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The holiday season is upon us. ‘Tis the season for giving, but with inflation and the lasting effects of the pandemic, many families are feeling a strain on their holiday budget. The spirit of giving, however, isn’t rooted in how much money you spend. Gifts can still be meaningful even if they aren’t expensive. This year, you can invest more time and care for a thoughtful Christmas gift that’s sure to make anyone smile!

Fun with Food 

The old saying about the way to a person’s heart being through their stomach is often very true! Fun, tasty treats are a holiday gift that most people would gladly receive. We know that not everyone is a whiz in the kitchen, so we put together a list of ideas that even beginners can easily make! 

1. Reindeer bottles

This fun and easy DIY gift idea is one that both kids and adults are sure to enjoy! For this gift, absolutely no cooking skill is required! All you need are:

  • Bottled beverages
  • Brown or black pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes
  • Red pom-poms
  • Glue or tape

If you don’t have all of those craft supplies, you could easily make all of this with colored paper. Glue or tape the eyes and nose on each bottle, and your gift is ready to go! 

If you want more instructions for these cute reindeer bottles, you can find some here.

2. Chocolate-covered pretzels

This Christmas gift is super easy to make, and you can customize it however you want. You can use any kind of chocolate you like, and you can top them with a wide variety of toppings. Think sprinkles, more chocolate, caramel, peanut butter, small candies, or even some infused salt/sugar (which we’ll talk about below!). 

Check out the recipe for chocolate-covered pretzels here.

3. Homemade hot chocolate mix

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a steaming cup of hot cocoa. This homemade hot chocolate mix is the perfect gift for any chocolate lovers! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • powdered sugar
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • powdered milk or instant nonfat dry milk
  • Containers
  • mini marshmallows *optional

Find the directions to make this hot chocolate mix here

4. Coffee mug mixer spoons

These coffee mug mixer spoons promise to add a little sweetness and flavor to your cuppa joe without tons of cream and sugar. They can also add more fun to a cup of hot chocolate or tea. These mixer spoons are really easy to make, and they’re customizable! You can get creative with the chocolates and toppings to make different flavor combinations. 

Follow the instructions for these mixer spoons here.

5. Infused sugar and salt

If you’re looking to make a creative Christmas gift for someone who’s a foodie, this might be a great option for you! Infused salt and sugar can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including toppings, garnishes, baking, and seasoning. The process is simple, too. You’ll have to start early, though, as it takes at least a week or two for the flavors to fully infuse in the salt and/or sugar. Simply get a small, airtight container and add sugar or salt and whatever flavor you’d like. A few examples are:

Salt:

  • Lemon, lime, orange
  • Cayenne
  • Espresso
  • Garlic
  • Curry

Sugar:

  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Allspice and clove
  • Mint
  • Espresso

These are just a few of the flavors you could choose to infuse your salt or sugar with. The ratios of spice to salt or sugar vary, so if you’re interested in infusing salt or sugar, do your research to ensure it turns out well! The Pioneer Woman, a food and lifestyle content creator,  has excellent tutorials for infused salt and sugar, so make sure to read all about it if you want to make these fun gifts. 

You can find the directions for infused sugar here and the directions for infused salt here.

Getting Crafty 

If you like crafting, this next set of gifts is for you! Each craft’s difficulty level varies, but many of them are easy enough for beginners. In fact, most of these would make fun projects for kids. These fun and easy crafts will be beautiful reminders of the love and care put into the gift every Christmas!

1. Cookie cutter wreath

This cookie cutter wreath is a fun and simple DIY decoration that would look festive in any home! It can be a great, inexpensive gift if you have cookie cutters you never use or if you have cookie cutters with sentimental value that you’d like to display. The wreath pictured above was made with star-shaped cookie cutters, but these wreaths can be made with many different shapes of cookie cutters. To make this wreath, you’ll need the following:

  • Cookie cutters (it helps if they’re different sizes)
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Ribbon or twine
  • Scissors
  • Pine bough (can be real or fake)

You can find the instructions to make it here

2. Teacup candles

These teacup candles are beautifully unique and easier to make than you think. You can find lots of pretty teacups at thrift stores, and everything you need to make candles should be at a craft store or on Amazon. To make these teacup candles, you’ll need:

  • Hot glue
  • Candle wax
  • Candle wicks
  • Pencil or pen
  • Scissors
  • Scent *optional
  • Wax dye or a chunk of crayon to color the wax *optional

You can read the instructions for teacup candles here.

3. Customized mugs

Looking for a DIY gift that’s inexpensive, super easy, and meaningful? Consider making a custom mug. All you need is a blank mug and some permanent markers. The one pictured here has a very simple dot design, but the possibilities for mug customization are almost endless! You can decorate your mug with personalized messages, names, designs, and pictures. Feel free to let the creativity flow!

You can read more about making custom mugs here.

