• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Mike Haasl
  • Anne Miller
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Pearl Sutton
  • paul wheaton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • James Freyr
  • Devaka Cooray
  • Jocelyn Campbell
master gardeners:
  • Steve Thorn
gardeners:
  • Ash Jackson
  • thomas rubino
  • Jay Angler

Christmas Ya'll

 
pollinator
Posts: 2213
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
274
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Not thinking about it yet? What a lucky duck you are! I've been thinking about it since January. Now I can finally say I have it all figured out.

Gifts:
Parents- honey and a home made sign with all the grandkids and their birthdays on it.

siblings- Honey and home made mead

Random peeps- honey and maybe a beeswax wrap I plan to make.

Aunts/Uncles/Grandparents- Is it bad to lump them into the same gift as random peeps? Cuz that's my plan ya'll. I might add some zucchini relish to theirs as they request it.

So, for our massive family I think the bees are going to supply most of the gifts. I figure people love honey and if I put it in a nice jar with a wood honey dipper people will think it's a cool, expensive gift. And let's face it, the bees ARE expensive.

If this gift works out we are definitely going to have to order more bees next year!


What home made items are you all planning on giving out?
 
steward
Posts: 3839
Location: West Tennessee
1394
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I made my wife a birdhouse from cedar for her birthday a few weeks ago. I'll probably do something similar for christmas, maybe make an owl or bat house, something a little less common. We just exchange a gift or two to each other nowadays and do christmas cards for siblings and in-laws.
 
master steward
Posts: 12602
Location: Pacific Northwest
5599
hugelkultur kids cat duck forest garden foraging fiber arts sheep wood heat homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh man, I haven't even thought of it yet! I'll probably make my brother's kids some more needle felted critters for their dollhouse--maybe even make them a doll version of themselves and of my kids.

Every year, I make my Grandma a calendar, so that's easy!

I've no idea what to make my kids, though I have a feeling my husband will want to buy them a bunch of hot wheels, as that's his passion and they love them too.

I've been wanting to needle-felt a small version of my husband's dog who passed away a a few years ago. Hopefully I'll have time for that!

My mother-in-law requested more fairies and dragons, so I'll probably do that for her.

And now I have WAY too much stuff to make and need to get started like 8 months ago!
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
Posts: 2213
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
274
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Nicole Alderman wrote:Oh man, I haven't even thought of it yet! I'll probably make my brother's kids some more needle felted critters for their dollhouse--maybe even make them a doll version of themselves and of my kids.

Every year, I make my Grandma a calendar, so that's easy!

I've no idea what to make my kids, though I have a feeling my husband will want to buy them a bunch of hot wheels, as that's his passion and they love them too.

I've been wanting to needle-felt a small version of my husband's dog who passed away a a few years ago. Hopefully I'll have time for that!

My mother-in-law requested more fairies and dragons, so I'll probably do that for her.

And now I have WAY too much stuff to make and need to get started like 8 months ago!



Yeah your list of projects makes me panic. GET GOING! lol



Our kids are getting tickets to different places because our daughter declared recently, "I have too much stuff to clean up, throw it all away."
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 1701
Location: mountains of Tennessee
635
cattle hugelkultur cat dog trees hunting chicken bee homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think honey, candles, & wax wraps are excellent gifts for almost every occasion. Never had any complaints.
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
Posts: 2213
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
274
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Likes 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Look at my beautiful honey presents!!!
76695156_10157665077468633_2842914298617921536_n.jpg
raw honey gift idea
74718066_10157665077623633_5850020584167047168_n.jpg
raw honey gift idea
 
James Freyr
steward
Posts: 3839
Location: West Tennessee
1394
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Nice job Elle! Those are indeed beautiful, and I'm sure the recipients will love them. I think homemade gifts are my favorite. I wish I could be there to see the warm glow on their, and your, face when they receive them.
 
