Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

by Tammy Taylor

*includes affiliate link

One year I just got completely frustrated with all the consumerism associated with the holidays.  Every year we were struggling to equal or top last year’s gifts.  Then there was the shopping, the crowds and the mounting EXPENSE!  Now don’t get me wrong I’m not against gifts.  They’re a fun way to share our love with those around us.  But whatever happened to our vision of the real meaning of Christmas?  You know, gathering with family & friends and spending time together in celebration of the birth Christ??  When did that get shoved aside & it all become about the GIFTS and the tunnel-vision mindset of “what’s in it for me??”

RancherMan & I had a heart-to-heart talk with each other that year & decided although it would take much more effort on our part, we wanted to give more personal gifts.  Something from both of us, straight from our hearts.  We’ve now been doing this for several years – way before I had my own blog.  So I don’t necessarily have pictures of everything to show you.  But I thought it would be helpful to know some of the gifts that we’ve given that were well received.

Homemade Baskets: Here's a list of homemade Christmas ideas we've done in the past. All were very well received. Don't wait until the last minute - get started NOW for a homemade Christmas you and your family will LOVE! #TaylorMadeHomestead

~ Hummingbird Feeders & Nectar – When we bought this property there was a large area of trash tucked away in the trees in one of our pastures.  Now the house that was on this property burned over 50 years before we purchased it.  So I’m guessing that’s just the way they did things back then.  There wasn’t much plastic in those piles but lots of glass, metal, old cars, etc.  We cleaned up that area by taking all the metal to a recycling facility and much of the glass as well.  But some of those glass jars were just so cool and obviously old. Maybe there’s something we can do with them…

We took some of the more interestingly-shaped ones and washed them up.  We bought glass paint pens and painted a different design on each one.  Then we bought rubber-cork/flower hummingbird feeder tips and made very cool hummingbird feeders.   We included a pkg of homemade hummingbird nectar along with the instructions so they could make more homemade nectar when it ran out.

~ Repurposed Denim Pocket Warmers – This gift has been wildly successful with all our family members both old and young.  Just warm them in the microwave for a few seconds and BOOM, delightful warmth.  Place ’em in your pockets to keep you warm when you must go out on a cold day.

NOTE: I often sell these cute denim pocket warmers on our Online Store. So if you don’t have time to make them yourself but still want to give a hand-made gift, we’d be honored if you’d check out our store!

~ Pasta & Pasta Sauce – We like to make consumable gifts whenever possible since we don’t often know preferred colors or designs, nor what the gift recipient already has or wants.  Often our consumable gifts are food items because c’mon, everyone likes to eat!  Now our gifts come from BOTH of us, not just me.  When making our Christmas gifts RancherMan is right there beside me doing the work.  It’s a true sacrifice for him since cooking & canning’s not something he enjoys.   A true gift from his heart!  One year we planted extra paste tomatoes in our garden and when they were harvested we cooked and canned pasta sauce.  We also made homemade pasta and packaged it all in stainless-steel strainers with stainless steel spaghetti utensils.

Pasta Sauce: Here's a list of homemade Christmas ideas we've done in the past. All were very well received. Don't wait until the last minute - get started NOW for a homemade Christmas you and your family will LOVE! #TaylorMadeHomestead

~ Homemade Food Gift Baskets – One of our favorite things to give are homemade food baskets.  The contents of these baskets obviously change year to year based on what I’ve been able to grow in the garden or make & can throughout the year.  One year we shared my favorite Pumpkin Granola packaged in reusable hinged glass jars.  Of course this gift started waaaaay back in the spring with the planting of heirloom pumpkin.  Then the weeding/watering/harvesting of that pumpkin.  Followed by cooking that pumpkin down into puree and then finally using that puree in my recipe.  I feel good knowing we’ve put so much of ourselves into this gift.  Even the pecans are harvested & shelled from our own trees!  The dried fruit in the granola can be dehydrated plums, or perhaps dehydrated apples shared from my aunt’s trees.  Some years I’ve dehydrated jujube from our own trees.

Pumpkin Granola: Here's a list of homemade Christmas ideas we've done in the past. All were very well received. Don't wait until the last minute - get started NOW for a homemade Christmas you and your family will LOVE! #TaylorMadeHomestead

~ Apple Item Canned Goods – One year our gift basket was entirely apple themed.  My aunt invited me to pick the apples from her tree and we came home with boxes & boxes of delicious apples.  RancherMan & I spent weeks in the kitchen peeling, chopping cooking and canning apple products.  We made apple-pie filling so our little bakers could just plop that jar of pre-made filling into a crust and have homemade apple pie in a flash.  We also made and canned creamy apple butter, Cinnamon/Vanilla Applesauce, cinnamon-spiced apples and apple slices in light syrup.  Another big hit was the dehydrated sugar-cinnamon apples perfect for snacking.

Apple Pie Filling: Although it's more effort I want to give homemade gifts, something from my heart. See the gifts that I've given that were well received #TaylorMadeHomestead

~ Homemade Pear Preserves – A fun thing to include in a food gift basket is homemade pear preserves.  A sweet friend had allowed me to harvest the leftover pears from her tree and another sweet friend shared her pear preserves recipe that has always been RancherMan’s FAVORITE.

