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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Handmade, Homemade Frugal Christmas

The Christmas season is close at hand.  After years of commercial “gotta have it” advertising, the economy is forcing most to re-evaluate gift giving.  These past few years we had been scaling back and giving family gifts that are more useful.  Gifts which are needed or make life just a little easier. All our children have now created their own homes and are at the point where power tools or Zoo passes are much  more appreciated than the fuzzy sweater or CD’s. 

It also brings us closer to the true reason for Celebration.   The Perfect gift we were all given.  The gift of the Son, who gave the ultimate gift of Himself.

So, this Christmas, there will be fewer “Singing Fish” and more gifts of ourselves.   Gifts we make or grow with our own hands and create with love. 

Reading one of my favorite blogs “The Simple, Green, Frugal, Co-Op” sparked what I hope to become a series of Handmade, Homemade, Frugal Christmas Gift ideas.  (If it’s a blog you have yet to visit or don’t follow, please do!)  There is a wealth of information just waiting for you!

So, take a moment or 2 and grab a pad of paper.  Go ahead, I’ll wait….I need to refill & warm up my coffee cup anyway.


I’m giving you home work.  Really, I am.

Make a list of those you will be gifting.  Don’t forget teachers & the elderly neighbor next door or you see sitting alone at Church.  Now, jot down any gift  ideas you’ve already had or plan to give that person…….out to the side,  list things they like to do or a bit about them.  Have they recently set up house keeping? Want to start a garden?  Have a bare kitchen? Do they love to draw but no longer have the funds with family commitments?  

   A bit of a personal profile, sounds silly but, the list will come in handy as we go.  It’s also a wonderful reminder of why you want to put the time, effort & love into creating those handmade gifts.

It may take a while, for me what started as 3-4 lines grew to a page a full page per person.

Now list your talents & resources.  A bit of a personal inventory.  Do you knit, sew or quilt?  Paint? Make soap or candles? Crochet? Have access to power tools or have a spouse that does? Garden or cook any specialties? Are you a handy with a camera or organizing?

What about skills you are willing to learn? Do you have someone you could swap skills with?

List them out….most of us have more talents & resources than we give ourselves credit for & possibly, some we’ve forgotten.

Tomorrow we’ll start with putting the lists together and start planning.  Some gifts will take a bit of time & planning on our part but then, a gift from the heart often does.


  1. Loving your idea, gonna make my list tonight! Karyn

  2. I'm doing homemade christmas and I've already got my list made and projects are already in the works (that scarf I was telling you about!) and a few other things are in the beginning stages of being made. I sew, knit, crochet, take photo's and make jewelry, so I've got a lot to pull from. The hard time I'm having is finding something for the MEN in my life. Any suggestions for a golfer?

  3. I always give fresh baked bread and homemade jams and jellies and these are always go over really well.

    I am giving handmade soap for the first time this year and am really excited about it.

  4. We're doing more homemade gifts this year. I've also done a skills swap with a lady I know on a cloth nappy/diaper forum. She's made my daughter a gorgeous dress and I made her son some longies.

    I love handmade presents, they are so much more personal than something from a shop

  5. It's handmade, from stash, for us this year too. But I've added that blog to my favorites. It's worth checking out. I'd like to do more this year for people that aren't my immediate family so the list idea is a good one.
    And the goldbugs? I gave them to the kiddos right away. I was afraid they might lose interest before Christmas. Actually I had 2.5 done when they went down for naps and finished the third during naps so the last little guy got his when he woke up. Their Daddy was even thrilled and since goldbug was his thing when he was little that made my day as well.

  6. I just love your writing style! i have the list in my head....Christmas is so much richer for being handmade. I think I will write it on my blog too. I hope I can get it all done!

  7. Alas, as you know, I have no talent. If I do, it's hidden REALLY well. I'm still going to make a list though. ;o)


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