pollinator
Posts: 404
Location: N. California
125
hugelkultur kids cat dog fungi trees books chicken cooking ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't want to think of Christmas this year, because there is no money.  I guess it will require some creative thinking.  The extended family does the white elephant thing(everyone brings a wrapped gift 5 to 10$ value, and its a game, everyone gets a present, unwraps it and we go around in a circle and you can swap gifts with someone else.)  Its fun and keeps the cost down.  I was thinking an herb garden, I have the herbs and soil, just need to find something fun and the thrift store as a container,  I have everything I need to make rice bags(sew a tube put rice in sew a pocked, more rice ect. make a flannel cover. Can be kept in the freezer like an ice pack, or warmed in the microwave as a hot pack)  Maybe crack some walnuts, lord knows we have more then we can use.  I'm trying to be positive about it.  My kids are 19 - 26, and no grand-kids,  so they understand, but it's still hard.  
 
pollinator
Posts: 1423
Location: northern northern california
189
forest garden foraging trees fiber arts building medical herbs
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
yeah i have a HUGE family, so we also do the white elephant game / Grinch game -also some call it.
so yeah that way everyone just brings one gift, although a few other people will also bring some specific gifts, but theres no obligation.

i usually get some thing for my godfather / uncle and aunt, and the kiddos, cause yeah christmas and kids... and although usually i gift a lot of my own craftwork, well...its like they all already have a bunch of my craft pieces.

but yeah i was just talking about this with my mom. my suggestion was traditional christmas cookies, simple, cheap, and definitely appreciated...

that and booze ! yeah i think everyone on my christmas list is getting a 10-15$ bottle of wine...

this is also a pretty common one in my fams white elephant. actually the bottles of booze tend to be the most often "stolen"
 
gardener
Posts: 950
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
220
dog duck chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts pig bike bee solar ungarbage
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
As we are now pensionistas we have told all the children 'expect ye not the usual cash gifts' and I am frantically knitting socks for them all. I made a pair for him I doors but as it is so cold all of a sudden he is wearing  them now. I think he likes them.
 
gardener
Posts: 1311
Location: South of Capricorn
449
dog rabbit urban cooking writing homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jen Fulkerson wrote:I have everything I need to make rice bags(sew a tube put rice in sew a pocked, more rice ect. make a flannel cover. Can be kept in the freezer like an ice pack, or warmed in the microwave as a hot pack)  


For anyone who works in an office all day (especially a really cold office) these things are FABULOUS presents. I always have a set as wrist rests, and in the winter they go in the microwave to warm up my hands.

The honey is gorgeous.

We usually just do big family parties with fabulous food, have never been big present people. My kid just moved into a new apartment and has need of various appliances, so I will probably gift her with something. Other than that, I make cookies for everyone, and it is the usual scramble to find good Christmas cookies that can stand up to crazy heat and humidity.
 
pollinator
Posts: 291
Location: West Virginny and Kentuck
91
forest garden books building ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Elle,

Your packaging is very nice.  Looks yummy too.

I rely on my pantry full of blackberry cordial.  People at work are already talking about it.
I still scrounge bottles from the recycling bin, so my containers vary wildly.

Would you be willing to share your recipe for zucchini relish?  The ones I've found online don't seem just right.  I've got shredded zucchini in the freezer waiting for me to do something with it.

My oldest daughter's in-laws send a mountain of gifts for the grands.  I spend the holiday helping them set up the creche, decorating the house and tree, helping set a lovely table, singing and playing games.  Memory-makers.  I have the better part, I think.
 
pollinator
Posts: 316
Location: Athens, GA Zone 8a
61
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One year when I was particularly impoverished, I gave my large family "Hobbit presents": Things somebody had given me in the past wrapped up and re-given. It was the most magical Christmas ever.

"Oh! I always wanted one of those!" "Yeah, I figured. You gave it to me five years ago."

"I wondered what happened to that!"

"Daddy brought that back from the war!"

"This reminds me of the year you cooked the green turkey..." [I'd used a green Rich's bag to cook the turkey in instead of a brown paper bag because I discovered at the last minute I didn't have one.]

So many conversations that weren't about politics....


 
gardener
Posts: 2352
Location: Pacific Wet Coast
853
duck books chicken cooking food preservation ungarbage
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If you really want to stretch the "what is a gift" idea, there are a couple of "gifts" I've given that are certainly not typical. I have a friend who, along with her family, just *never* seem to get around to fixing things. The first was a glass topped coffee table that needed to be turned into a shadow box. That was at least 10 years ago, and has had pride of place ever since.

