Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It’s a Homemade Christmas! by Aileen Fish

Our family has started a new tradition in recent years for our gift giving. We make all our gifts now. Since there are up to 12-15 of us gathering in any year, we’ve streamlined our production a bit. No bed-sized quilts or afghans, but maybe table-runners and scarves or hats.

This is part of my gift-making this year, carefully disguised as a mess to keep family from figuring out what I’m doing. I think the duct tape is kind of scary if you’re on the receiving end! And notice the laptop in the middle where I looked up tutorials and ordered more goodies.

In the past, I made sugar and salt scrubs, soaps, bath fizzies and lotions. My sister-in-law makes beautiful jewelry. My brother-in-law makes the best chili ever! And last year one of my sons-in-law made home brewed beer for the guys.

We’ve had jerky several years in a row by different people. Chicken breasts and steaks work well for this. I made mine in a dehydrator, and my sons-in-law used smokers.

Anything that can be canned is great salsa, spaghetti sauce, jams, relishes, pickles…you name it! Canning jars can be bought year-rounds at Amazon.

Jewelry supplies can be found at many online shops. I like Fire Mountain Gems, as they have sale prices as low at $.70, and give discounts based on the number of items ordered. I usually start at Amazon for any tools and supplies since I have Prime membership so the shipping is free. Look at Pinterest for ideas. Many of the pinned photos link to a tutorial.

It’s fun to involve the kids, too. Baked goods like cookies and breads work well. The dollar stores have tins for $1 (naturally!) so it can be very budget-friendly.

Do you enjoy making gifts for others, at the holidays or other times of the year? What types of things do you/have you made?


USA Today Bestselling Author Aileen Fish is an avid quilter and auto racing fan who finds there aren't enough hours in a day/week/lifetime to stay up with her "to do" list. There is always another quilt or story begging to steal away attention from the others. When she has a spare moment she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and their families, and her fairy princess granddaughter. Her books include The Bridgethorpe Brides series and the Small Town Sweethearts series.

Her latest release is an anthology of the first three novellas in the Small Town Sweethearts series, appropriately titles Small Town Sweethearts.

Stay up to date with book releases at her website or on Facebook.


  1. Homemade gifts are the best. I love when someone makes me something and I love creating things for other people. It shows that real thought and attention have been put into the gift.

  2. Love homemade gifts! Especially baked goods. As an empty nester, making 4 dozen cookies just for the 2 of us is not a good idea. So I love receiving homemade treats!

  3. I wish I could get my family to give homemade gifts, but most of my relatives are too busy with little ones or a demanding career to find the time. My daughter, however, knows how much I like handmade things and she picks up items from craft sales to give me for Christmas and my birthday. I try to bake a lot of goodies at Christmas and everyone loves that.

  4. I agree - homemade gifts are so special and unique - and filled with love!

  5. Gosh, Aileen, you are one talented woman. I can make jam (or jelly I think you call it), but I haven't done so for years. Sewing, not so much. I love the idea of home made gifts, in practice it doesn't happen often.