I’ve been on a detox for the last few days, and the irony of this is that I seem to think about food much more than usual. There are benefits to this, of course: I’m much more mindful of what I eat and when I’m hungry. There are also downsides: I tend to eat my alkalizing broth green soup while watching an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. For some reason, I like to watch them make greasy, fried food, even if I don’t really crave it! So when I remembered I’d made the most delicious and crispy onion rings the night before I left Montreal, I knew I had to whip out the pictures to live vicariously – through my past self? And I thought I might as well share them with you too, since this recipe is delicious and easy.
Okay, so now that I’ve tackled gifts for the men and for the women in your life that you can purchase, how about a few ideas of what you could potentially make them yourself?
Creating a gift yourself is a totally a win-win situation. You will feel very accomplished and fulfilled, and they will LOVE it because you put in the three key ingredients: time, effort and love. That is the recipe for successful gift-giving.
I know what you’re thinking though: “I suck at DIY. I am the least crafty person in the whole world. It’s too much work. I don’t wanna!”
Hush, child. It will be fine, alright? I’ll take you through this, step by step!
1. Framed Photos
While not exactly DIY, giving a gift of a photo in a beautiful frame definitely reflects thought and effort. People are always looking for unique, pretty things to put around their homes as reminders of people who love them! So here’s your chance to contribute, I promise your present won’t be in vain.
Here’s what you do:
+ Find a beautiful photo, either online (try here, here and here) or of your own creation
+ Look for one that would be special to the person: either a photo of them, their family, or just a beautiful landscape or image of something they really love.
+ Get your hands on a frame! Idea: see if you can find one at Goodwill or a thrift store and spray paint it a pretty colour. Fun fun fun.
And there you have it. A lovely reminder of you and your love!
2. Baked Goods
One of my favourite gift options for the holidays is baked goodies. Cheap, easy, adorable, thoughtful, it’s the perfect gift! Plus, there are so many fun and creative ways to package your treats.
+ My top picks? Cookies of any variety, cupcakes, squares, holiday-themed bark (try candy cane, maple, white chocolate & cranberries..the list goes on!), if you’re ambitious – or you only have a few gifts to give – pie, cakes, pumpkin breads, biscotti, chocolates (truffles, brownies, mmm)! Am I making you hungry yet? Good, that means your giftee will be just as amazed and delighted by your present.
+ Wrap them up in cute ways! Find an old tin with a cute pattern on it, line it with wax paper and fill with goodies. Or get a pretty plate and stack it high, then wrap the whole thing with cellophane and a pretty bow. Or how about buying a pretty purse or bag or cute little Christmas stocking and stuffing it full of treats?
You do that, and visions of sugar plums will be dancing in their heads.
3. Do-it-Themselves Baked Goods!
Another fun and easy idea is to create a cute little package for someone to make themselves their own treats on a cold winter’s night. Even if they are self-professed non-bakers, they will definitely be grateful if you package up all the ingredients for them and include a short recipe. :) Here are some ideas:
+ Get a cute mug, and fill it with the ingredients for Microwave Chocolate Cake. Attach a little hand-written card listing the steps in how to make it!
+ Package together a gourmet hot chocolate mix, complete with an adorable cup and plenty of mini marshmellows
+ Fill a mason jar in layers with the ingredients for a yummy cookie (sugars, flours, chocolate chips, extras) and affix the recipe to the side. Try this adorable recipe from Bakerella!
4. A Token of Your Talents
What’s something you’re really good at? Don’t say you’re not good at anything. I know you are. Why not use that special talent to create something special for everyone on your list?
If you’re an artist (even an amateur!), draw/paint/sketch/pastel/sculpt.
If you enjoy taking pictures, see #1.
If you’re a writer, dream up a short story (or a long one), get it printed (try here) and gift it.
If you like to knit, create some fluffy mittens or a scarf.
If you’re a musician, record some holiday music on your computer or online!
..You get the point, right? The point is: no matter what you’re good at, and no matter what you think of the finished product or its caliber, the receiver of these gifts will be astonished. They will cherish them forever, because they came straight from the heart, wrapped up in love. :)
5. Bath Products
Again, don’t freak out about how DIY this sounds. It doesn’t have to be super complicated or stressful! Here are a few recipes to make some delectable lotions and potions for everyone on your list:
Bath bombs (so expensive at Lush, so cheap DIY – I read that citric acid = lemon juice for our purposes)
Bath salts (mmm, I want to add peppermint oil to mine!)
Check out tons more great ideas for slightly more complicated recipes here :)
And you’re done!
See! That wasn’t too scary, now was it? Just think how nice it would feel to gift something straight from your heart, made with your own two hands. I’d say that’d be living the true spirit of the holidays. :) Hope you were inspired!
Any other ideas for DIY gifts? I’d love to hear them!