Thursday, December 30, 2010

My Love for Gift Giving and a Bit On What We Gifted This Holiday Season

Giving is soooo much better than receiving!!! I truly LOVE giving gifts to anyone. There are some people out there you have this natural knacked at giving the best gifts. I would not say that I am one of them, I just really enjoy putting my time and energy into giving a gift that is super duper fitting for the receiver. My stumbling blocks are time, I am a total procrastinator especially when I have to hit the stores to purchase the goods to make things. I have already spent a whole other blog post on this very subject, so I will not bore you with the details here again. Anyway, not only do I procrastinate at finishing gifts, I procrastinate at beginning them too. I am sure both of these faults fall under the same reasoning. So, time, is this HUGE issue as it takes time to come up with the perfect gift, it takes time to gather supplies, it takes time to make it, it takes time to wrap it, and than it takes time to get the family ready to gift the gift. Now, if the gift is as ultra spectacular as I would like, than all of this is totally worth it because I get to see the pleasure of the recipient opening this super dee duper fantastic present. Stepping off of my high horse, I really do not think that the gifts our family gives are all that spectacular. It is the entire package that is near and dear to my heart. Whether store bought or handmade I take gift giving seriously because it makes me ultra happy and all warm and fuzzy to gift things to others that I have put a great deal of thought, energy, and love into. The whole point of this story is that I would like to share a bit of what we did for Holiday Gift Giving this season.

I used the December 2010 issue of Everyday Food a Martha Stewart magazine to make food gift baskets for quite a few people. The baskets included Pear/ Apple Butter, Fruit Jellies, Salted Chocolate Tarts, Peanut Brittle, Shortbread Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies, Gingered Nuts, Sugar Cookies, Bacon Jam, and a Loaf of Homebaked Country White Bread. These were really fun to make and the kids were able to help a lot. My only recommendation in the food area, is DO NOT use recipes you have never made before when on time restraints!!! I made three batches of Peanut Brittle and it still was a bit sticky. The first one never hardened, the second one I burnt to a crisp, and well the third we gifted, but like I said it was bit sticky. There were a few other blunders in there, but for the most part it was a bit of a success. Food is kinda more difficult when you are doing of the beaten path recipes. I am sure there is much Bacon Jam in the dumpster as it is definitely love or hate relationship.

Last year I tried out these Lotion Bars and all of the receivers liked them, so we did them again, but with peppermint this time around. The day I made them, I came across this post and recipe for Peppermint Lip Balm. It was so fitting that we threw them in the gift bag too.

My lovely husband really wanted to make 4 clothespin doormats he came across in this book. He made one, and moved onto making bird feeders out of Martini glasses for the other 3 gifts. Inspiration for the bird feeders was out the of the same book as the doormat. We actually received the book for Christmas from our friends a few years ago.

I recently bought this from Amy Karol and used a few of the recipes to make little toiletry baskets for my mom and daughter. Way simple, not very time consuming, and they are both loving their goodies. At the last minute I decided to throw in a few of these scarves. I thought they were much too simple to throw together and way too cute to pass up. I ended up using this fabric to make one for my sister and mom.

I mentioned the Amy Butler Gum Drop Pillows in a post earlier this week. I was little apprehensive about making them at first, but really they were super quick to sew up and very satisfying as they are super duper cute!

I dabbled a little here and there in making homemade bread last year. I kinds tucked it on the back burner as it was one of those things that was just not take priority at that time. But, recently a friend of mine began baking her own bread and even went out to buy a Kitchenaid mixer to knead her bread so she would successfully bake all of her bread at home in the near future. The Kitchenaid mixer definitely makes a huge difference in the kneading area especially of you plan on making whole wheat bread. Anyhow, I decided to gift her the Tassajara Bread Recipe Book and make a few Cotton Bread Bags. I used 100% cotton purchased at a local fabric store here and added my own ribbons and stitches to beauty them up. In the near future I will be gifting myself this very gift ;)

So there you have it, we really gift pretty simply, but it really truly does come from our hearts.

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