I hope Christmas was as lovely for you as it was for our family. Now that the gifts are opened, wrapping paper tossed and the leftovers almost gone, I wanted to share a few of the things I made for Christmas (I couldn’t tell you earlier and spoil the surprise for some.) Maybe this will give you some ideas for next year.
This year our home made Christmas gifts included:
Homemade jams: Raspberry, apple, gooseberry and rose hip
Pickled green tomatoes: For gifts, I pickle the cherry and miniature pear tomatoes.
Cookies and candies: A plate of treats for our neighbors and co-workers. I hope you tried December’s recipe, Cinnamon Popcorn.
Lotions and salves: I’ve been experimenting with making lotions and salves all year long, using oils infused with healing and soothing herbs from my garden. I save small jars (or for the lip balm, small Altoid’s tins) to put the finished product in.
Teas: I gave assortments of herbal teas, made from dried herbs from my garden. I filled these Tea Filters with a serving of tea, stapled the flap shut attaching a string with a tag telling what kind of tea it was. For a couple gifts I just gave a small jar of loose tea and pretty tea cup or a Tea-for-One tea pot
that I found at thrift stores or rummage sales. Remember my painted herb jars? A small painted jar is perfect for giving loose-leaf tea.
Christmas Pillowcases: Years ago, when my sons were small, I made Christmas pillow cases that we use every December. (Thank you to my friend Jana for the idea!) Now that my oldest is starting a family of his own, I decided they should have Christmas pillow cases as well. The Christmas print fabric was on clearance last year and only takes about 1 yard of material.
Fleece blankets: Fleece was the only item to bring me out on Black Friday (but at a more humane 9:00 am. I won’t do the pre-dawn treck. Ever.) I brought a book to read during the one-hour wait for the cutting table. But at $3/yard and an additional 25% off coupon, it was worth it. For these blankets I tried a new method: instead of tying the edges I “braided” them. I found the instructions here. I LOVED the result. It was a lot quicker than tying and made a nice, tight edge that I think will stand up to washing better than the tied edges.
Crocheted baby blanket: For my new little granddaughter, a crocheted a white baby blanket. I was kind of proud of this because I designed the lacy edging. After looking at several patterns, none were exactly what I wanted. Instructions for my lacy edging are here.
Next fall I’ll start giving you detailed instructions for some of these gifts. But if one of your goals is to make a home made Christmas in 2013, start planning now. Start looking now for fabric or yarn on clearance, at rummage sales or thrift stores. Start collecting containers–jelly jars or small canning jars for home-canned gifts, cosmetic jars or small tins for salve, tea bags, strainers or pretty tea cups to give with herbal teas.
In the meantime, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, keeping warm with good company, good food and good memories.