Owing to a general lack of funds and husband's impending redundancy we were thinking about making Christmas presents for some of our friends to try and lighten the load a bit...something like nice biscuits. Is that an acceptable thing to do, or does it scream "you mean as much to me as...cheap biscuits"?
For Christmas, my friends and I always do a secret santa, but we set the limit at £2. It's a really funny way to see how imaginative you can be at getting something for such a small amount of money. It keeps spending to a minimum as well because you only have to buy for one person.
Last year my best friend made all her xmas presents for people. She made candles (she got some pots and filled them with the wax and wick, and then painted the outside of the pots - personalised for each recipient) and she also made little felt/fur stuffed birds and sewed mini clothes-pegs onto them so you can attach them to shelves, light fittings etc. They went down really well and nobody made any negative comments to each other about then being home-made or anything. This year I've also made personalised bracelets for some of my friends (a couple of multipacks of beads, some thin elastic and you're sorted). Baked goods are always nice too and I'm sure you wouldn't get any complaints! You could maybe write people's names on biscuits/cakes with icing or something? I also heard someone saying the other day that they were going to make sock monkeys for all their friends - seems like quite a cool idea! There's loads of patterns etc on the internet and apparently it's not too tricky. Anyhoo, I'll stop babbling on now! Basically, I conclude that home-made stuff is a great idea - a lot of people are a bit short of money this xmas and whilst making something for someone is cheaper, it's perhaps a bit more special and personal than buying something.
it depends who they go to. I would love something like this but I know people who are very materialistic to the extent of working our where it was bought,how much it cost to see whether you have spent enough on them :-s
You also have to watch how much it costs you to make them. KNowing me I would mess them up so much that I would get through £££ in ingredients
======= Date Modified 02 Dec 2009 13:58:31 =======
Well, I'm doing it. I have done for a few years now for cousins and other family, they've loved it and people for whom I haven't made biscuits have felt quite jealous and left out. I find personalised ones work well, with initials and things on them, or there are those giant ginger bread Christmas biscuits in the shape of a heart, with personalised messages on them and christmas icing. or dried fruit etc decoration.
I tried to do my famous ginger biscuits for the family during xmas to share last year. But I left the gingerbread men out to cool with the icing pens next to them, and my hubby came along and drew rude bits on them :$ - completely ruined, I had to eat them all myself ;-)
Thanks for all the replies, that's very reassuring. There is some context here in that my mother in law is very sniffy about home made cards, she actually prefers the shop bought ones with the cheesy poems in! so it's made me a bit wary of making presents for people.
I know what you mean about cost of ingredients too, and then buying jars/tins to put them in...
We had secret santa at a place I worked at in Australia where the limit was $5 (about £2 I think) and someone bought be a bottle of fanta (down)
hmm do we have the same Mother in Law? Mine got very snooty when her neices hand made a card (they were 8 and 10) and went on for ages about how they couldn't be bothered to buy one and it was "so cheap" - very odd
I always like making sweets - fudge, toffee, chocs. The good thing is if you practice you've got a really nice handmade present for all occasions - Valentine's Day, Birthdays, Easter, Halloween.
Sneaks, I know, I find the whole attitude bizarre. She was up a height when we got married because we made our own invites. My own mum goes to the other extreme - she wanted us to reuse the leftover invitations from my sisters wedding (which was 12 years ago), claiming that we could just rip the inserts out and write our own names in!
Really living up to her Yorkshirewoman stereotype, I think...
I can never understand the snooty attitude to homemade presents. In my mind a homemade gift is worth far more than a shop bought present. Anyone with a bit of cash in their pockets can go and buy something, but if someone has made something for you then it means they've taken time, thought of you, and put something of themselves into your gift and that is way more valuable (up)
In my experience, I find the problem with homemade gifts is the time you've bought the ingredients, spent 5 hours making them (burning them), and the buying pretty wrapping, it ends up costing as much as buying something. M&S are selling nice biscuits - two boxes for a fiver.
You could always pass the biscuits off as your own to add that personal touch. This might be seen as culinary plagiarism though.
For the ultimate in scabbiness, how about folding an empty box out of A4 card, then printing this on it: -
I took an ordinary box
As empty as can be
I filled it with a special gift
And wrapped it carefully.
But please don't ever open it
Just leave the ribbon tied
And hold it tightly near your heart
Because my love for you's inside!
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