I made a lot of gifts this year for Christmas. I list them all below and list my 3 favorites at the end of the post (no jumping ahead peeking!)
- Milk Bath. I found a fabulous recipe for milk bath using powdered milk, corn starch, and baking soda. The recipe also called for Epsom salt and essential oils but I left those out to avoid skin sensitivity issues.
- Lotion Bars. My hands get so dry with eczema during the winter time. I found a recipe using coconut oil, olive oil and beeswax for lotion bars. Again, you can add essential oils but some of the ladies these went to have skin allergies. I like the smell of the plain bars. They healed my eczema cuts fast!
- Lip Gloss. Another recipe using coconut oil, beeswax, and shea butter. Essential oils can be added to this too but I left that out.
There are pictures below of each in various stages of completeness. I was very surprised at how easy it was to make the bars and lip gloss.
I also made dip mixes and flavored salts. All the recipes are below.
- 1/2 Cup Sea Salt
- 1/2 Cup Matcha Powder
Coffee Paprika Salt
- 1 Tbsp ground coffee
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 2 Tbsp sea salt
Fiesta Dip Mix Spices
- 1 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1 1/2 tsp dried minced onion
- 3/4 tsp dried chives
- 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
Dill Dip Mix Spices
- 1 tsp dill weed
- ¼ tsp seasoned salt
- 1 tsp onion flakes
- 1 tsp parsley flakes
Ranch Dip Mix Spices
- 2 tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp dried onion flakes
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
Italian Dip Mix
- ¾ tsp garlic powder
- ¾ tsp onion powder
- 1/3 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp celery seed
- 1/4 tsp seasoned salt
I have to say though the absolute favorite gifts I made were the books I made for my three nieces. They are 17, 14, and 11. For the oldest I made a book about adulting since she will be heading to college next fall. For the middle one, I made a book filled with beauty tips. Finally, for the youngest, I made a book about being an Empath and how to implement self care while dealing with the emotions of other people. Sadly, I have no pictures of these to share!
Each book had some doodles from me and funny memes. I loved putting these together. It was so much fun to exercise my creativity and put together really unique gifts. The two older girls messaged me thanking me for the books and I was told the youngest really loved hers as well.
I highly recommend doing something like this. It’s so much more personal and unique. Homemade gifts put the focus back where it belongs – on showing others how much you care about them and appreciate them.
In a previous post, I mentioned celebrating all the holidays with Kiddo for the month of December: Hanukkah, Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa… Hanukkah is over and Yule is the next one on the list. Here’s what we did/plan to do:
- Lit the menorah every night
- Listed, starting on day 1, something we’re grateful for and kept adding to the list, so on the 8th day, there were 8 things to be grateful for
- Said a thankful prayer after listing our gratefuls
- I found a Yule prayer that Kiddo recites
- We light as many candles as we have around the house
- We exchange a homemade gift
- We make bird feeders out of oranges and hang them in trees
- We decorate with greenery
I am grateful for that which I have.
I am not sorrowful for that which I do not.
I have more than others, less than some,
but regardless, I am blessed with what is mine.
First, I am thankful for my health.
Second, I am thankful for my family.
Third, I am thankful for my warm home.
Fourth, I am thankful for the abundance in my life.
Christmas is pretty standard around here with the usual gift fest. Last year, we didn’t do much for Kwanzaa – I think we were both exhausted by that point, but we did exchange homemade gifts, do crafts, and talked about the seven principles & the importance of Kwanzaa.
We also donate to as many charities as we can during the holiday season and talk about why its important to give back to the community and help those who are not in a position to help themselves.
For New Years, we tend to do a full cleaning of our home. It’s a fresh start, so we get everything scrubbed and decluttered in prep for the new year.
So that’s how we spend our December. Leave a comment how you spend your holidays.
It’s that time of year again! The air is cold, there are no more leaves on the tress, and my couch always seems to be covered in blankets. I love winter. I grew up in south Louisiana with perpetual summer so living in Pennsylvania, where the seasons actually change, is amazing to me. There’s something to enjoy about all of them.
Last year, Kiddo and I decided to try and celebrate a little bit of every December holiday: Hanukkah, Yule, Christmas, Kwanzaa.. all ending with New Years. We also added in sending out Christmas cards, something we had never done before. This year, however, we decided to do a more traditional route for the holidays that focus more on making gifts instead of buying them. I have a hidden Pinterest board (peeking eyes are everywhere!) that I will unhide after Christmas full of ideas for homemade gifts.
Today, I made a cardboard fireplace. I’ve done this before for hanging stockings. This time I sort of took the lazy way out and used a brown sheet to cover everything. Yeah, it’s not as authentic as the one I did last time, but its holding the stockings. The picture was taken at an angle so its crooked but it’s the best I could do.
I’m loving how my cat has claimed this thing for himself. Up until I put everything together, he’d been sleeping in the fake fireplace.
I will try to get better pictures of some of the homemade gifts I’m making. Stay tuned!