Great Holiday Gifts and Projects
The holidays are sneaking up again, and for some of us the holiday shopping will be on a budget again this year. It seems like every year I put myself on a tight budget, I make a plan and vow to stick to it, something comes up and I am strapped for how to buy another gift. This could be a secret Santa at work, or being invited to a party that I need to bring a gift for the host or even if I just didn't plan correctly. Last year I started getting into homemade gifts such as candles and cookies, and to my surprise people loved them.
Chocolate Dipped Candy Canes:
You will need:
- Mint candy canes
- Chocolate Chips (milk chocolate and dark chocolate both work great)
- Double Boiler (or a pot with a glass bowl that fits on top)
- Curling Ribbon
- Wax Paper
- Melt the chocolate chips in the double boiler (if you don't have a double boiler simmer water in a pot, place a glass bowl that sits sturdy on top and melt the chocolate in the glass bowl)
- Unwrap the candy canes, and dip the lower straight part in the chocolate.
- Lay on wax paper to let harden in the refrigerator
- Tie curling ribbon around the loop of the candy cane and curl the ribbon
- Keep refrigerated until serving or giving.
Extra: These work great as coffee stirrers as well. A little bit of mint and chocolate can make your coffee taste very festive.
I love jars, empty, full, with flowers in them; I just love jars. I think they look nice in my house and I love to have them handy when I need them. You don't have to can or preserve fruits and veggies to have a need for jars. I once received a jar with a brownie mix in it, and a little tag with the directions and absolutely loved it. Being on a budget, I chose to make my own version but with hot chocolate and marshmallows.
You will need:
- Hot Chocolate Mix
- Mini Marshmallows
- 3"x3" fabric pieces (the same amount as the amount of jars you are putting together)
- Curling ribbon
- String Tags
- Candy Cane (1 per jar)
- Wash the jars out and make sure they are completely dry
- Layer the hot chocolate mix and marshmallows in the jar equally starting with the hot chocolate mix on the bottom.
- Put the cloth over the top of the jar and then secure the lid over the cloth (so the cloth is in between the open jar and the lid
- Attach the candy cane to the jar with the curling ribbon
- Put the tag on last with a note of your choice (happy holidays, mix with water and enjoy etc)
- Watch the face of delight when you give the gift
Traditional Orange with Clove Potpourri
You will need:
- One whole orange
- A handful of whole cloves
Poke the cloves into the orange evenly all the way around the orange. Make 2 or 3 of these and display in a bowl for the holidays. It looks and smells amazing.
Wrapping paper is skyrocketing in price, and to top it off it just gets rips to shreds when the gift is opened. Wrapping gifts in newspapers has been something that my family has been doing for several years. I love it because it adds depth to the gift wrap and makes it stand out. Add a bright colored bow, and your gift will surely stand out in the bunch.
Extra: Choose newspapers that coincide with the event if possible, maybe a front page article on the local holiday festivities, or the birthday announcement page from your local paper for a birthday gift.