Thursday, July 27, 2006

Christmas Gift Ideas ...

It's nearing August which means September is just right around the corner; hence, the need to start preparing your Christmas list. If you're not Filipino, you won't understand my rambling. See, in my country, we celebrate Christmas starting September and end it after the Chinese New Year which is normally around February.

So for you out there who happen to have the creative bug, here are some gift ideas that I got from here.

Personalised Recipe BookIf one of your recipients is a vegetarian or has a penchant for curry, loves anything with tomatoes in or is a sucker for chocolate, make use of the fact by making a personalised recipe book. Start collecting appropriate recipes from books or magazines and purchase a small, inexpensive book to write them in. Copy them out in your neatest handwriting or use calligraphy if you are talented. If you have artistic flair, you can also include illustrations! What a delight this would be to the avid cook or foodlover.
Homemade Stationary
You need ordinary envelopes and cheap cartridge paper or newsprint. Now go through all your magazines and cut out decorative pictures or illustrations. Stick them to the fronts of the envelopes down the left or across the top. If possible stick matching borders or motifs on to the paper too. If you cannot get them to match, not to worry, just try to get illustrations with a matching colourway.
Chocolate Spoons
Buy a pack of plastic picnic spoons. These are very cheap and you can get literally dozens in a pack (enough to make all your presents!) Melt some chocolate with a knob of butter in a dish stood in a pan of boiling water. When the chocolate is runny dip the spoons up to where the handle starts into the chocolate. Place on greaseproof paper to dry then wrap with cellophane wrap and finish with a pretty bow. To add flavour you can add liqueurs, mint, or coffee, orange or vanilla flavouring to the melted chocolate mix.
Dress Up Box For Kids
You have to start this present halfway through the year as you can add to it as you go along. Obtain a large cardboard box from your local supermarket and cover it with pretty wrapping paper. If desired stick a large label on the front with the name of the recipient on it. Every time you go into town, browse round the charity shops and pick up cheap hats, scarves, veils, tutus, jewellery, gloves and small size dresses or jackets. Kids will go mad for something like this and you can tailor the clothing to a girl or a boy.
Santa's Sweeties
Instead of buying the kiddies selection boxes which are just a collection of chocolate bars packed together and grossly overpriced, why not build up a store of regular chocolate bars or packets of sweets throughout the year. Every time you visit the supermarket add a couple to your basket. Come Christmas time, divide the sweets between how many children you are catering for, into pretty bags made out of wrapping paper. Decorate with ribbons & bows. You will save a fortune!
Get a book on calligraphy from the library and make personalized gifts by writing a poem, or if you are not that confident, the recipient's name on delicately coloured paper or card. Add a pressed flower or two and mount in a bargain frame.
Personalised Towels
A set of cheap white hand towels can be made unique by the addition of coloured ribbon or braid sewn approx. 3 inches from each end. Make them extra special by attaching the initials of the recipients with some scrap fabric and Bondaweb. Practical and customised!
Decorated Coffee Jar
Don't throw out your coffee, jam or pickle jars, especially if they are those really beautifully shaped ones that you get nowadays. All you need are some sequins or diamantes, which cost literally pennies from haberdashers. Stick them on at random and glue a label to the front with "coffee", "spice", "pasta" or anything else which the jar might be utilised for storing. Tie a silver or gold bow round the neck of the jar.
Hand Decorated Ceramics
If you are artistic, why not purchase a set of plain white ceramic egg cups, tea cups or plain glasses which are extremely inexpensive. Using a bottle of ceramic paint decorate by hand or stencil or stamp on each one to make them unique. If possible find out before hand the colour scheme preferred.
A Set Of Fridge Magnets
Decide who you are going to give fridge magnets to earlier on in the year and take some photos of either the person or their children. Make small squares or circles out of cardboard and stick the photos onto the card. Finish by attaching small magnets to the backs.

Personalised Photo Album
Photograph albums can be picked up very cheaply, especially when sold together in bulk; i.e. three or five sets cellophaned together. Cover the albums with pretty fabric or lace and stencil the recipient's initials on the front to personalise it.

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Hi! Let's all try to add more positivity in this world and adhere to the saying, "if you don't have anything nice to say, keep silent."

Showering you with unicorn poop so you'd always stay magical! Heart heart!