Originally Posted by joyful
I wanted to share something that happened when I was in my 20's raising our family. Back then money was always tight and we wanted to make sure our kids had a good Christmas but yet I had many gifts to buy for other family members. One member in particular was my Grandmother on my Dad's side who was very well off and could buy anything she wanted. Well, I bought her a beautiful blouse and she was appreciative but I can't say I ever seen her wear the blouse.
So the next year I really had to scramble to come up with gift ideas that didn't cost a lot. I gave my Grandmother a Christmas Cactus flower and she loved it. Every year she called me to come up and see how it grew. When I gave it to her it was just a small plant but she would beam when I arrived and she showed me how it grew. I heard more about that simple gift than any other and she got more joy from it.
Another idea I had for other aunts/uncles. I bought pretty small saucers and make my cheese ball and put some in every saucer and wrapped it with pretty clear paper and ribbon, they loved it.
And one year my cousin who makes wonderful Christmas cookies gave my parents a tin with homemade cookies and it sure was a hit with my parents, they loved it. I can still hear my mother's voice when she opened up the gift.
So keep it simple and I hope this helps some with their gift giving.
You are right---love the cheese ball and cookies ideas!
One year when I was young and on chemo, I made a cassette tape as though I was doing a radio program, and dedicated a Christmas record to each person on my gift list. Then I made copies of the tape and sent them out to my friends. They enjoyed those tapes for years!
I'm the only "crafty" one in my family, so crocheted afghans, hats, mittens, and scarves go over big!
For ten years we made Christmas compilation cassettes or CDs for our friends of funny, rare, or extremely old Christmas music. Then a few years ago we started making Christmas DVDs with Christmas-themed video clips. It's a lot of work---we usually start choosing clips in August, and the editing keeps me busy until Thanksgiving. Friends look forward to what we're going to come up with next.
My Christmas cactus is growing like a monster, so I started three cuttings from it that are growing nicely, and they'll be gifts for someone this year.