Gift Giving


Gift giving at Christmas time adds an element of joyful surprise to the festivities. But finding the perfect gift for that hard to buy for person on your list can be a challenge. Let's face it, buying for children is usually easy, with the wealth of toys and games available in every store. But for the adults on your list, it can take some careful thought and planning. On this page, you will find some ideas for gifts you can create yourself to give to family and friends, as well as for acquaintances or party gifts.

Your first task is to make LISTS!!

You'll need a separate list for children, if you are a parent. Besides that list, I usually have three Christmas gift lists. One for family and friends, one for acquaintances, such as the mail delivery person, kids' teachers and for party gifts, and a third for charitable giving. Brainstorm at first, writing down everything you can think of that might be a good idea. you can narrow down later, as you browse the net or shop around and see things.

12 Days of Christmas/ Freeplay Music

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There are lots of great gifts you can give from your
kitchen, even if you're not a real terrific cook.

One idea is to make up a batch of your favorite cookie dough, roll it into a log, then wrap in waxed paper and tie ends with ribbon. Add a strip of Christmas paper around the center of the log with a self-sticking Christmas tag on it. Write the name of the cookie and temperature/minutes needed for baking. You may even want to write the recipe on a recipe card, hole punch the corner and attach that to the ribbon. You can refrigerate or freeze your cookie dough logs, depending on how far ahead you make them.

Play Dough for Children!

Play dough is easy to make, and children love it! There are many different recipes for play dough on the web, but this one is the recipe that I have found makes the smoothest, most long-lasting play dough. You can put the play dough in a mason jar, or just a glass jar with a tight fitting lid that you have spray painted or sponge painted. Another alternative for storage is to purchase holiday printed plastic containers with tight lids. The play dough will last longer if used on a clean surface and stored in the fridge. 

Play Dough

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

2 cups water

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 teaspoons cream of tarter

food coloring

Combine ingredients (except food coloring) in a saucepan. Cook on stove over low heat while stirring until it pulls away from sides of pan and forms a ball. Turn dough onto cutting board and allow to sit until cool enough to handle. Begin to knead dough while adding food coloring, drop by drop, until desired color is reached.

Here is a cool idea for turning your play dough into a festive gift! 


Gift Baskets don't have to be just food! Here are some ideas for creating a personalized gift basket for that special someone on your list!

  - Magazine gift basket: Almost everyone on your list will have some special hobby or interest that you can make a magazine gift basket for. Buy half a dozen magazines in that category and roll them up, tying with ribbon to add to the basket. Some possibilities include: cooking mags for the one who loves to work in the kitchen, electronics or computer mags for the tech geek, art mags for art lovers, knitting or scrapbooking mags for the crafty person,  travel mags for the traveler on your list.... you get the idea! Include a few small items in the basket as well, such as a whisk and spatula for the cook, an itunes card for the techie, a pass to the local art museum for the art lover, a few skeins of yarn or scrapbooking supplies for the crafter, a travel diary for the traveler, etc. An elaborate bow on the basket handle eliminates the need for any wrapping, and you can attach a gift card with a length of curling ribbon.

  - Personal Care Gift Basket: If you have a college student on your list, they're always short on personal care items. Go to the dollar store or discount store and purchase soap, shampoo, shaving cream, razors, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, comb, brush, hair gel, cologne, and so on. Or, you can do an elegant smellies basket for the woman on your list, with soaps, cologne, bath salts, lotion, pumice stone and shower gel. Add a washing puff or natural sponge and perhaps a pretty hand towel.

 - Car Care Gift Basket: A wash bucket might work better here than a basket, but the idea is the same. Things to include would be a few cans of oil, car wash soap, washing mitt, car wax, a chamois cloth, windshield cleaner, gas tank treatment, hanging air fresheners, small emergency kit, rain poncho in a small packet, flashlight, windshield scraper, can of lock defroster, can of spray de-icer, bungy cord, local area laminated map, driving gloves, tire guage, flat fixer, emergency flares, jumper cables, sun shield, etc. You can throw in a few packages of pretzels and peanuts, or maybe a gift card for a car wash or oil change.

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