Need Christmas Gift and Other Ideas

For several years now, when I do an internet search for "Homemade Gift Ideas". I come to your site, and see all the great ideas, like Jar, or basket gifts etc. But even those seem to be too expensive, and not really workable for my needs.


Here's my problem.

Christmas is just around the corner, AGAIN! And I have almost no money, I have almost 300 people to send Christmas cards (and a little "something" to go with it) to (So it has to be flat (easily mailable, and that won't make the envelope too big or heavy), not fragile, and useful, something that anyone (man, or woman, and if it can even be for any age, that'd be even better) will find useful. It can't be food or teas or whatever, because so many people on my list have allergies, or illnesses or are on a diet, or are picky, or etc. And, it also has to be quick and easy to make, because I'm almost out of time. And I've already made bookmarks, several years in a row. I need something new.

I hand make each of the greeting cards we need, each year. But I haven't started yet, for this Christmas and next year. So, ideas on card designs would be appreciated too.

Also, on my list are a few people that I can spend a tiny bit more on, and That I can hand deliver the gifts to. These people have everything, or go into phases where they get rid of everything they own (almost). And stuff. I need "useful gifts" that aren't food. And I need good gift ideas for a 4 or 5 year old boy (I know very little about age appropriate gifts). I don't see him often, so I don't know what he loves most and what he already has, and etc. (something other than food, or a "toy", would be good).

Also.... For a Christmas Party I'm going to, I need a "healthy" cookie recipe! (and it needs to be fancy!).

So, you can see, I have a lot of trouble each year, because this is what I'm faced with each year. My annual "Christmas Anxiety" has begun.

Please, please, please, help!

-- In Peace, Phoebe.

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By Becky (Guest Post)
October 19, 20040 found this helpful

First, I would think about cutting down the number of people you give gifts to. Are they all really necessary? Just the fact that you make them a card seems to me like a gift in itself. You seem to making this harder on yourself than it should be.

For the Christmas cards, always save the cards you receive. Cut off the front and any nice sayings from the inside. You can use these in the making of yours. Why not try making ornaments out of these too. (i.e. cut out a picture of an angel, embellish with a gold metallic pen, tie a pretty ribbon to the top). These would be a flat gift you could send.


For the kid, go with a book.

Kitchen gadgets always make good useful gifts. Pampered chef sells a handy opener (for soda and jars and 2 liter bottles), seasonal cookbook for $1, and other little gadgets that people love.

Good luck and try to enjoy the true reason of Christmas - Jesus and love! :)

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By krista (Guest Post)
October 19, 20040 found this helpful

I love magnets. you can make your own from photos and magnetic sheets for a personal touch. Almost everyone has a fridge or some where that they could use a magnet. It's small, flat and cost effective. For the boy, a book is a good idea as well as art supplies ie. colored pencils, markers, paints, paper, etc.

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By Mari (Guest Post)
October 20, 20040 found this helpful

How about making them stationery? A ream of paper is about $5. and just print the top border with whatever pattern you like and choose one which looks good in black ink.


Such as a title "Memo From Mari".

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October 20, 20040 found this helpful

Magnets sound great and how about a favorite recipe (perhaps tailored to those with allergies etc. Printing one on an index card and making copies.
Depending on the time you have, the recipe card could be personalized with decorations or stickers.

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October 20, 20040 found this helpful

When my granddaughter was leaving the country for a year, I made a little bag, it could be an envelope, Then I added a birthday candle or star to index cards. I then added a bible verse, or a memory to each one, And on one Merry Christmas. On one I wrote Happy birthday. I think I made ten cards, It could be less. This was small, weighed very little and reminded her of home. She loved it. For the little boy, colors, pencils and drawing paper are always welcome.

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By Kelly (Guest Post)
October 20, 20040 found this helpful

I agree that you need to simplify! A cute idea for a little gift to put in a card: Felt ornaments. I use cookie cutters as patterns. Simple shapes like stars or hearts work well. Cut 2 pieces of felt the same shape and sew them together using embroidery floss.


Leave a little opening and put a little bit of stuffing inside (cotton balls work) and then finish sewing shut. I use a blanket stitch to do mine. A nice finished look. Add a ribbon hanger. They wouldn't add to the cost of postage because they weigh virtually nothing.

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October 20, 20040 found this helpful

I know this isn't what you asked for :-) but I'm afraid I agree with Becky. Gifts are for family and close friends. Cards are for friends and acquaintances - in fact I have even stopped sending cards as I think bought ones are a complete rip off - I just send a very long newsy letter which people appreciate much more than a card or cheap useless gift. The fact that you spend the time to handmake cards should be a gift in itself. 300 gifts a year is insanity! If there is no one you can possible just send a card to I suggest you make gifts throughout the year as making and sending gifts under such stress negates the joy of giving. For help in organising for next year I would join Flylady ( and plan and execute your gift making in babysteps.

Regards and good luck for this Christmas!