Pear Preserves: Although it's more effort I want to give homemade gifts, something from my heart. See the gifts that I've given that were well received #TaylorMadeHomestead

~Gifts Packaged Beautifully – Sometimes if I was giving a jar of home-canned goodies to a neighbor or friend, I wanted a lovely, rustic way of presenting my gift.  Mama always says: “Presentation is half the gift” and mama’s always right.  I started making these fun and oh-so-cute denim baskets using repurposed denim from RancherMan’s worn jeans.  I love that they are so easy to make even with my beyond-novice sewing skills and can be embellished in so many cute ways.

Repurposed Denim Bags Baskets Although it's more effort I want to give homemade gifts, something from my heart. See the gifts that I've given that were well received #TaylorMadeHomestead

~ Venison Jerky – A couple of years ago we gave homemade Jerky made from venison that RancherMan harvested.  We bought a * jerky gun and a flavoring kit.  Then it was simply a matter of taking the ground venison, adding the seasoning, mixing it all up and “shooting” it onto the dehydrator trays and drying the meat.  This gift was very, very well received.

~ Wild Game Summer Sausage – One year we gave processed wild hog meat.  One of the wild hogs that RancherMan harvested right here on the ranch was processed by a wild-game meat processor.  Some of the meat was made into summer sausage and jalapeno-cheese snack sticks.  The meat was presented in a new small soft-side cooler with reusable ice pack.

~ Homemade Cold-Press Soap – Although this was waaaaaay before I started the blog, one year we made a couple of kinds of homemade soap.  This was a really fun and unique idea that was very well received.  One of the soaps was made using rosemary from my plants right out back that were dried and crushed.  We made gentle unscented Castile soap as well rosemary-scented and vanilla-scented soaps.  We’ll be doing this again soon so watch for the tutorial on the blog. UPDATE:  I’ve posted about our homemade Rosemary/Lavender Soap using botanicals from right here on the ranch.  I’ve also posted about our Vanilla-Scented Shampoo Bars.  They were both very well received by our gift recipients and of course RancherMan & I are able to spoil ourselves with some pretty incredible homemade soap too!

LavenderRosemary soap WATERMARK #TaylorMadeHomestead

(Note, if you want homemade Soap or other homemade gifts I’ve talked about but don’t have time to make it yourself, I’m selling our homemade soaps, natural beeswax wraps, repurposed denim crafts & more in my e-Bay store HERE)

~ Something For Fido – Can’t forget those pups!  Many of our friends & family have dogs and my healthy Homemade Dog Treats is a fun thing to include in our gift baskets for their fur babies.

Homemade Dog Treats: Although it's more effort I want to give homemade gifts, something from my heart. See the gifts that I've given that were well received #TaylorMadeHomestead

So there’s a list of some of the fun homemade gifts we’ve presented over the years.  What are your favorite homemade gifts to give or receive?

~TMH~

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43 thoughts on “Homemade Christmas Gift Ideas

  1. Keri

    I wish I were on your gift list! 😉 These are awesome gift ideas!! I love that so much of you and rancher man’s time and efforts went into these gifts making them that much more special to the recipients.

    Reply
  2. shelley

    I’d much prefer any of the gifts on this list than something from a store! Thanks so much for sharing your ideas – perhaps I’ll get inspired for next Christmas.

    Reply
  3. sahana

    Homemade gifts are the best. Great ideas. Thank you for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty . We would love to have you again next week.

    Reply
  4. Katy SkipTheBag

    These are great ideas and will be featured in next week’s Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop. I expecially want to try the pumpkin granola. That sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      How exciting Katy – thanks!! Oh, and you should *so* try the pumpkin granola – it’s absolutely delicious, incredibly more filling than the commercial stuff so it lasts a long time, and very versatile for using whatever you happen to have in your own kitchen. ~TMH~

      Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      Those hummingbird feeders were very well received Julie. And hopefully we planted a seed with regard to how easy it was to make your own nectar. ~TMH~

      Reply
  5. Lady Locust

    Another great thing(s) about gifts like these is that they don’t have to be eaten right away, and you aren’t decorating someone else’s house – you know, like the pink crocheted toilet seat cover:) Merry Christmas.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      YES!! Our kids are all notoriously hard to buy for, they’re all doing well financially and pretty much buy what they want when they want it. Plus I just don’t have the ability to easily shop for people – I’m not good at it, I don’t like it. But consumable gifts fit everyone nicely. Like you said – not decorating someone else’s house or guessing colors/sizes, etc. Everyone likes to eat! And homemade with love is always the right size/shape! 🙂 Merry Christmas to you & your family, sweet girl! ~TMH~

