Thoughtful Holiday Gifts

This holiday season, I am, again, reminded of how much “stuff” is purchased and given. “Things” end up flooding our homes only for us to quickly grow tired of them. We don’t need any more toys, clothes, etc. Most of us have more than enough stuff. So, this holiday season, I challenge you to get creative and be thoughtful with gifts for your friends, family and colleagues. I’ve included some of my favorite ideas below, what are some of your favorites?

Make Something

I love making gifts. It is a great way to give something that feels a lot more personal. The effort put in to something homemade is just special in a way that purchased gifts aren’t. (Not that purchased gifts can’t be special!) I usually choose three types of gifts based on the effort level, amount produced and who is on my Christmas list.

Level 1: Most Effort/Funds Required
Sugar Scrub – I’ve made this for my family before and it was a hit! It’s something that they can absolutely use and will be reminded of your gift regularly. This recipe is super easy to do!
Soap – I’ve been wanting to make homemade soap for a few years now, but have shied away from it because of the lye involved. This recipe is for herbal soap without handling lye, which is on my list to try!
Marble Mugs – I am hoping to try this one out as well! It’s a fun way to make something unique and special. You can pair it with some locally roasted beans for a complete package.

Level 2: Medium Effort/Funds Required
Pumpkin Butter – I’ve made this several times and it is SO easy to do. The free labels are adorable as well. Just grab some mason jars from the store and you’ve got a fabulous gift!
Homemade Chocolates – If cookies aren’t your thing, try some of these delicious chocolate recipes. Warning: You may end up eating them all yourself…
String Art – There are lots of things you can make with string! This article has lots of ideas depending on how creative you are feeling.

Level 3: Least Effort/Funds Required
Cookie Exchange – Some of my favorite cookie recipes to include are peanut butter cookiessnickerdoodles, and oatmeal molasses cookies. You can just make a bunch of your favorite cookies and package a few up to give away!
Hot Chocolate Mix – This is an easy and inexpensive thing to do in bulk. You can customize this for whatever you like in hot chocolate! (My favorite is to keep it simple and classic with some tiny marshmallows.)
Hot Chocolate Truffles – Talking about hot chocolate…you can switch it up and make some delicious truffles!

Give Something

One of my favorite things to do for the holidays is to make a gift in the name of a family member or friend! My husband and I love and support various nonprofit organizations, but some of our favorites are:

Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma – I used to work here and they do phenomenal work in the community. You should definitely look into your local food bank too!

water4 – This organization is revolutionizing how to build wells in third-world countries in a sustainable and inexpensive way.

Christian Relief Fund – This organization supports children living in poverty. You can sponsor a child and know they are getting valuable care.

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust – You can foster an elephant or rhino through this organization! These animals are in desperate need of our support and this organization is making a valuable difference.

What are your favorite things to make or places to donate to for the holidays?

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