Another Christmas it was a sofa that had been under-engineered. When her husband got home from work and looked at what I was up to he said, "but that's not the way it was built in the first place" - to which I responded, "exactly - that's why it keeps breaking". He proceeded to help me finish the final bits that required an extra pair of strong hands. The sofa never broke again, was much comfier to sit on, and eventually was given to a new home when my friend's hips couldn't tolerate how low that sofa was.

This Christmas it's their floor lamp. Yeah, it's a fairly cheap floor lamp, but they hadn't thrown it out even though its base has self destructed. Last night I took things apart and used my friend's Dremel with a grinding bit to enlarge the hole in the metal plate I'd brought to replace the plaster filled plastic base weight that had crumbled. A drill bit in our drill press would have been faster, but it was a 20 km round trip away, so you use what you've got available. Now I've got measurements to cut a piece of scrap lumber to substitute for the thickness of the original plastic weight because the decorative metal base of the lamp is so thin and flexible as to be nothing but decorative. To do all this, we had to cut the plug off, so I will also bring a replacement plug to install.

Sometimes engineering, spare parts, time, and the ability to put it all together, is the "gift that keeps on giving" to quote some famous advertisement campaign.
 
Diane Kistner
pollinator
Posts: 316
Location: Athens, GA Zone 8a
61
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
This conversation makes me remember how crazy we thought our mother was when she said "If you really want to give me something really nice for Christmas, have someone deliver me a truckload of cow manure."

Sixty years later, I can so relate.
 
Posts: 119
Location: New England
29
cat monies home care books cooking writing wood heat ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Years ago when DH was between jobs, we couldn’t afford Christmas cookies and other goodies. We were using a single rise bread recipe for ourselves and made everyone in the neighborhood bread on Christmas Eve. We made 2 loaves for the families  with kids and 1 for the kid less. It worked. After 25+ years of doing this now, it’s a tradition hereabouts.  
 
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
666
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My mother made a huge amount of homemade bread for our family reunions which would often bring in 200 people. It was a big hit and all was consumed, while stinking trays of macaroni salad, roasting in the sun did not go over so well. Every year people showed up with that awful macaroni salad.

When something is really popular, that's something that you know to make again. My wife makes better Fried Chicken than I have ever tried before. So it doesn't matter how many times she makes it, nobody is going to get sick of it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
152
forest garden duck hunting foraging books cooking food preservation woodworking homestead
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Most of my family doesn't like hand made stuff. This irritates me as an artist. I'm only making 2 gifts this year: a blanket for an uncle and a chicken coop for grandma. My siblings, mom, and stepdad don't like handmade things at all. They always act like they like the things when they get them, but they never use them and often give them back later. An exception is the coffee table I built. Though it was originally 100 yr old reclaimed boards of chestnut with a polished and flame darkened surface, they had me take it back and paint it blue. I don't get it, it was both beautiful and in style, why would they want me to paint it? Anyways, they have it in their living room now, but have asked me twice to make repairs. Apparently they let people sit on it and it's gone wobbly. (No schist* Sherlock.)

Anywho, I bought gifts for everyone else. Mom's getting a purse, she wears them out quickly. Stepdad is getting a field dressing kit. Little bro is getting a recording microphone I bought a few years ago for making youtube videos. Big bro is getting an indian blanket. Little sis is getting some beadwork in her favorite colors that I didn't make because she doesn't wear my beadwork. Dad is getting a KA-BAR knife. And I bought books on chickens to go with grandma's coop. This tapped me out last month.


*Schist is a type of rock, not a cuss word.
 
Dale Hodgins
Posts: 9002
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
666
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
When someone tells me that they don't want anything homemade or anything that I found, or something from a thrift store, I take that to mean that they no longer wish to receive anything from me.

Some of my wife's family in the Philippines were silly enough to tell my brother and sister-in-laws that they would have preferred junk quality new shoes instead of the good quality used ones that I brought them last year. So, those people will get nothing and this means that others will get more. My sister-in-law wears nice New Balance shoes that I got for nothing in Canada. My brother-in-law wears high quality German made hiking shoes that cost me $5. These sort of deals are good enough for me, so they must be good enough for those that I give something to. I haven't bought new shoes for myself in more than 25 years and the last time I bought new jeans, I was about 15. That was 40 years ago. I had several financial discussions with relatives and acquaintances when I was in the Philippines a few months ago. The majority of people consume all of their income as they earn it. My personal expenses consume somewhere around 20% of my income. Based on this, I don't think there's one of them who could give me financial advice. Some of my wife's relatives have tried to get her to intervene , so that I will see the error of my ways. But she is the world's cheapest cheapskate and is very proud of our earnings to savings ratio.

