The view from my windows reflect a white winter world. The air is crisp and refreshing to all winter lovers. Although I’m a warm-weather type of girl I do enjoy the holiday season. I love creating special things for my friends and loved ones, as I’m sure many of you do as well.
With the holiday season around the corner many of us are trying to figure out what to give to all those special people. The options are endless if you prefer to purchase your gifts. But many people enjoy making home-made gifts for friends and loved ones. But what do you make? How about Gift Baskets? I suggest you create one-of-a-kind gift baskets filled with locally sourced items.
We are in the heart of the gift giving season and us crafty people are always looking for that extra unique gift that we can hand make for those special people in our lives. Gift Baskets are a fun and super easy way to create a one of a kind gift. Although we need to look out of the box, or should I say ‘basket’ and look around for unique and original ‘containers’ to hold the gifts! Here a few ideas that you can expand on… just remember, be creative and have fun, that special person will know that you spent extra time in this gift of love!
Gift for the Localvore~
Container: Go to the local Farmers Market that you know the recipient attends and purchase a shopper bag from the market if they have one or purchase a large shopping type basket from the Basket Vendor there. If the market has neither of these, then purchase one from Bolga Baskets– a wonderful basket that is hand made in countries by the poor- http://www.bolgabaskets.com
Contents: Again, patronize the local farmers market and purchase items from the vendors there to fill the container. You can often get gift certificates from vendors and this will allow them to purchase what they like- especially from meat, egg, dairy and produce vendors- things that won’t keep in a ‘basket’but need to be included! You can also include a gift certificate from a local restaurant that purchases and uses locally sourced items. Get a copy of your area’s Edible Communities publication. Go to www.ediblecommunities.com to find an Edible Publication near you!
Gift for the gardener~
Container: large Terra Cotta or Clay pot, Garden Caddy Bag, Old Wooden tool box from Antique or thrift shop, Wicker basket.
Contents: Hand tools- trowel, shovel, scratcher, weed digger; gardening gloves, pad for kneeling, few cute garden name tags, garden step stone, several seed packs- include veggies, flower and herbs, gift certificate for a seed catalog with the catalog- my choice would be Baker Creek Seed http://www.rareseed.com, gardening book- my personal choice would be “Tomatoes Love Carrots” by, Louise Riott, gardening magazine- my first choice would be Organic Gardening published by Rodale, http://www.organicgardening.com
Gift for the baker~
Container: big ceramic or stoneware bowl, large cookie sheet, 9×13 baking dish, large enamel ware bowl.
Contents: Bag of flour, chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, other flavored chips, sprinkles, sugar, vanilla, almond and maple extracts, salt, baking powder and soda, walnuts, pecans, rolling-pin, hot pads, glove and towel set, cookie cutters, cookbook, gift certificate for a class at a local shop.
Gift for the cook~
Container: Enamelware Roaster, Stainless Steel Stock Pot, Cast Iron Skillet.
Contents: Several types of salt and pepper- Pink Himalayan, White pepper corns and grinder, several rubs, spices, cooking utensils, hot pads and glove, cookbook for using LOCAL ingredients, gift certificate for a local cooking class- check out http://www.ediblewow.com for local classes.
Gift for the griller~
Contents: Grilling tools, rubs, several Bar-b-que sauces- pick up some at your local Farmers Market, hot pads and gloves, salts & peppers and grinder, cookbook for grilling and a gift certificate to a local grocery store.
Gift for the sewer~
Container: sewing basket, wicker basket.
Contents: Scissors, sewing needles, variety of thread, pins, measuring tape, seam ripper, buttons, couple spools of decorative ribbon, rotary cutter and mat, thread organizer, sewing machine needles, gift certificate to a local store for a class. If you want to go all out, get them a sewing machine too!
Gift for the Scrapbooker/ Stamper~
Container: Any type of Scrapbook Tote, Large wicker basket.
Contents: oh my where do I begin- this is one of my personal fave’s!!! Paper Card Stock Stack pads- 12×12, stickers, ribbons, stamps & pads, paper-cutter, adhesives, markers, chalks, pencils, any other accessories you can find. Scrapbook magazine and even better a subscription, gift certificate to a local scrapbook/stamping store for a class! I think it would be easiest to stick with a theme for the contents. If you really want to go all out for a gift, pick up a die cut machine and a cartridge.
Gift for the shopper~
Container: Large pretty shopper bag, large Wicker basket meant for shopping. Contents: Gift certificates to a few local shops in town taking into consideration what the ‘shopper’ enjoys shopping for! Nice pair of walking shoes, directory of shops, thrift stores or whatever else she likes, GPS.
Gift for the reader~
Container: Wicker Basket, cloth bag.
Contents: several books by favorite author, Readers journal, gift certificate to local bookstore, a few handmade book marks, magazines that would interest the person, mug with coffee, tea and cocoa packs, lap blanket to cozy up with while reading. If the recipient is a techie, get them an e-reader.
Gift for a pet~
Container: Dog or Cat bed.
Contents: new dishes for food & water, home-made treats- go to your local farmers market and find a treat maker and support local, toys, sweater, new leash & collar, gift certificate for a grooming at a local pet salon.
The point I hope I’ve made here is when you’re trying to decide on what to give, try source out LOCAL items. This time of year doesn’t have to be a stress induced manic moment. Relax with a cup of tea or coffee, grab a note pad and pen and start jotting down the people who you’re giving too. Think about what they like and start making your list! You’ll have as much fun putting them together as they will opening them!