homemade christmas gifts

Is your holiday budget tight this year? You can stretch it with all kinds of nifty handmade Christmas gifts.

If you’ve priced most store-bought gifts lately, then you’ve probably developed a healthy new respect for the concept of handmade Christmas gifts. Now, when I talk about pricing commercial items, I’m not talking about the inexpensive stuff you find at the dollar store.

Let’s face it: while I’m all for saving money, most dollar store items aren’t suitable for gifting, beyond, maybe, some stocking stuffing. (Although some of them have pretty good jigsaw puzzles). Let’s call a gimcrack a gimcrack, shall we? Homemade gifts don’t cost much more, and the quality tends to be much higher.

So Many Possibilities

Many people learn how to knit or crochet for one reason or another — often to while away unexpected downtime while waiting for things, or to keep their hands busy while watching TV or listening to the radio. Knitted or crocheted items make wonderful, warm gifts.

And if something goes wrong with your erstwhile Christmas present, you can always use it as a pet blanket. Your fur-kids aren’t going to care about dropped stitches or ugly yarn colors. Well… cats might. You know how they are.

Other Options

Then there are the plastic canvas aficionados, the diehard woodworkers, makers of Christmas wreaths, amateur photographers, basket weavers, puzzle-makers, welders, mechanics… well, you get the idea. These folks and all manner of other part-time craftspeople can produce unique, useful, and enjoyable handicrafts.

Even kids can get into it, though you have to forgive them their enthusiasm and lack of coordination. Probably the most unique homemade gift Yours Truly ever got was a paper-mâché dinosaur egg, suitable for a pinata, from my seven- or eight-year-old niece.

I never could bring myself to use it, though, despite the splotchy psychedelic paint job. It was just too well done!

That Said…

Most handcrafted gifts will get used, and sometimes used to pieces. I’ve worn out many neatly decorated plastic canvas gifts from my Mom by using them so much, from coasters to handy little boxes and baskets, and I still use some daily.

And let us not forget the gift of edible goodies. Fudge, cookies, muffins, brownies, and those sticky Rice Krispies treats, among other things, you can count on being gone within days. Hey, you can’t blame the recipient. Sweets and baked goods kind of have a sell-by date, right? Can’t let ’em go to waste.

One Final Note

Some people might appreciate receiving nothing more than you — that is, your time. Hang out with them and offer to do things around their home that they could use a little help with. Heck, paint their house. That’s a handmade Christmas gift they’ll never forget, especially if you add a great big peace symbol to the roof.