Gift Ideas

  1. Have a honey of a Christmas (Basket filled with rolls and honey jar)
  2. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas (bag of Jolly Ranchers)
  3. Merry "Kiss"-mas (Hershey Kisses)
  4. May your holidays be merry and "Sprite" (bottle of Sprite)
  5. Just poppin by with a warm Christmas 'Hi'!" (attach popcorn, or soda pop)
  6. The holidays can be a strain
     on our body and our brain
    so when you feel stressed,
    a hot bath is best
    It truly will help keep you sane!
    ( Attach bath oils, bubbles, scents, etc...)
  7. You are "soup-r" Merry Christmas (soup mix with ribbon)
  8. Not a creature was 'stirring'....(wooden spoon tied with ribbons or rafffia, attach a mix for your favorite drink or baked good)
  9. We have to ad-'mitt' you're a great neighbor (oven mitt filled w/treats)
  10. Bake up some Christmas cheer. (frozen cookie dough w/ attached cookie cutters)
  11. 'Spice' up your Christmas (Apple cider w/ wassail mix attached or spices)
  12. Hope you have a 'whopper' of a Christmas!! (box/bag of Whoppers)
  13. This in 'mint' to wish you a Merry Christmas!!! (mints attached)
  14. For a 'Deer, Deer' Friend!! (sack decorated like reindeer fill with treats)
  15. To a really 'grate' neighbor or 'Tis the season to be 'grateful' (Grater and Cheese)
  16. You 'sweeten' our lives (container of candies)
  17. May your Christmas be 'seasoned' with love (Seasoning mix)
  18. Have a 'bright' Christmas (luminaries~sand, small candle, bags or pretty candle)
  19. One good 'turn' deserves another (pancake or muffin mix w/ pancake turner)
  20. When you feel like a basket case,
    Take a Break---And slow your pace
    (basket with bath items)
  21. Take a Break From a Busy Day--
    And Sweep All Your Cares Away
    (attach a whisk broom)
  22. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (cheese ball and crackers)
  23. Wishing you a note worthy Christmas (pad of paper and pencil)
  24. "Roll" into the Christmas spirit (sweet rolls or mix)
  25. We wish you a full 'measure' of Christmas cheer (any mix in a measuring cup or attach measuring spoons)
  26. May you cup be filled with joy this Christmas season (Christmas mug filled with candy or hot chocolate or cider mix)
  27. Your friendship has warmed us the whole year through....
    We hope this hot chocolate will do the same for you!
    (hot chocolate in a special container)
  28. When Santa "Chex" his list, he won't find anyone nicer than you (Chex mix)
  29. Hope 'Yule' enjoy the show! (fill bag with video rental coupons, popcorn, drinks, candy, or just some of these)
  30. Have a 'Berry' Merry Christmas (Bread and a jar of berry jam)
  31. Friends are the 'spice' of life. Merry Christmas (spices or cinnamon sticks tied with ribbon)
  32. 'Olive' you for all the nice things you do! Merry Christmas (can of olives)
  33. We 'relish' your friendship!! Merry Christmas (Relish tray/ can of pickles, olives ,etc.)
  34. We just couldn't 'restrain' ourselves from wishing you a Merry Christmas!! (Strainer with bow or fill strainer with treats)
  35. We couldn't 'pasta' up the chance To spread some Christmas cheer, Happy Holidays!!! (attach bag of pasta -- Christmas shapes would be fun)
  36. May the 'absorbing' spirit of Christmas 'blot' out your troubles, 'Soak' up your sorrows, and 'wipe' away your difficulties!!!!
    (attach to a roll of paper towels)
  37. Feliz Navidad (Chips and Salsa)
  38. We whisk you a Merry Kiss-mas (wire whisk filled w/ candy kisses, tie with ribbon)

When the hustle and the bustle,
Of the Christmas season come,
And the shopping and the baking
Seems to not be any fun.

Then it's time for you, my dear,
To take some time to rest,
And just relax a bit,
From your merry-making quest.

Before you lose it all completely,
And you think you're going to drop,
Just get out this little packet,
And some corn begin to pop.

Now, go get your favorite person,
Your sweetie or a friend.
And before you even know it,
Holiday worries will seem to end.

So have a Merry Merry Christmas,
May, your house be blessed with cheer,
And Christ's spirit always be with you,
Throughout the brand new year

(You could rent your favorite movie. Or watch a good show on T.V. Or have a popcorn, soda and chocolate bar.)

