On Christmas Morning my children and grandchildren arrive at my house to open presents and have brunch, it’s another family tradition started when the kids were young.
The bests gifts I receive are always homemade ones. It means that the giver cared enough to take the time to DIY Christmas gifts. I specially love homemade candies and cookies.
They look pretty, you can make them any color and shape you want. Learn how to make these cream cheese mints here! [spacer height=”-20px”]
You can put almost anything in a jar and make it look good, seriously! It’s a convenient and inexpensive way to package DIY Christmas gifts, or gifts for any other time of year.
Here are a few suggestions:
Ice Cream Topping and other gifts in a jar from Mom Laughs.
For my cookie mix gifts and free printable click here!
For my cappuccino mix and free printable click here!
Grab a case of clementines from the fruit market to make these cute and healthy clementine wreaths. No cooking or baking involved!
For instructions click here!
It can be used to top ice cream, pancakes, and more! I love it for my homemade bread pudding!
For recipe click here! [spacer height=”-20px”]
You can use you’re own cookie recipe or even buy refrigerated cookie dough from your local grocery store.
click here for recipe!
For more ideas follow me on Pinterest!
I made two of them for my twin grand kids, Harper and Sadi. Loved it so much I made some for the other grands and my sister-in-law’s grandkids as well. I used the free pattern from Creatiknit which I accented with Holly Leaves and Berries. I added a cute gingham bow to Harper’s hat. I tied a large jingle bell at the tips so the kids jingle when they walk. FUN!
The pattern uses #6 worsted yarn and a Size N hook, the stitches work up very quickly! Instead of using #6 worsted yarn for the hat body I used one strand of #4 yarn in red and one strand of #4 Caron Simply Soft Party yarn in sparkle red. I held both strands together while making the hats. For the white trim I used Bernat Baby Blanket Super Bulky #6 yarn in white. I used this for the pompom too. The holly leaves and berries are made with #4 yarn in green and red. I made the bow using 5/8″ ribbon.
Hook Size N 9mm
#4 worsted yarn in red, sparkle red, and green
#6 bulky yarn in white
We love to send Christmas Photo Cards, it’s a great way to give family and friends updates. I love to receive them too! It’s always a pleasure to see how everyone is doing and wonder how much the kids have grown from year to year.
Sure you can pop a Santa cap on everyone’s head, and maybe even dress them in Christmas T-shirts or frilly dresses. Then you all can stand together by a Christmas tree and have someone snap a photo. Or hop over to the photo studio at Walmart or Target and have them take your photos. Yes, you’ll have Christmas Photo Cards to send, but will they be awesome? Probably not, they’ll be just like everyone else’s family picture in front of a Christmas tree or fireplace, in short, mundane and possibly boring.
And yes you can take your own photo at home, have a friend or family member do it, go to a photo studio, or hire a photographer. Do whatever feels comfortable for you and your family and what fits your budget.
Think about how you want your picture to be. Formal, fun, scenic, or whatever fits your family’s personality.
Think about where you want your photo taken. Sure you can do it at home or at a studio, but think outside of the box.
How about outdoors? If you live by a park or green area you can do a photo shoot there. Or maybe an ice skating rink, playground, or a nice block in your neighborhood.
Once you decide where you want to take your photo you plan on the time to take it. If you’re going to a photo studio then book your appointment as soon as possible. If you decided to shoot outside then you may want to wait until Christmas decorations are out, usually by Thanksgiving, so you have plenty of time to take your photos.
Decide on your wardrobe. PJs are great if you’re going for a Night Before Christmas look. Sweaters are a must if you’re shooting outdoors in cold weather. If you don’t already have the outfits you can buy or borrow some. Don’t forget to check out thrift stores and resale shops for kids’ Christmas outfits, they’re generally worn once and outgrown; you may find some treasures at a resale shop!
Gather your props. Gift boxes, ornaments, gift bags, and even strings of lights make great props. Best of all you probably have them tucked away in your closets! If you need cool Santa Hats check out my crocheted ones here!
Once you decided on place, time, wardrobe, and props all that’s really left to do it to get it done.
On the day of your appointment be sure the kids are well fed and dressed comfy on the way to the studio or photo location. You don’t want cranky kids in scratchy clothing grumbling and crying before you take pictures.
Remember to bring your wardrobe and props. If you’re going to a studio or have hired a professional photographer you may not need to bring your own props, but check with them before hand.
