It's Not Too Late For Dee Iye whY Presents

"Dear Santa, I am so happy that Christmas is almost here. Are you?" Pencil and marker and a bit of photoshop - © Y.Barrage, 2007

There are people out there who have everything ready for the holidays by now. Every single present has been purchased, wrapped and tagged; all invitations have been sent out and been replied to; festive meal menus are not only printed on parchment paper, but the food itself has been cooked and frozen in anticipation of the big day. I'm sure there are people out there like that.

Well, not me. This is when I start my shopping and/or scramble to come up with home-made stuff. So if you're like me, fear not, here are some really fun ideas that won't break the bank and won't take 3 days to prepare. And if you're snowed in like we are today, chances are you might even have what you need to come up with personalized presents already somewhere around your home. Bonus: most of these ideas are environmentally responsible, frugal and easy as pie. Or tea.

Lots of interesting ideas can be found on the Buy Nothing Christmas site. But I've also found a number of hilarious offerings online, including an exploding frog, a soda-lightful bath fizz, bath bombs and jellies. They are fun, quick and easily tailored to your recipient's tastes (and sense of humour), and your own creativity.

The Family Fun website has a long list of suggestions that can be made with or for children, but I found the following most adaptable: a Velvet Notebook, a project that can also be made by wrapping a blank notebook, a small sketchbook, or even a photo album or two in coordinated paper or fabric.
Home-made clay for both kids and grown ups, safer to use that store-bought play dough or modeling clay. For children, you can include some plastic cookie cutters that can be found for pennies almost anywhere. For a hobbyist, you can include clay sculpting tools, and a printed recipe for baked clay.
Another cute idea is called Bandages for the soul, a collection of quotes and sayings. A grown-up version of this might be creating a wall decoration with some favourite inspirational words - an inexpensive stetched canvas painted in a favourite colour, and the words carefully painted out. If that's too hard, then use a beautiful hand-made paper and ink or an art marker.
How about some Emoticon magnets, similar to projects I've already shown how to do here. Now these are really easy and not two can be alike.

Another really inexpensive idea, although not very quick, only requires your time and your printer. Why not research a particular topic that your gift recipient might be interested in, and compile a folder with all the printed information? Or even varied articles on current health news, political analysis, book and movie reviews - I know that I hardly have time to keep up and miss being able to browse magazines or newspapers for more than just functional information. Other ideas could include how-tos, free crochet and knitting patterns (Lion Brand Yarns and Bernat are great for that), easy recipes (check out Bobbie's other blog and a bunch of others I'll think of in a bit; or Canadian Living Magazine's Make-it-tonight collection). You can pretty up easily.

Finally, if you know how to bake - even if it's only plain oatmeal cookies or no-bake-rice-krispie-squares - why not bake a batch of goodies and wrap it up nicely? My kids love those kinds of presents - and so do their mum and dad.

Remember also that a lot of the pleasure of giving is that it comes from the heart. It's not how much you spent, or how many mall crowds you had to battle that counts, it's that you were thinking of that person when you were creating your gift. And hopefully, the good feelings you had in your heart became part of the present too.


Andi said...

These are great ideas. Thanks!

dianeclancy said...

Hi Rima,

These are great ideas!! Thank you for sharing them.

Now it is sleeting again instead of snowing ... hours ago we had a new foot. And a foot the other day.

~ Diane Clancy

Debi said...

Woo hoo! You read my mind! (Wink wink...in between moves on Scrabulous).

Thanks for all the fabo ideas. One that I particularly liked and thought was novel was the research one. Which is a lot like what you've done as a gift for your readers here. Say, you are very clever, aren't you?

And of course, you had already given us the adorable (and scrumptious) Chai recipe. I'm surprised any of us can sleep after that one. (Or am I the only ...right before bed for the past week.)

Three Cheers for Rima!

Rima said...

Has anyone noticed a huge spelling mistake? I will leave it there and fix it on Monday. Let's see if everyone is as senile as I am. Or if you've all been too polite to correct me.

Neda said...

Since I am sister, I don't need to be polite, right? Except, I can't find the mistake :)

I tend to be OCD so most of my shopping has already been done (thank you Amazon) but I always prefer the handmade-from-the-heart-kind. One of the nicest gift I remember YOU gave me was the cooking booknote you made for me (you illustrated it and entitled it "Wake Up your Domestic Diva"). I love it and I use the recipes at least twice a week...hint hint? B-day coming up..need more ideas since I am such a kitchen klutz. Great post, Rima!

Debi said...

I didn't catch any real spelling mistakes, but I did see the typo here "not too can be alike."

Do I get a prize? Huh? Huh? No? Aw shucks. The friendship is the real gift anyway. Now I gotta go kick some you-know-what in Scrabulous. >;>

Rima said...

Thanks, Debi - I'll correct that one tomorrow too. still waiting to get my a** kicked, hehe...

Maybe if I say mistake instead of misspelling, someone might see it.
Anyone? Anyone?

Sweet Irene said...

I love getting stuff, home made, store bought, it doesn't matter. As long as there is a bit of heart and thought put into it. Giving is good, but receiving is almost just as good, if not better. Yes, maybe I am a greedy little capitalist after all!

Sweet Irene said...

It is DIY and not DYI, is that your mistake?

Debi said...

LOL. Irene found it!


Bobbie said...

Love the ideas, and you are absolutely right to go against the flow and create your own Christmas tradition. Not one of shopping, tinsel, and hype. But one of loving, caring and tradition. I'll be checking out all these links and thank you for searching them out for us.

I give up, I can't find a spelling mistake, I'm sure you must be mistaken :)

Bobbie said...

p.s. Most importantly I LOVE THE ARTWORK! So colorful and so interesting.

belinha said...

Hello Rima!!
How are you?
I don't have internet chez moi so I can't visit all my favourite blogs at once!!Just one at a time!This is an excelent post!My Christmas this year will be very little about giving stuff...Only bought presents to mom, dad,sister and nephew.I'm very short of money, very short of time, very short of ideas!!!Plus we have unusual really cold days and all I want is to stay home doing one of two things: eating or sleeping!I spent mornings learning graphic programs at school.I already know a bit of Freehand now!!isn't that great?!!If you want to learn a vector program this one is fast to download and easy to use.
I see that your husband is also into art!Photos!You're an artistic family!I wish I had a good digital camera.I have an old Olympus.I like it but it's not digital.Well, I must go know...I will be back for Christmas!!!(Like Santa...but without presents!)Big hug!

Rima said...

Yup, Irene indeed did get it! Yay, Irene, you've earned the title of "sharpest editor" - and my admiration! it's so easy to let such a stupid mistake slip by, and it wasn't even a typo - I was convinced this was it (because I was also thinking of MYO, and BYOB, hehe..). Silly me and clever Irene!
Bobbie, thanks for liking the artwork - I should have credited it earlier. This is Yasmine's ode to Santa - notice how glamorous and big-haired she is, and how tiny her little sister is (even though Maya comes up to her chin, she's tall for her age). I can't say my girls have any self-esteem issues whatsoever.
Thanks for playing along!