While many would like to make gifts for Christmas this year, they might feel ideas and/or talent are lacking. Baked goods are my #1 gift. They are very appreciated and don't clutter up a house. I like to make homemade cinnamon rolls or a cranberry nut loaf for wolfing down on Christmas morning. I also make tons and tons of decorated snowflake cookies. Each person in the family gets a cookie wrapped in an individual bag.
-Make a "Gourmet Meal Basket". Put all the goodies in a basket for a delicious Italian meal. Pasta, olive oil, gourmet pasta sauce, breadsticks, Parmesan cheese and a dessert like a decadent chocolate cookie. A nice touch would be some red plaid napkins and candles with candlesticks.
-Have someone on your list that is a huge sports fan? Why not a "Game Snack Pack"! I made one recently for a friend's birthday and it was a hit. I covered a box in wrapping paper, added newspaper to the bottom and covered it with matching wrapping paper. I added popcorn, pretzels, chips, peanuts and candy. You could also add some gourmet root beer or a real microbrewery beer if your recipient likes that. Add some mini-footballs or coozies from his/her favorite team. You could even get a lap blanket with the team name on it. Most sporting good stores carry all kinds of goodies for major teams.
-Maybe a tea/hot chocolate basket for a friend. You could actually make up several of these baskets at the same time. Purchase several different boxes of nice quality teas. I have found some delicious discounted ones at Marshall's. Open the boxes and put in several of each flavor in each basket. I found some gorgeous Christmas themed china cups and saucers at our local HomeGoods store for under $6.00 or you might find a beautiful one at a flea market. Add some envelopes of hot chocolate. Add some freshly baked cookies or a box of Nonni's Biscotti (at Wal-Mart). You can even add a small tea spoon and a candy cane or two. A mini-box of chocolates is a nice touch.
-How about movie tickets and free babysitting for a friend/relative with small kids? Package it nicely with movie candy boxes. You can even get some cute popcorn boxes at Target for $1. Stuff halfway with newspaper and put the candy & tickets in it. Print out a certificate on your printer offering free babysitting for the night. Package it all in a plastic bag. I found both the shrinkable and non-shrinkable at the Dollar Tree recently.
-Think about a Zoo membership for a family with kids. Maybe place the membership around the neck of a stuffed zoo animal (lion, zebra...)
-Tickets for experiences like a not-too-far-away theme park are exciting. Package with a map of the theme park printed from the website, disposable cameras, sunglasses, hats and sunblock. Adding a gas card for the parents would be thoughtful.
Click here to read about Cheap (but classy) Christmas Ideas for pre-teens and young teens.
For gift wrapping ideas and solutions, click here.