Homemade ones of course!
For the past few years, my friends and I have been making homemade gifts for one another. I LOVE IT! I love thinking about what I can make that they may enjoy and I love receiving their thoughtful gifts too!
Several of my friends bake and share. For working moms, it is a task to get your Christmas baking done. Since most of my friends hold jobs on top of being a mom, I really feel honored when they share the treats they have made. Peppermint Bark, Fudge, Sugar Cookies made with Grandma's past-down-through-the generations-recipe, Gingerbread Reindeer, Turtles, Thumbprint Cookies, Spritz Cookies...yum, yum, yum!!!
This year I received Homemade Vanilla Extract! (HVE) If you happened to have a few of my Buckeyes this year, you benefited from this wonderful gift. That tiny brown bottle I received is like gold! When uncapped, it smells of baking-heaven! Oh, if my kitchen were operational that gift would be long gone! I am sure by Valentine's Day I will need to replenish my vanilla extract supply. I will definitely need to start my own vanilla extract making. HVE is better than store bought because there are not artificial anythings in it and no added corn syrup. You know exactly what the ingredients are and it even gets better with age!
Another wonderful gift I received it a cloth tote bag. It has the perfect length shoulder straps and has carried my crafting items & camera back and forth next door over this holiday season. It's colors were chosen just for me! They are bright and happy colors: red, yellows, whites with a touch of blue and green. I have had to keep an eye on it though...I have a daughter who keeps migrating towards it and I fear if I turn the other way it will end up emptied onto the table and then filled with her things!
My same, very-crafty-friend who made the bag also made me a Felted Teacup Pin Cushion. It's so sweet! Besides making all my extended family who was in for the holidays smell my vanilla, they had to look at my teacup too! Now that they have all gone home, my teacup will sit next to my sewing machine.
My niece, yet another crafty soul, made me note cards with photos on the front. All the photos are of nature and ones she took while recently in San Diego. She's got a wonderful eye for catching shapes, colors and texture on film. I am planning on using her note cards for my thank-yous this year.
One more gift I need to mention was a photo scrapbook my sister got for my brother and me. Although not "homemade" in the true sense of the word, it is too special not to note. The book is a collection of photos from our grandmothers house. Photos of great-grandparents, aunts & uncles known, unknown and from long ago. Even baby pictures of our mom! The photos are labeled as best they could be and our grandmother's handwriting adorns a few of the precious photos. The book was professionally printed and bound. I can't imagine trying to select photos to include or not in this book. What a task! What a treasure! What a precious gift!
My gifts to my friends were painted flower pots. Each one was painted a base color and then I added snow drifts and snow people. Depending on the family size they had from 2-6 snow people: one for each family member.
I included a sign on the pot with their family name. As a finishing touch I included the date and my name on the bottom. Hopefully these keepsakes will brighten their holidays through the years to come. I enjoyed making these treats very much!Time to start thinking about next year now!