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By Barbara (Guest Post)
October 20, 20040 found this helpful

re the suggestion of making stationary.....if ya want to be really TW'd print at your local library. Our library allows us something like 400 printed papers a month......2 or 4 to a sheet and you have quite a bit of stationery....or recipes, or a special poem....

give a gift from the heart......find a poem and decorate it for ALL.....enjoy and don't sweat the small stuff........and if these aren't business cards, do you REALLY receive 300 gifts back from all of these people? reconsider and drastically cut the list is what I'd be doing........

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By owenmohrbucks (Guest Post)
October 21, 20040 found this helpful

i thought about this on my way to work today and remembered a little gift that will almost cost you nothing. i know you said you made bookmarks and was looking for something else but here is my bookmark suggestion. have people save you all their junk mail envelopes. cut the corners of the envelopes so you will have a little triangle shape. you can then decorate them with stickers, etc. the bookmark will slip over the corner of the page you are reading.

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By RoseMary (Guest Post)
October 22, 20040 found this helpful

How wonderful you have so many that you want to share Christmas with and those that recieve your hand-made card and gift must feel very special. Keep it up as maybe some of those you send to might only get the one you send. Gifts are not meant to be given only if you get one too. As for something easy, check out the ornaments in a magazine called Scrap and Stamp on page 32 the foil ornaments. They are made by krinkled foil put over ornaments that you cut from cardstock and then use glitter crayons, they are then melted with a heat gun and the affects are wonderful. You punch a small hole and string fancy yarn for the hanger. Cheap and beautiful.

As for the little boy, a learn to read book if great, so many people lean towards videos or toys at this age and a learn to read book is what they need to get a good start at school. I hope this helps.

Rose Mary

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Jesus Christ

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October 22, 20040 found this helpful

How about making tiny travel sewing kits, that people can keep in their wallet.

Get some thin white card and cut into credit-card sized oblongs, rounding off the corners. Cut a few nicks in both of the long sides and wind around a couple of feet of different coloured threads - I suggest black, white, cream, brown and grey. Sew a shirt button on the card and stick a needle and two pins securely through the board. Add a safety pin. Slip the whole thing into a tiny polythene bag, or the corner of one, cut to size. Better still, get some transparent A5 document display wallets and use the bottom corners to make two holders for the sewing kit.

If you can get a cheap job-lot of some tiny embroidery scissors, or folding scissors, these would make a great addition, held in place by weaving between the threads. It might even be worth contacting manufacturers, to see if they can give you a decent price for a bulk order.

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By owenmohrbucks. (Guest Post)
October 22, 20040 found this helpful

for the sewing kit you can cut your card stock and fold it over and staple it like a matchbook cover and decorate the front of it. then wrap your thread around another piece of card stock and put your needle, straight pins, safety pins also on it and then stick it in the matchbook cover.

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By Michael (Guest Post)
October 23, 20040 found this helpful

Is this a joke? If not, you need to chill out. NO ONE IN THIS WORLD actually needs a bookmark! (That's what those annoying little cards in magazines are for!) No one really needs a flat ornament either.
Or, maybe write Martha

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By April (Guest Post)
October 26, 20040 found this helpful

Why don't you give a donation to a charity? They will usually give you small cards if you request them stating the charity you gave money to. You can put these cards in the Christmas cards you send out, and you know that your money is going towards a good cause.

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By brendast (Guest Post)
February 5, 20060 found this helpful

I belong to an email group and we send 'swaps' to each other now and then, which must fit in an envelope. Generally included in mine are a holiday paper napkin, holiday confetti, tea bag, flat candy (Ghirardelli chocolates work great!), post it notes, bookmark, flat magnet, poem or saying, recipe, stickers and seed pack if it's spring or summer. I try to make it festive and fun while keeping it inexpensive and as flat and lightweight as possible.

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By christine V.H. (Guest Post)
September 11, 20060 found this helpful

You might do some scrapbooking to a picture or frame,maybe even a small brag book. All ages seamed to like these. Just make them personal if you can. You can just put there own name on a couple of pages,just use stickers or colorful pens.

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By MissIlona (Guest Post)
October 26, 20060 found this helpful

With reference to your card query, i may have a cheap way of making cards for you. I got a load of handmade paper samples from a discount stationery store and a bumper pack of xmas table confetti. Then i cut the paper samples into small squares, glued on a snowflake or star from the confetti and stuck it on the card.

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By TM (Guest Post)
December 8, 20060 found this helpful

A nice healthy treat is simply dried apricots 1/2 dipped in white chocolate ...I don't even like apricots but I love them done this way.

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By SANDY F (Guest Post)
June 26, 20080 found this helpful

Get a glass salt and pepper shaker and wash and dry thoroughly. Spray paint the top to coorindate with your colors. Put bath powder in the shaker and decorate the outside with buttons, lace, ribbon, etc. This makes an excellent gift for ladies or girls to pack in their suitcase or leave on dresser. Your cost is usually under $1.00.

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By BJ (Guest Post)
December 2, 20080 found this helpful

As a small gift I made business cards. For a cook, clip art picture of a cook stirring a big pot of soup. For a high school girl interested in acting I used clip art Comedy/tragedy. It was a lot of work, but lots of fun doing it and thinking of what they would really be interested in.
I wish someone would give detailed information about bookmarks, are they printed on both sides? Do you laminate them?

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