If people don't like what you give them, make a note of that and give theirs to someone more deserving.
 
Jen Fulkerson
pollinator
Posts: 404
Location: N. California
125
hugelkultur kids cat dog fungi trees books chicken cooking ungarbage
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
One year my sister in law gave my son a unique birthday gift.  I swear it looked as if she dumped the contents of her junk drawer in a box.  By the time my son was done pulling the last item out of the box we were all laughing so hard tears were in our eyes.  Some of the things were useful, and some silly, but it is the gift we all remember, and still get a chuckle out of today.
I decided to do something similar for one of our white elephant gifts.  The other day I came home to find my daughter painting walnut shells.  I asked her what she was doing, and she said "remember when we made ladybug magnets out of walnut shells?  Well I'm making bug magnets for the random box".   I used to be a girl scout leader, so projects were many, I had forgotten that one, it's cute.  It's fun she is jumping on the bandwagon.
 
James Freyr
steward
Posts: 3839
Location: West Tennessee
1394
cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

James Freyr wrote:I made my wife a birdhouse from cedar for her birthday a few weeks ago. I'll probably do something similar for christmas, maybe make an owl or bat house, something a little less common. We just exchange a gift or two to each other nowadays and do christmas cards for siblings and in-laws.



I decided to make a nesting platform for my wife this christmas. Birds such as robins and phoebe's for example that normally do not build nests in nesting boxes with a single entry hole like a bluebird house are more inclined to build a nest on something like a covered ledge.

Edit: Not my design. It came from here: https://www.pgc.pa.gov/InformationResources/Documents/plan6.pdf

nesting-platform.jpg
[Thumbnail for nesting-platform.jpg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 458
Location: San Diego, California
85
forest garden trees rabbit chicken food preservation building woodworking greening the desert
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I did not home-make gifts this year, but I did something just as cost-saving; for all the men in both sides of my family and my friend group at church i got them the same Knife/chicken branded "grilling" apron. bought wholesale in bulk from a restaurant supply company, they came out to $3.00 a piece - much more thoughtful and meaningful than the standard "nice" gifts, and much cheaper too!
 
Posts: 60
Location: The Great PNW
16
purity fungi foraging chicken medical herbs homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Last year i made "hurricane wood" coasters for all of my family members. I had fun, and they turned out great.
I had experienced my first major Hurricane on my old property in Eastern NC last year, very scary, but after it was over there were fallen trees and wood lying everywhere to be seen. And then I got the idea to do the coasters for Christmas that year, and salvaged some branches that had fallen during the hurricane. Thought it was a kind of fun story.

This year I made my family hand painted and decorated ornaments. I didnt actually take any pics of the finished product for either of these, so i attached middle of the road pictures on here.
Cheers!!
coasters.PNG
coaster construction
coaster construction
orn.PNG
wooden letters
wooden letters
 
elle sagenev
pollinator
Posts: 2213
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
274
kids duck forest garden chicken pig bee greening the desert homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ruth Meyers wrote:Elle,

Your packaging is very nice.  Looks yummy too.

I rely on my pantry full of blackberry cordial.  People at work are already talking about it.
I still scrounge bottles from the recycling bin, so my containers vary wildly.

Would you be willing to share your recipe for zucchini relish?  The ones I've found online don't seem just right.  I've got shredded zucchini in the freezer waiting for me to do something with it.

My oldest daughter's in-laws send a mountain of gifts for the grands.  I spend the holiday helping them set up the creche, decorating the house and tree, helping set a lovely table, singing and playing games.  Memory-makers.  I have the better part, I think.



I will loo the recipe up and type it for you. Might be a bit late at this point as I'm just getting online now. It's very sweet in my opinion but it's from my grandma's family and everyone was really happy to get it last year!
 
Why is the word "abbreviation" so long? And this ad is so short?
Learn Permaculture through a little hard work
https://wheaton-labs.com/bootcamp
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic