Giving homemade Christmas gifts adds a personal touch to the holidays, but as with anything else homemade, it is best to get started early, so that December is not an incredibly hectic and crazed month. Some gifts, such as certain foods, need time to develop their flavors long before December 25. Read on for a few great homemade Christmas ideas.
Decide who you want to give homemade gifts to and make a list of what gifts you will to which person. For example, you may want to make a batch of homemade vanilla extract for your cousins and aunts, a hand-sewn apron for your uncle, and a cute stuffed animal for your new nephew. Also develop a time frame for preparing each dish. Extract and other gifts involving alcohol, such as home-made liqueurs, need at least a few weeks to sit and develop. If you are new to sewing or crafting, you may want to give yourself at least a month to make the gifts in case you have any difficulty.
Food is usually a safe gift to make for someone. Be sure you are aware of any allergies or restrictions a person may have before making them the gift. For example, you don't want to give a teetotaler a batch of homemade limon cello or a person with a peanut allergy a batch of mixed nuts. Usually, gifts that keep are a better idea than gifts that need to be consumed right away. Since most people are inundated with cookies and fudge at the holidays, think of food gifts that will last long after January ends.
Homemade pickles are a great gift, as they last a long time. Try making refrigerator pickles or pickles in a brine rather than fermenting the pickles. Other food ideas include homemade mustard, jams, and hot chocolate mixes. If you are making a gift for someone who enjoys cooking, consider assembling the dry ingredients for cookies or even soup in a pretty glass jar.
Make homemade gifts for the kids in your life. If you sew, try stitching up a few adorable stuffed animals. Pick the children's favorite animals and colors. Sewing a stuffed animal is a project that is simple enough to do last minute if you are an experienced seamstress. You can also try your hand a making clothing for a child. Sewing a skirt is an easy project. If you don't sew or knit, take an inexpensive fleece hat or pair of mittens and glue pieces of felt to them to make a dragon or dinosaur winter wear.
Soap can be difficult to make, as you need to use lye and other ingredients which can be harmful. Other body pampering products, such as a sugar scrub, aren't very difficult to make, and can serve as a great introduction into the world of homemade bath products. The ingredients for a sugar scrub are easy to find and you can whip up a batch at the last possible minute. To make a citrus-scented scrub, zest a lemon or orange. Mix it with a cup and a half of white sugar, 1/4 cup coarse salt and a cup of oil. Pour into a pretty jar and you have the perfect homemade git.