Gifts With Extra Meaning

Are you someone who likes to give a little something to everyone. Maybe just a loaf of homemade bread or a jar of jelly? Well make sure you have enough for everyone. In your notebook, make a page for homemade gifts, whether it is a plate of cookies, homemade cinnamon ornament, a craft you make, a homemade Christmas card or other small gifts. Under each gift write the names from your gift list that you want to give it to. By doing this you might actually give something to everyone but you will also be organized when it comes time to make them. If you know you want to give 20 people homemade jelly but only have 10 jelly jars you can put the word out to friends that you need 10 jars or be on the watch for them at yard sales. (P.S. this year lots of people on my list are getting jam and I am making it as each fruit comes in season this summer so by the end of the summer that part of my gift list is finished plus I have one of each kind to enter into the county fair! Jelly is really easy and fun to make.) Below you will find some ideas for small gifts.

Give a Memory for a Gift

Homemade Mixes

There are some wonderful books out there with recipes for homemade dry mixes for everything from bean soups to bread mixes to hot chocolate. These can be made up at one time and then put into the freezer a month or two ahead of time. You can put these into fabric gift bags or pretty cellophane bags. You can also do layered cookie mixes in jars. Homemade mixes are always a hit with everyone. Ask people on your gift list about the things they remember from past Christmas' which meant a lot to them. Then try to give them their memory. Do they always remember there being oranges and nuts? Put them together a gift basket of oranges and nuts. Or maybe it was a special cookie. Or maybe like me they always remember my mother getting a live wreath for the front door but I cannot bring myself to spend the money on one at Christmas now. What a wonderful gift to show up with at a friends house with a small live wreath that will bring back memories for them. Giving a memory will probably mean more to someone than a store bought gift and show you really thought about them. Do not forget your notebook when asking about their memories.

