Give the gift of baby-sitting for new parents. If you’re a computer whiz, give the gift of free computer repairs. Make up a gift certificate.

5. FELT-BACKED TILE TRIVETS: You can find lots of beautiful tile at home-improvement stores. And a lot of times, if the tile is at the end of a lot, you can get the tile at a deep discount. Using a hot glue gun, add a layer of felt to the back of a 6 x 6 (or larger) tile, and you have a useful trivet for bringing a hot dish to the table. If you drink a lot of wine, you might consider creating cork trivets.

6. LOVE COUPONS: Coupons good for a dinner out, or for a back rub, or for an evening of watching a favorite movie. FOR THE KIDS: You can make coupons for your parents for mowing the yard, washing the dog, picking up poo in the backyard, things that go above and beyond your normal chores.

7. Mixed CD: Compile a mixed cd and mail them out to all your friends. It can serve as a holiday card, a moment of reconnection or your friends can get introduced to new music they might not have heard yet themselves.

8. MEMORY JAR: (Fantastic idea for a grandparent or older relative). This gift is time consuming but costs next to nothing. Contact friends and relatives and ask them to tell you some great memories of the person you are making the memory jar for and ask them to send you any old photos they have of that person. Then take 365 business card sized pieces of cardstock. Write one memory or put one printed picture on each of the cards. Fold each one in half and secure them with a bit of tape then place them all in a big jar. Decorate the jar. Every morning for the next year, that person can take out a piece of paper, open it, and see what other people cherish about them.