For some, Christmas shopping can be a total breeze. I’m talking about the Winter Warriors. Santa’s Soldiers. I, for sure, am not one of the Winter Warrior elite; in fact, I’m more of a Frosty Failure when it comes to holiday gift buying.
I always end up spending far too much green in exchange for not nearly enough holiday cheer, and while Great Uncle Dave is out by the fireplace being praised for his shopping chivalry, I’m often the one in the corner clutching my credit card.
Well, no longer! This year, I’m taking back Christmas for the better!
And I’ll show you how to do the same with my latest, greatest list, my Top 5 DIY Christmas Gifts! Not only are these gifts easy on the wallet, but they can also be a lot of fun to make, and I’m sure the person getting them will too be delighted.
1. Christmas Tree Ornaments
Ornaments of all shapes, sizes, and colors can be a fun way to spice up your holiday. Fill someone’s tree with meaning this year with this multitude of simple homemade crafts.
Christmas tree ornaments can be fashioned from just about anything, from popsicle sticks to pine cones.
Here are a few of my personal favorites:
- Drill a tiny hole in an old, unused CD (or just use a blank one). Paint one or both sides of the disc, decorate it however you’d like, then bend a thin piece of wire through the hole, forming a hook upon which to hang the finished product.
- Buy plainly colored round ornaments and paint them to your liking.
- Recycle your old beer, energy drink, and/or soda cans. Crush the cans, then paint them (or don’t) and hot glue googly eyes on them to create a face. If you want, you can even cut a hole through the center of the can large enough to fit a small red bulb and use it in the place of Rudolph’s nose.
Or just give away a giant tree, like the City of Oslo does every year.
2. Crochet Work
Each and every Christmas season, my fiancé’s sister crochets unique items for just about every member of our family. Some notable exploits are her beautiful scarves, my fiancé’s infamous beard hat (nice and warm for the Carol singing) , and also my very own Link hat, something which, for me, was a Legend of Zelda fan’s dream.
The internet contains hundreds upon thousands of patterns for these items and more, and if you know how to knit, sew, or crochet, then there’s just no limit to the amount of wintery goodies you could produce!
3. Food & Drink Items
Okay, so we all know that food talks. Eating is, after all, a big part of our lives as people. Not only do we need it to survive, but we sure do love to stuff our faces, too! And it honestly doesn’t matter where we do it, be it at a birthday, at a wedding, or even at a funeral. Why exactly do you think that is?
It’s been scientifically proven that partaking in meals together helps strengthen the bonds between us all as human beings. The Last Supper was certainly no mistake, and it’s definitely no wonder why the Vikings believed that Asgard would be a heavenly place of feasting and drinking.
With so many good eats embedded into all our cultures, surely nothing makes a better gift than food. Does the person you’re buying for love sweets? Try making them some homemade peppermint bark. Or, if you’re more of the crafty type, why not layer the ingredients for making the perfect cup of seasonal hot chocolate inside a mason jar?
4. Hand-Made Jewelry
Just like with the homemade hats and scarves, few things are better than being able to wear a one-of-a-kind piece of art on your very own body, especially one created by a person you hold dear. Jewelry, similar to Christmas tree ornaments, can be made from just about anything. Rubber bands, store-bought charms, Perler beads, scraps of cloth; you name it! The sky’s the limit here, and if you can dream it, then you can make it a reality. Check out Etsy.com for craft ideas.
This Legend of Zelda themed fairy in a bottle from the Etsy store was relatively easy for me to reproduce (with a little patience, of course). But hey, if Zelda’s not your thing, then just think of all the other things you can make with a bottle, a cork, and some chain!
Maybe the “Drink Me” vial from Alice in Wonderland?
5. Home Movies/Photos
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Christmas, ultimately, is a time for friends and family. And while this gift may seem just a tad bit old-fashioned, it’s still a big, big winner in my book. Memories are precious stories told by the mind.
Preserve your family’s favorite moments by burning them to a DVD, or maybe place them in a scrapbook where they can be passed down through later generations. Whatever you choose to do with them, they will make an excellent gift for family members young and old alike. This would also be something great to give to that special someone in your life this holiday season.
Money is tight, especially in and around the holidays. Fortunately, not everything has to be so expensive. With a little drive and creativity, your dollar can go a lot further than you’ve ever dreamed this Christmas, giving you the freedom to provide everyone you love with a hand-made, do-it-yourself gift they can really come to cherish.
So cut down on the time spent in the stores this holiday season, and always remember: The greatest gifts of all come from the heart.