Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Emily's 5 Simple & Easy Holiday Gifts...(for under $20)...

These gift ideas are perfect for the hostess who tells you that “you don’t need to bring a thing” but still appreciates it when you do, the in-law who says “oh, don’t bother with gifts for me” but doesn’t mean it, and that person who has everything but still likes a little something under the tree with their name on it…

1. A tree ornament: Inexpensive thin-cut wood and felt ornaments are increasingly plentiful and have an artistic, funky vibe – check your local craft store or the holiday section of your local hardware store – you’ll be surprised what you can find there (see some simple examples below). Or for a more playful, kid-friendly feel, make your own candy cane reindeer using a brown pipe cleaner for antlers, googly eyes, and a small black pompom for a nose applied with a glue gun, all available at your local craft store.

1. A small vase full of simple white flowers: Buy a small glass or silver vase in the flower section of your grocery store and choose some inexpensive white flowers for an elegant look. This makes a great gift for a Christmas party or even a glamorous New Year’s get-together.

2. Home-made baked goodies in a cellophane bag: A lovely little decorated cellophane bag makes anything look good. Fill it with a half dozen cookies, or a couple of muffins, or fudge – as pictured below - and tie with a holiday ribbon. Festive cellophane bags are available at your local craft store or bulk food store.

1. Never underestimate the broad appeal of cheese: Have you ever noticed the sheer variety of cheeses at your local grocery store? Most of them are wonderful specialty cheeses that the majority of us don’t buy on a daily basis, like jalapeno cheddar or dill favored havarti, never mind the dozens of brands of soft cheeses. Choose something creative and festive -cranberry brie anyone?, you don’t have to spend a lot -$10 will buy a nice piece of cheese, and you can even amp up the festive quotient by placing it a cellophane bag tied with holiday ribbon.

2. Personalize a store bought gift: There are all sorts of ways to add a personalized touch to a store bought scarf, socks, dish cloth, or tea towel. Stitch the recipient’s initials into the hem or buy some iron-on letters to create an easy monogrammed gift. Also consider personalizing store-bought Christmas tree ornaments, as seen below. I bought these little tree ornament stockings and, using simple grey sewing thread, stitched my sister’s initials on one and my own on another. They make a great gift for my mom, who loves simple and thoughtful presents.

Happy Holidays and Happy gift giving!

Emily is a PhD candidate at Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication...she is a brilliant scholar who focuses on material and visual culture, and who's knowledge on these subjects never ceases to amaze me! Emily is a bonafied (younger and hotter) Martha Stewart, who can sew, cook, bake, craft, write and knit up a creative maelstrom...ummmm did I mention that she makes a mean Gin and Tonic?


Ashelle said...

Great ideas!!! I was going to do some baking but I might include some decorations too. Sounds like a great craft night with cheese and wine :)

Mitr Friend said...

Great ideas!!!
Fashion Panache

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