      Reply
  6. Bobbie

    Love Your Blog! After reading your Homemade Gift ideas and seeing your Homemade Cold-Press Soap, I was wondering if you have made anymore soap. I’d love to learn to make cold-pressed soap for next year as Christmas gifts. You’ve truly inspired me to get crackin’ on this for next year. I plan on printing out many of your recipes and ideas and putting them in a 3-ring binder. I’m seeing all sorts of possibilities through your generous blog. Christmas now is only a few days away, so I’m collecting (and most likely will be practicing on a few of these) for next year. I hope my family catches-on like yours have. I love this idea of dropping the rat-race-shopping for the Holiday Season and sharing the love through homemade gifts. I sure hope to hear from you about the cold-pressed soap. Sounds perfect! Happy Holiday and Many Thanks! Bobbie

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Homestead Post author

      RancherMan & I just made several batches of specialty soap to use for some of our Christmas gifts (shhhhhh…. don’t tell!) I will definitely share the soap recipes after Christmas, so keep an eye out for that. Homemade gifts do take much more time than buying gifts, and sometimes it costs more – but I feel like we’re living our values by giving of ourselves and that’s so important to me. I hope you & your family have a blessed, magical Christmas filled with joy!! ~TMH~

      Reply
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  9. Rachel

    Homemade gifts are the best and everyone loves good food and little treats. These ideas sound delicious. I want to keep the pear preserves and pumpkin granola all to myself, haha. Thanks for sharing on Merry Monday!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Pumpkin granola is a staple in the Taylor Household Rachel (as a matter of fact I made another batch last night). We eat pumpkin granola instead of store-bought cereals here anyway, I just make extra for gifts when the condition warrants.. Gotta agree with ya – homemade gifts are the best. ~TMR~

      Reply
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    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      I love homemade gifts too Jenna, hopefully there are some ideas in this post to get folks’ creative juices flowin’! ~TMR~

      Reply
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  14. Sinea Pies

    What great ideas! Your post was very popular on the Wonderful Wednesday Blog Hop last week and will be featured THIS week! See you there 🙂

    Reply
  15. Kimberly

    This looks like perfect ideas! I wish I could take a bite right now of everything! Pinned and tweeted. Thank you for being a part of our party. I hope to see you on Monday at 7 pm. It wouldn’t be a party without you! Happy Saturday! Lou Lou Girls

    Reply
  16. Joanne T Ferguson

    G’day Love this! Thanks for sharing at our #SayGdayParty! Pinned! Please revisit (if you haven’t already); comments and shares always welcomed as well as visiting someone else at the party Cheers! Joanne What’s On The List?

    Reply
  17. Jayleen @ How Do The Jones Do It

    What awesome gifts! I would love that pumpkin granola or homemade sauce! My hubby looks forward to the homemade barbecue sauce he gets every year from a co-worker. My favorite gift to give is homemade flax seed heating bags. Looking forward to seeing your post on how to make soap!

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      ummmm… flax seed heating bags. I’ve found I really love those heating bag thingies Jayleen – you can heat them up & then tuck them under your lap throw while you’re snuggling on the couch watching TV and it warms you up toasty in no time at all! ~TMR~

      Reply
  18. Amy

    In our family, homemade is always best! You’ve put out many sweet and attractive homemade gift ideas, and I thank you!

    Reply
  19. April

    What nice handmade Christmas gift ideas! 🙂 I would love to invite you to share your post at my 2014 Christmas Homemaking Hop Linky Party. 🙂 http://www.aprilshomemaking.com/2014/12/2014-christmas-homemaking-hop.html

    Reply
  20. Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti

    There is nothing as nice as receiving a wonderful home made food gift for Christmas like the ones you’ve made. I particularly like the tomato sauce!

    Reply
  21. Terry

    Home made gifts are great, I know I have received several. I also make some home made ones. This year many are getting Christmas pillowcases, and one grandson is getting a Christmas quilt. It is really fun to make gifts for others too.

    Reply
  22. ColleenB.

    I feel by giving and receiving homemade gift baskets are the Best as they are given from the heart and made up of love. Nothing pleases me more than receiving a homemade gift item cause I know great thought had gone into it. My daughters where younger they would always make me a homemade card for Christmas and for my birthday which always meant a lot to me and I still have them items that they had given. It is so much fun; yes time consuming, making up gift baskets so each individual on their likes from homemade baked goodies ; seasonings, meat rubs, different varieties of Chex Mix party mixes, right down to a homemade ornament of sorts. I even sit down and make All homemade cards for anniversaries, birthdays, holidays and everything in between. I haven’t bought a store bought card in years. The nice pretty store bought cards are getting so expensive and I can make them cheaper and make them more personal and meaningful. Yesterday in fact I made 2 batch of homemade Ritz Bits candy; one chocolate and one vanilla flavor. I had always told the girls, cause they would always ask what I would want so I would tell them; if you’re going to get me something, make it homemade; even if it’s a plate of cookies. Over the years I haven’t had to mention that fact cause they automatically know . Going to Christmas Eve candlelight services as a family is one of the greatest gifts of all. Just being together and then coming back to the house afterwards for some good, down home, homemade soup supper.

    Reply
    1. Taylor-Made Ranch Post author

      Colleen, you are quite the homemade-card aficionado. Beautiful! And I love your homemade gift ideas! ~TMR~

      Reply

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