creative christmas gifts

creative christmas gifts

January 3, 2012  |  life, main blog

This year, inspired by our daughter’s new Oxfam job, the family decided to make gifts rather than buy them. We also imposed a $20 limit (which was blurred a bit in some cases). The process put more meaning into gifting and produced some highly creative outcomes. In some cases, they involved weeks of work. 7 people exchanged 42 bespoke items and it was an absolute blast!

While the list below would probably be best published in November 2012, it may serve to inspire others to adopt the theme for next Christmas. Our gifts included:

  • A clock made from a Lionel Ritchie vinyl (featuring “All Night Long!) with dominoes stuck on to mark the hours and a battery powered clock mechanism at the back. Genius!
  • Fifty metres of handmade festival bunting
  • Homemade chalkboards using special chalkboard paint, and white chalk.
  • Homemade calendars, photo albums and greeting cards
  • Flywire mesh in a material covered painted frame to hold jewellery (earrings etc)
  • Large kitchen jars containing lollies or teabags, with a chalkboard strip for labelling
  • Rhubarb champagne which needs to sit for 3 weeks. It gets drier and more alcoholic with time. (Suggest reducing the sugar in this linked recipe by up to 50% on personal preference)
  • Homemade vintage apron, shower hats, bow tie, headband, phone holder and felt moccasins
  • Home cooked shortbread, chocolate plum puddings, rocky road and chocolate bark
  • Small clay vases with magnets to use as fridge displays
  • Album covered drink coasters
  • Pesto made from home grown basil
  • Hand knitted fingerless gloves, footy beanie, socks, headbands and scarf
  • Crushed and engraved vintage spoons as herb garden markers
  • Beautifully sewn serviettes and cushion covers
  • A magpie repelling bike helmet
  • Painted plaster of paris paperweight
  • Boutique virgin olive oil bottles infused with chilli, garlic and rosemary
  • A heat bag in the shape of a sausage dog
  • Lead light painted glasses for candles
  • Handmade hats for Alessi kitchen monkeys (salt and pepper shakers, timers etc)

Any other ideas, or would you rather store them up to surprise for next year?


1 Comment


  1. That is a great idea Ken.

    In Selina and my respective families, we have moved to a “Kris Kringle” model with one person buying for one other person…to make it manageable with children and siblings around the world, although the grandparents still seem to have a right to veto the rules to the benefit of the grand kids. Your concept goes one better!

    Personally, It feels that, apart from the fun of watching kids in the Christmas spirit, amongst our family and friends, there is a fatigue from the overall commercialism of Christmas – the media barrage of how retailers are faring day by day, consumer sentiment indexes, online vs. offline, industry lobby groups…and we are moving our focus back to quality time with each other and giving to those who need it. I don’t think that is a bad thing.

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