4 answers

Christmas Gift Idea for Large Group?

Would anyone have an idea of what to give to a circle of light to medium acquaintances which seems to grow as each year passes, especially now that my son is in school? Anything I can buy or make and possibly personalize if I have time? This group is my hand delivered Christmas card list, and include teachers, neighbors, Bible study friends, co-workers, fellow volunteers and playdate parents - people I see and talk to very often each week throughout the year. Most of the time I give baked goods but this year I'd like to do something different....and not spend all my holidays in the kitchen!

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One year, Pier 1 Imports had some wooden character ornaments for roughly $2 a piece. I bought a bunch of those and wrote the person's name on it with a paint pen. Tape it or tie it to a candy cane and voilà! You could also make hot chocolate or Russian tea mix (way easy!) and buy some small jars... You could easily decorate the jars or buy a bunch of small spoons and decorate the ends with beads and wire to go with them... I did that last year and it was a hit. You could also make your own holiday recipe book as a gift... Hobby Lobby has Terra cotta pots in all sizes and they are cheap and easy to paint. Fill with candy... :)

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One year I found some beautiful refrigerator magnets that were crosses. We've received granola or carmel popcorn (know that's still kitchen work). Bookmarks, handmade cards, a photo magnet with a picture of the recipient and you?

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One thing that I love to receive and to make and give is cookie/bread/muffin mix jars. It is a pre-measured set of dry ingredients that are layered in a mason/canning jar with instructions for adding the liquid to it a making the cookies or what ever.

Here is the link to one recipe for oatmeal chocolate chip cookies mix in a jar.

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Cookie-in-a-Jar/Detail.aspx

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I like the ornament idea. We have done this many years.I purchased Italian Glass heats one year and Mexican tin another. We would write the year on the back and put our family name on it.

One year we gave a bottle of Mexican Vanilla (you can purchase large bottles at "Fiesta" grocery stores and then pour vanilla into small jars from the container store. I had my daughter use metallic pens to write "Vanilla" and then had her do Christmas designs all over each bottle.

Another year we just purchased dozens of the Squares of Mexican hot chocolate. You can find these in the hot chocolate section of the grocery store. Mexican Hot chocolate is all natural. The cocoa is lighter, has raw sugar and a touch of cinnamon. It is something a little different. Since it is already "wrapped" we just placed a ribbon and gift tag on each.

Another year, we did "smore kits" I purchase holiday wine bags and purchase Huge Hershey bars, The homemade Marshmallows from Whole Foods and then boxes of Graham Crackers. I only placed one package of the crackers in there and then purchase skewers and placed about 8 skewers, tied with ribbon in each bag.

One year we did a movie night gift. It was a couple of bags of Boy scout microwave popcorn and a $5 or $10. Blockbuster gift card on it We placed these in cellophane bags tied with ribbon.

One of our favorite gifts back when they were only $9.99 each.. We gave each family, teacher, neighborhood family the the 20 Q Ball. They sell these in Target in the Toy section on the wall with all of the hand held games.

You are smart to begin now. You can watch sells and go to Tuesday morning to start collecting Christmas gift bags, ribbons,, etc..

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