Holiday Wish-dom

Plateful of Christmas Cookies

Image via Wikipedia

Christmas is almost here. The holiday is only 33 days away from busting into your wallet and tearing up your credit cards for another year.

Avoid the pain of holiday shopping crowds and mountains of returned presents by making your own gifts in the kitchen and around the house.

From the Kitchen

Make heart-felt gifts for every person on your Christmas list. Start with goodie jars. Fill canning jars with irresistible munchies or cookie mixes. A simple recipe which produces awesome cookies is nothing more than 1 box of cake mix, 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Get creative by adding nuts, candies or other sweet morsels to the mix. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes.

For the gift jar, create a hang tag that tells the recipient to add 2 eggs and 1/4 cup of oil. Include the baking instructions. Now, empty your favorite flavor of cake mix into a bowl. Add nuts, chocolate chips or any other goodies that go well with the cake mix flavor. Stir the mix and added nuts or candies together. Fill the jar and seal with a pretty ribbon. Add the hang tag. The recipient simply empties the jar into a bowl, adds the eggs and oil and bakes. You make a gift that is inexpensive, the recipient makes delicious cookies and you both save money.

From the Garden

Root cuttings of your favorite plants. Start now or they will be really tiny on Christmas morning. Transplant the new plants into decorative pots and attach a hang tag describing the plant and care instructions.

From the Workbench

Make a decorative wall hat rack with 18 inches of pine. You’ll need a 1×10 pine board, cut to 18 inches. Sand it smooth, with the grain. Select a decorative wallpaper border. You can find some great ones in the discount bins of wallpaper stores. Pre-pasted works best. Apply the border to the pine board and allow it to dry. Screw 4 to 6 decorative hooks into the pine board, spaced so several hats can hang at the same time. Varnish the entire piece and allow it to dry. You can vary this project by turning it into a glove dryer. Simply tie two clothes pins together with twine and hang them over the hooks. The clothes pins hold the gloves while they dry.

I hope this gives you some ideas on how to give gifts from the heart and save money too.

Happy Holidays!

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