When you arrive at the studio or location get everyone dressed and ready to go. Then smile!
You’ll want to take several poses, and even different groupings. That way you’ll have lots of photos to choose from!
And remember have fun during the photo shoot!
This jelly dessert consists of cubed colored gelatin embedded in a creamy mold. My family usually serves this during the holidays, hence the red, and green gelatin. However it doesn’t mean you can’t have it the rest of the year. I used a silicone polymer pan however you will use any mold you prefer.
Here’s a recipe from Cathedral Window Jelly Dessert.
1 (3oz/85g) box of strawberry jelly powder
1 (3oz/85g) box of lime jelly powder
1 (3oz/85g) box of lemon or mango jelly powder
1 cup boiling water per 3 oz box
⅓ cup cold water per 3 oz box
½ cup pineapple juice
½ cup condensed milk
½ cup heavy cream
4 tbsp sugar
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cups water
3 tbsp unflavoured gelatin
1 cup boiling water
1.In three separate mixing bowls, completely dissolve the contents of each envelope of flavored jelly powder in 1 cup boiling water. Stir in ⅓ cup cold water to each. Transfer each gelatin flavor in square or rectangular containers and refrigerate until they set. Cut the flavored gelatin into cubes and arrange in your preferred jelly molds (I used a silicone bundt pan).
2.In a medium bowl, combine pineapple juice, condensed milk, heavy cream, sugar and salt. Stir with wire whisk until incorporated. Set aside.
3.In another mixing bowl, combine 1½ cup water and 3 tbsp unflavored gelatin powder. Stir until the powder completely dissolves. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes.Gently add 1 cup boiling water to the gelatin mixture then continue stirring until the mixture is clear.
4.Pour the gelatin mixture into the milk mixture, whisking until well incorporated. Pour this gelatin-milk mixture evenly over the jelly cubes in the mold. Allow to set in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
5.To serve, turn the jelly dessert out onto a serving plate.
I thought I was clever when years ago I bought a dozen large plastic bins from Walmart to store everything in. Still a good idea, but somehow every year I need more bins.
I don’t know why the same ornaments won’t fit back in the bins they came out of. Of course there’s the new stuff I got at the after Christmas sales, they need to be stored too.
I’m not looking forward to the chore, but it must be done. With a few new storage ideas and taking a few extra steps to organize everything I think I can do this. Here are a few tips I found around the web, cheap organization tips that use re-cycled and re-purposed items most of us have at home.
The bins are still handy, get the ones you can see thru so you know which bins to pull out next year. Assorted bins can be purchased at Walmart, Home Depot, and other discount stores. There are “special” bins such wreath storage bags and ornament storage boxes, they are more expensive and I’ve always thought don’t store much and take up too much room, there are easier and cheaper ways to organize and store all the ornaments, the cheap large rectangular bins work best to keep smaller containers organized in one place.
Clear sided large plastic bins
Egg cartons, fruit cartons, take out drink caddies, plastic cups, empty water bottles, or ziplock bags – you can use any of these containers or a combination of them – depending on what you have available
Large trash bags (for the tree, and other large odd shaped items)
Clothes hangers (for wreathes)
1. Wrap lights to keep them from getting tangled. This will save you the frustration of untangling them next year.
Before placing them in a bin wrap them around a hanger or piece of flat cardboard (cut slits on each end of the cardboard, they will hold the light plugs in place
Or wind them around empty coffee cans. Use masking tape and markers to label the lights – indoor tree lights or outdoor ones
2. You can use the same technique to store garland or you can store beaded garland in empty water bottles.[spacer height=”-20px”]
3. There are several ways to store ornaments depending on the type of ornament as well as what supplies you have on hand.
Learn how to make this inexpensive hanging bin to store ornaments from Craptastic.
Store smaller ones in egg cartons.
Glue plastic cups on to cardboard and stack them in your bins for fragile and odd shaped ornaments.
Use Ziplock type bags to store ornaments, you can organize them by type, color, etc. This would work well for the shatterproof balls, if you store fragile ornaments this way you will need to use old towels and linens to cushion them and keep them from breaking.[spacer height=”-20px”]
4. Wrap fragile ceramic pieces from your Christmas Village, hurricane vases, candle holders, etc. in old linens before placing them in your bins. Better yet re-purpose hurricane vases, cake stands, and candle holders and use them when you decorate for other holidays through out the year.