Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Homemade Christmas

The last two years we have been more strapped for money. As a one salary house, it means we are taking less vacations, spending less on eating out, and it also means we needed to cut back on the money we spent for gifts. I had a lot of fun coming up with some homemade gifts last year and I wanted to continue that process as much as possible this year too. However, Joe and I did spend a little on each other (probably because we haven't bought gifts for each other since we have been married) so that was our splurge.

I was really pleased with all the things that we made as a family. I forgot to take pictures of the gifts that were given to my in-laws, but I will tell you about them. First up though, is my favorite gift that we made...a hat rack for my brother. It was a family project. Joe, cut and prepped the wood and painted two gray strips, then Jack finger painted, I mod-podged, and finally Joe screwed in the hat hangers. I love it and look forward to making some art that is similar.I made a quilt for my sister. She asked me to and I knew what I needed to do, plus she provided the supplies with her old jeans and t-shirts. I think it turned out pretty good, but I did break a couple needles on my machine until I bought a jean needle. It was also pretty heavy, but it has got me thinking about a picnic blanket that I want to make with my old maternity jeans! I can't wait.

We went digital for my dad, my mother-in-law, and my grandparents. I went to a website where I could personalize calendars and mugs. I made a mug for my dad with a picture of his grandson and his dog (Roxey is basically his favorite child). Then we made two different calendars for my grandparents and my mother-in-law. I especially loved my grandpa's reaction as he wondered how we were able to make it...he doesn't really understand the whole computer thing!
I made a simple recipe book for my mom with some of my favorite things to cook. I knew she would appreciate it, because it would be tested and worthy dishes for her to make. I also made homemade vanilla extract for her and my mother-in-law. I even made one for myself, which I really need to test out sometime soon.
I made a small make-up bag and some foot scrubs for one of my sister-in-laws. The other family members were given items that were purchased, but that's okay, because they were reasonably priced. And although our Christmas celebrations were spread out over two weekends (one with family and then on the actual day we were at home on our own), I look forward to next year, when I can come up with even more ideas of homemade items and hopefully get Jack and our baby girl involved too!


Ronde said...

Let me know how the vanilla tastes. Did you use vodka? I just saw a recipe for home made vanilla using that. If your recipe didn't use that could you tell me what you used? My email is david.struve@gmail.com

Taylor's said...

What awesome ideas! I love how you had Jack a part of every gift - that is so touching and sweet!

You are an amazing Mom, Wife and Woman.

Update in February

One might think that having several snow days would give me the time to write in my blog, but I have been spending a lot of time working on ...