Homemade Christmas

A Homemade Christmas

It's that time of year again. Shop 'til you drop and run up your charge cards paying for it. Merry Christmas.

If this seems rather cold and impersonal, it is because Christmas can seem that way these days. The commercial aspect of the holiday has become an all-encompassing theme. Who can enjoy giving when they know that January will bring over-whelming bills as a result? It does not have to be that way. Lovely, homemade gifts can be a thoughtful, inexpensive alternative. It won't take much time or money, it's fun and the recipientfeel special because you took the time to make something just for them. Try it this year and see the difference.

Homemade Herb Scented Candles

Homemade Christmas Herb Scented Candles

These are not difficult. If you don't have candle molds, use tin cans or milk cartons, or pour wax into a decorative jar that can withstand the heat of a candle flame. Paraffin is easily obtainable at the supermarket in the canning section. Wicking can be found at craft stores.

Ingredients:

- 2 lb. paraffin wax, broken into small pieces

- 2 cups dried herbs or 1 fl. oz. essential oil

- 2 wax crayons for colouring (optional)

- candle wicking

- petroleum jelly

- pencils

Directions:

Melt the wax slowly in a bowl placed over a sauce hot water. (I have used a double boiler instead, on very low heat) Stir in crayons if desired. Remove from heat and add herbs as the wax cools. Coat molds with petroleum jelly. Drop one end of wicking to the bottom of each mold and wrap the other end around a pencil resting across the top of the mold. This keeps the wick centred as you pour in the wax. When the wax resembles a gel, pour into mold or container. Allow candles to set overnight, then remove carefully.

Homemade Christmas Lip Balm

I made this one year, put some in little tins and used for stockings stuffers.

Ingredients:

- 1 1/2 ounce beeswax

- 1 ounce honey

- 2 ounces olive oil ***

Directions:

Melt beeswax in a double boiler. Stir in honey. Beat in oil and continue stirring until cool. Put into container(s).

Small containers with screw tops are available in pretty colours and can be found at Wal-Mart, near the pharmacy section. Beeswax is sold at health food stores but is much cheaper from bee keepers, if you can find one.

*** I have never tried this with almond oil as a substitute, but I can't see why it wouldn't work.

Homemade Violet Lotion

Violets contain lots of Vitamin A, so it is very good for the skin.  Almond oil smooths, softens and feeds skin.  It is also good for under eye care.  To find ingredients, start at your local health food store.  Next year, pick the violets out of your lawn and make lotion right away or dry violets for future use.

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 cup dried violet leaves

- 1/2 cup fresh or 1/4 cup dried violet flowers

- almond oil to cover

- 1 ounce melted beeswax

Directions:

Place violet leaves and flowers in stainless steel pan and cover with almond oil.  Place on very, very low heat, covered and leave to steep for about 6 hours.  Strain off flowers and leaves and add melted beeswax to the almond oil.  Stir until mixture is creamy.  Test for firmness.  If too stiff, add a little more almond oil.  Pour into pretty containers and use daily.

Merry Christmas & Happy Crafting

These few things will get you started.  Check out the library, online, craft magazines for even more ideas.

The Christmas spirit will be much more prominent for your efforts, and you should feel more relaxed, as well. 

Enjoy, and have a wonderful holiday!

Editor's Note:  This article is reprinted from the December 1996 edition of the Old South Advocate.
Editor's Note: This article is reprinted from the December 1996 edition of the Old South Advocate.

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Comments 10 comments

RiaMorrison profile image

RiaMorrison 7 years ago from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada

These are great ideas that I'll have to try, and not just for Christmas presents. I love crafting, so making candles and balm and lotions will be fun for me at any time of the year. :)


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

It is fun, Ria. I'm not very good at crafts, but I loved doing these sorts of things, they really weren't hard. It just feels so good to work with natural products and it's really to cool to give a gift that you've made yourself.

Thx for coming by.


Shalini Kagal profile image

Shalini Kagal 7 years ago from India

Sounds great Shirley - for any time of the year. And so much more thoughtful than stuff you just pick up at the stores.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks, Shalini. I agree with you that these could be used for any occasion and make special, really personal gifts. Thanks for coming by.


2uesday profile image

2uesday 6 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

Good ideas in this hub, they sound like nice presents to be given, I especially like the sound of the violets one.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks, 2uesday! Hope you'll try making the violet lotion. It makes a nice homemade gift for someone on your Christmas list.


SwiftlyClean profile image

SwiftlyClean 6 years ago from Texas

Great Ideals,I love candles.Even better when I make them.

Happy Holidays Thax.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Oh boy, am I ever far behind! Thanks for your comment SwiftlyClean, so sorry that it took me so long to respond.

Hope you had a wonderful holiday, maybe even with your own homemade candles.


oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia

Shirley Anderson. Hi. I absolutely love home made products for personal use or to give as gifts for any occasion.

Receiving or giving a gift like this is so much more special to me.

I am going to put all these recipes in my Craft Recipe book and get an early start for this Christmas or before.

Thank you for sharing your craft with us. I loved it. :) :)


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

I agree, Olivermum. There's something extra special about homemade gifts, I think.

Glad that I could add a few ideas to your Christmas projects lists. I'd love to know how you make out with them, if you give them a try.

Enjoy! and thanks so much for coming by!

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