Monday, March 7, 2011

Solstice 2011 Gift Ideas

It's never too early to start coming up with gift ideas for the holidays! I've learned the sooner I start on them, the less of a hassle November and December are for me. Simplifying my expectations and gifts has helped a lot too. I now only purchase 1 gift for each kid plus stocking stuffers and everyone else gets handmade.
I like to mix it up and try to give everyone a basket of goodies. This year, I have started dabbling in making homemade raw chocolate and all I can say is YUM! I also and in love with elixirs thanks to Kiva and Ananda and some local friends who made a very inspiring black walnut elixir.

Planning ahead not only saves a lot of headaches but it allows for a lot of room for coming up with the results. For instance, in the past I have filled paper bags with goodies but this year I think I'd like to give actual baskets that can be reused. I can pick up baskets for $.50 - $2.00 at thrift shops so I'll be accumulating baskets over the coming year. I'll also grab cloth napkins at .50 each to line the baskets with. If I wanted to make this a no-cost Solstice, I could start dabbling in basket making as we have lots of honeysuckle and sew simple square linings out of scraps of fabric I have lying about for previous crafts but I think I'll pass this year. And, since I know I'll be giving elixirs and chocolates, I am thinking about packaging that is reusable. I have lots of altoid tins and other tins that I can decoupage for the chocolates and/or I can purchase some larger ones at the thrift shops, also for about $1-2 each. Elixirs taste fine out of a jar but are extra special if they are in a pretty bottle. I'll be saving old bottles such as salad dressing bottles, olive oil bottles and anything else that has a long skinny neck, such as a vinegar bottle. Occasionally I find pretty decanter bottles for $1-3 as well, I may grab a few for those extra special people in my life. Once the elixirs are made, I can dip the lid in melted beeswax to seal it off.
I plan to dedicate a shelf in the basement for storing baskets, bottles and tins so I can quickly see what I've got and remember where I've stashed them all. As for the tins, I hope to use rainy days to have the kids help me decoupage them so that I have a ready supply ready to be used come December.
My goal this year is to have the majority of my gifts made by the end of October. That will leave making the chocolate at the last minute but chocolate is really quick and simple to make so that won't be a problem. 

Have you begun thinking about the holidays this year and what you'll be making for them? In what ways have you begun to prepare?


Plantain said...

What great ideas. I reuse the mints boxes but never redecorated them. Thank you!

karisma said...

Oh thanks for the ideas! Every year I say I am going to start early and every year I end up cramming it all into a couple of weeks.

I absolutely LOVE those tins! We also (in our family) keep baskets and refill them as gifts (mind you I tend to keep the bigger ones for herb collection :-) A friend of mine crochets baskets out of old sheets and clothes. She is amazing! Last year she made the best basket out of my old doona cover and gave it to another friend filled with goodies. It was AWESOME! Will have to give it a try myself this year. Gotta love a gift made with love and recycled to boot!!!

mwah xoxox thank you!

Yzzy said...

i wonder if any old tin can will do??? like pepper cans, etc. i wish i was an artsy gal. lol.

tansy said...

definitely yzzy. i collect all sorts of tins and use them at various times.

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