As I have been recovering from hand surgery, I have had some extra time to reflect and reminisce over the past couple of weeks, thinking about the gifts that have meant the most to me. They’re not expensive gifts — no diamonds, roses, or expensive dinners. What has meant the most to me are gifts of time, gifts of memories, and, of course, the gift of spending time with friends and family.
Gifts of Time
One of my favorite gifts comes from my husband every year, usually for my birthday, but it could really be given any time of year — it’s the gift of a clean house. Christmas cooking often generates quite a mess — if someone cleans up the mess while you are taking a nap, recovering from your cooking marathon — that is quite a gift!
Another non-food gift of time is a coupon book. You can make them for anything you want to do to spend time with someone. This search on pinterest shows a variety of coupon books you could make for a special someone in your family. Just be ready to give that person your time when they want to redeem it later! Be sure to specify if there are any terms, or conditions to your coupon book, or if it will expire.
There are also several homemade gifts that are really nice to give to your family and friends. For instance, buy inexpensive, holiday food containers at your local dollar store, or department store and then make a variety of cookies and give each family several cookies of each type. I love to make these 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies — they’re inexpensive, gluten-free (as they contain no flour), and super easy.
Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
This recipe is very simple:
Take 1 cup peanut butter and microwave it for 30 seconds, stir, repeat until the peanut butter is very liquidy (like cake batter).
Immediately, mix in 1 cup sugar, or Splenda — both work well (I haven’t tried any other sweeteners), and 1 beaten egg.
Drop by teaspoonsfulls onto an ungreased cookie sheet (I often dip a fork into sugar, and cross it bothways on the doughball to give it an extra bit of sweetening) Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, or until the cookies have just started to crack and are light brown.
You could also make candy in a crockpot — this recipe makes about 8 dozen of average cookie-sized candies. The ingredients cost around $15 at the store, but you can give a good amount to everyone you wish for very little effort.
Bud’s Crockpot Candy
We make this recipe once or twice a year. It is often requested at potlucks. We have used peanuts, and almonds in it, but have not tried other nuts, or fillings.
If you like peppermint, this peppermint bark is amazing! If you choose to add this to your food container with a variety of other cookies, be sure to double bag them in baggies. Otherwise, the strong flavor of peppermint will transfer to the other cookies in your container.
I first tried this fudge at a church women’s retreat. It is very easy, and incredibly rich!
Gifts of Memories
“I Love You to Pieces” Picture Frame
If you’d rather make a craft for a present, then this one that my daughter made is not only easy, but also an incredible memory maker! You just get a wooden picture frame in the craft section of the department store, dollar store, or craft store; a bottle of mod podge; some miscellaneous puzzle pieces, some acrylic paint, a special picture, and a paint brush. Paint the frame however you like, and paint the puzzle pieces, too. After the paint dries, write, “I Love You to Pieces!” with a Sharpie, or other permanent marker. Then, glue the puzzle pieces to the frame, and, once the glue has dried, add a coat of mod-podge to seal everything. Once that dries, add a second coat of mod-podge to the entire frame (including the puzzle pieces) to seal it even more. After everything has dried, add the picture of yourself, your child, your family, or whatever you want.
Need: 1 wallet sized picture, toothpick, and a glass ornament.
Simply roll a wallet-sized picture up from the left-side in, so you end up with the outside showing. Then insert it into the glass ornament and using a toothpick, gently unroll the picture inside. Now, what can get easier than that? And, you end up with a gift to treasure for many years!
“52 Reasons I love you” Pack of cards
Since each card will have a different quote, personality trait, memory, or whatever on it, these cards probably won’t fly in Vegas, but they would make a treasured memory keepsake for your gift recipient for years to come.
If you need additional diy last minute Pennywise Christmas Gifts, just do a quick Pinterest search.
I hope you all have a terrific Christmas Holiday filled with special memories that will last a lifetime.