Date Challenges

  • June 12 Find a box or other container to use for your gift box
  • June 13 Gather up the items you have bought for gifts and put in your box
  • June 14 List everyone you wish you could buy a gift for no matter how small
  • June 15 Divide gift list into sections by family groups, friends, teachers, etc.
  • June 16 Divide gift list into sub-sections - must, want to & would like to buy for.
  • June 17 Look in your gift box & assign gifts to people on your list & mark them
  • June 21 Look at the people left with no gift next to their name & write down what you would like to give them even if it is a loaf of homemade bread.
  • June 22 Spend 15 minutes organizing your craft supplies
  • June 23 Spend 15 minutes organizing your craft supplies
  • June 24 Spend 15 minutes organizing your craft supplies
  • June 25 Make a list of what craft items you have on hand - especially full projects
  • June 26 Write down what crafts you would like to make (or buy) this year to give
  • June 27 Assign crafts to people on your gift list so you can buy supplies
  • June 28 Post your favorite craft to make to the list
  • June 29 Reflecting - are you trying to make to many different crafts?
  • June 30 Reflecting - are the crafts you are making time consuming?
  • July 1 Reflecting - consider making all one craft this year or very easy crafts
  • July 2 Review your gift list and update - this is very important to do often
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  • July 15 - Decorating - Trees - write down any new ideas you might have for your tree this year - new ornaments, new skirt, new tree - if they are all going to be handmade make sure you allow extra time on your notebook calendar.
  • July 16 - Decorating - Write down a list of unique places to buy your Christmas Decorations. If it is things like an annual craft fair then find out when it will be held and mark it on your calendar - if it is a store mark down a date to go before the end of November to beat the rush.
  • July 17 - Decorating - Mark a date on your calendar as to when you want to begin decorating. Now go back one week and mark your calendar as that date to get all your decorations out of storage. This will give you a week to go through the items to see if there are broken ones, lights out, etc.
  • July 18 - Decorating - Make a list in your notebook of the live decorations (including your tree) you plan to have. Make a note in your calendar as to when you need to buy these so you have a great selection. If you order an arrangement from a florist or greenhouse or off the web/mail-order make a note on your calendar when you need to order it.
  • July 19 - Christmas Cards - make a list of ALL the people you would like to send Christmas Cards to.
  • July 20 - Christmas Cards - Rate your each person on your card list like the gifts with a letter system (A=Have to send, B=Want to send, C=Would like to send)
  • July 21 - Christmas Cards - Go around your house with a basket and gather up ALL your address books, old Christmas card envelopes, etc. to get the addresses for your cards.
  • July 22 - Christmas Cards - Take your list and list it into your rated sections.
  • July 23 - Christmas Cards - Find and write the addresses for the people in your HAVE TO SEND category next to their names on your list.
  • July 24 - Christmas Cards - Find and write the addresses for the people in your WANT TO SEND category next to their names on your list.
  • July 25 - Christmas Cards - Find and write the addresses for the people in your WOULD LIKE TO SEND category next to their names on your list.
  • July 26 - Christmas Cards - Are you making your Christmas Cards? Make one now to see how hard it is going to be and to have a sample in your notebook.
  • July 27 - Christmas Cards - make a list of the supplies you will need to make your homemade cards. Have a separate place to gather all your card materials.
  • July 28 - Christmas Cards - If you buy your cards either a) find the cards you bought on December 26th last year (or from other years) and put them all in one place - a big baggie or a small box or b) mark your calendar as and to do list as to when you want to begin looking for new cards for this year (and December 1st doesn't not count!) your cards need to be purchased by Nov. 1st at the latest.
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  • August 12 Make a list of the food you want to give as gifts. Include gifts that use food products such as the Applesauce ornaments, baths salts, etc. Do not forget to list things likes apples, nuts and oranges (or other fruit) - if you order fruit from a group this will help you order the correct amount - no sense in buying a whole box if you only need 1/2 box. If you find your list is too long consider giving everybody the same 2 or 3 items to reduce costs, stress and time and use fruit in with the baked goods - it fills the basket up and is good!
  • August 13 Make a list of all the baking items (we will do meals and entertaining later) you wish to serve at your house - I personally make up tins with some candies in it to set out throughout the holiday season for the family and also if you are having any drop in company (just to chat or for a family dinner)
  • August 14 Using your gift list assign food items to be given away.
  • August 15 It is now time to come up with a plan for your food gifts - you know how many people you want to give each item to but you need to decide how many of each are you going to give each person - example: I give cookie tins and trays as gifts - I have 12 people that I give to and I want to give 10 different types of cookies so I limit each person to 3 cookies of each kind so I know I need to make 3 dozen of each cookie to complete my gift giving. This step is very important in order to figure out how much of everything to buy.
  • August 16 Make a plan for the baking goodies you will have at home. Decide if your family will want 1 or 6 pounds of fudge to eat throughout December. Only you know what your family really likes a lot of or just a little of. If you want oranges out during the holiday but not everyone will eat them do not buy a whole box - just buy 6 or 7 to put into a bowl with some nuts.
  • August 17 Find all those recipes you are going to use. Put the original in your notebook or make copies but all recipes needs to be in your Christmas notebook!
  • August 18-19 Sit down with your food list and recipes & figure how many batches of each recipe you need. Put a sticky note on top of each recipe telling how many batches you will need.
  • August 20 - 24 Using your recipes with the sticky notes make a list of the ingredients you will need - break these lists down into groups according to how long they will keep - ex: canned/freezable (canned milk, flour, sugar, butter, nuts, pie fillings etc.) Cabinet items (things like cereal for Chex mix, nuts, pretzels, choc. chips, basically things that I can buy a month or more before I intend to bake them) and perishables (milk, cream, cheese, fruit, etc.) Keep in mind this is a list for when you plan to bake them which is not always the same as when you give them. I will be giving lots of cookies but will be making them in November.
  • August 25-27 Sit down with your calendar (the one in your notebook) and plan out some tentative baking days. Check with some other friends and see if they would like to do a joint session! This would cut costs and give you more variety.
  • August 28-31 Make your grocery list. List the canned/freezer items at the top and then down to your perishables. Place dates needed by items according to your baking schedule for your perishables. Start buying several items each time you go to the grocery store. Have a cabinet/shelf/box just for these items and do not use them. Buy extra canned food each time you buy one for yourself and put it in a box to give to the food bank during the holidays. We will discuss shopping strategies on the list.

Cleaning Challenge for August: Clean out your kitchen - everything needs to be sorted and used and you need to make room for your holiday baking ingredients that we will begin buying in September! Start with your cabinets - doing one or two a day, then the drawers, then the fridge and freezer and then your deep freeze if you have one. As you are cleaning, think about if someone in your family would like to have something you do not use anymore - it would make a nice gift for them for Christmas - example: (this is not a kitchen item but it gives you the idea) at my mother's parents house I always remember the family Bible being on this wooden Bible stand. One year I asked my grandmother where it was and she said she had put it up to get it out of the way. She was very surprised when I spoke about it and mentioned that I would love to have it after she died if no one else wanted it. Well guess what I received for Christmas that year? It has been one of my favorite gifts I have ever received and meant more to me than any store bought gift - I also have a funnel from my husband's grandmother and dishtowel made from flour sacks from my other grandmother - all these things remind me of my childhood every time I use them and that is a wonderful gift to give.