4. Mason jar snow globe

This beautiful mason jar snow globe is a fun craft that would look beautiful in anyone’s home. Like most of the crafts in this list, it’s also customizable. Feel free to use different colors and themes to create your own custom snow globe. This craft may look complicated, but it’s not! For this fun DIY Christmas gift, you’ll need:

  • 500 ml mason jar
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue stick
  • Small ornament with flat base
  • Clear glue
  • Warm water
  • White and/or silver glitter 
  • Spoon
  • Ribbon to wrap around the lid *optional

You can find the directions to make your own snow globe here.

5. Salt dough ornaments

These salt dough ornaments are a classic DIY craft that is perfect for Christmas! They’re also a fun project for kids. DIY ornaments are a fun, meaningful gift that can be enjoyed for years. There’s also a good chance that you already have the supplies you need to make them in your house right now! To make these salt dough ornaments, you’ll need:

  • table salt
  • all-purpose flour
  • Water
  • String or ribbon 
  • Cookie cutters *optional
  • Paint *optional
  • Mod Podge to seal *optional

You can find detailed instructions on how to make salt dough ornaments here.

Pampering Products

Are you planning on giving a Christmas gift to someone who likes to be pampered? If so, you might consider making some of these beauty and hygiene products. From sugar scrubs to lip balm to homemade soap, there’s something that everyone can enjoy this holiday season!

1. Sugar scrub

This mint sugar scrub would make an excellent Christmas gift. For those who may not know, sugar scrubs are great for exfoliating skin, leaving your skin feeling soft and smooth. This recipe for sugar scrub is great because you can customize it, too. Don’t like mint? Try a different extract, like vanilla. To make this mint sugar scrub, you’ll need:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 1½ – 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • 1 drop green food coloring
  • Small container(s)

Check out the recipe for mint sugar scrub here.

2. DIY lip balm

Wintertime weather often causes dry and chapped lips, so lip balm is definitely a great gift to receive at Christmas. Most people don’t realize how easy and inexpensive it is to make their own lip balm. Plus, when you make lip balm yourself, you can customize it to your liking with different essential oils, balm consistencies, colors, and containers. If you want to try making lip balm, here’s what you need:

  • 3 Tbsp. Beeswax Pellets
  • 2 Tbsp. Shea Butter
  • 4 Tbsp. Coconut Oil or other liquid oil such as Almond Oil, Olive Oil or Grapeseed Oil
  • Essential Oil (10-20 drops) or Flavor Oil (1/2 gram)
  • Small pots or tubes

You can find detailed instructions for making your own lip balm here.

3. Snowman bath bombs

To some people, there are few things more relaxing than sinking into a nice, warm bath in the chilly winter evenings. But bath time can be even more enjoyable with these cute snowman bath bombs! Like all of the other beauty and hygiene products listed here, these are customizable. You can add whatever scent you prefer and decorate the snowman’s face however you would like. To make these snowman bath bombs, you’ll need:

  • Baking Soda
  • Citric Acid
  • Epsom Salt
  • Cornstarch
  • Coconut Oil
  • Fine Mist Spray Bottle of Water or Witch Hazel
  • Fragrance oil or essential oil (in any fragrance of your choice)
  • Bath Bomb Molds or Plastic Ornaments
  • For Decoration: Activated Charcoal Powder, Orange Mica, and 99% Isopropyl Alcohol (optional)

You can find the directions for these snowman bath bombs here.

4. Pedicure in a jar

Do you know someone who enjoys pedicures? This pedicure in a jar might just be perfect for them! You could put many different things in the jar, but the idea is to include everything they need to have an at-home pedicure. Here a few ideas for what you could put in this pedicure in a jar:

  • Cotton balls/pads
  • Cotton swabs
  • Nail polish
  • Toenail/fingernail clippers
  • Foot file
  • Nail file
  • Nail stickers
  • Nail polish remover
  • Foot masks/scrubs
  • Lotion

You can find more information on the pedicure in a jar here.

5. Homemade soap

This gift is perfect for people who like gifts that are both beautiful and functional. Homemade glycerin soap is a great option for anyone interested in making their own soap, as it’s very easy and inexpensive. Plus, you can add your choice of essential oils, herbs, flowers, spices, and leaves to create your own designs. If you want to make this homemade glycerin soap, you’ll need: 

  • Block of glycerin soap base
  • Essential oils
  • Dried flowers, herbs, spices, and leaves
  • Soap molds – small cups or trays in various sizes (silicone works best)

You can find more information and directions on making homemade glycerin soap here.

The Carlson Law Firm Cares

At The Carlson Law Firm, we understand the financial strain many people in our communities feel this time of year. That’s why we started Carlson Cares, our program that’s dedicated to improving the lives of everyone in our community. From monthly Volunteer Days to Parties with a Purpose to our Christmas Miracle, Carlson Cares consistently shows our communities that we care.

If you’re interested in learning more about how we care for our community, visit our Carlson Cares website. You can also follow us on TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook

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