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Top 5 Homemade Christmas Presents

Posted by
23 Dec 2014
For me, the official beginning to the Christmas period has always been marked by the first time in the year that Coca Cola air their Santa advert. This year, the coca cola Santa was overshadowed by the achingly sweet John Lewis penguin advert, the debut of which provoked a flurry of nostalgic outpouring on social media. Sam and his special friend Monty inspired us to think about what we really want to receive for Christmas this year and, more importantly, what we would like to give.
It's always nice to receive gifts, especially when you've had your eye on things for a while. Laptops, iPad, Xboxes, perfume, shoes and clothes etc. are always needed and wanted but they do lack originality and true sentiment. The words 'gift set' instantly make me think 'impersonal and probably boring'. As an example of this, my mum used to send me out to Boots every year to buy a range of generic gift sets that she could then hastily wrap up for any unexpected visitors over the Christmas period. 
There's something so satisfying about seeing someone unwrap a gift which is a little bit different, something unique which you picked out specifically with them in mind. If you really want to go the distance for someone, here are some ideas for things you can actually make from scratch:
  1. Collage/sculpture: When I was 13, my best friend cut up all of our Smash Hits and Just Seventeen magazines to present me with a collage of all the famous men we found attractive. I still have this in my place now, in all its A3 glory. Albeit, it's not on display but it brings up ridiculous and cute memories for me and I'll never part with it. It also comforts me to know that I wasn't the only person in the world in love with Dieter Brummer. If you and a friend share an absurd/embarrassing fixation, there's nothing better than creating a visual record of this which will haunt you for years to come. 
  2. Knitted Scarf/jumper: If you're fortunate enough to be able to knit, there are such a wide range of gifts that you can bestow upon your loved ones. The most obvious choices are scarves and jumpers but you can tailor this to the individual. A particularly frugal friend of mine once received a knitted wallet from his secret Santa as homage to his penny pinching ways. Even when the message is snide, it's still touching when someone makes such an effort to show you what they think of you.
  3. Edible Treats: Cakes, cookies, homemade jams and chutneys make really lovely gifts. Even though they don't last for years and years, I love receiving homemade food gifts that I can share with my family on Christmas day; some years, this has been my sole contribution to the feast.
  4. Plants and flowers: I've never been able to do this for others but last year I received a chilli plant that a friend had grown for me. She'd grown it from seeds, specifically with me in mind. It's such a thoughtful gift to receive, knowing that someone has had the foresight to plan a gift for you months in advance. I may have only kept the plant alive for 5 weeks but those 5 weeks were magical! It's probably too late to do this for someone now but it could be a good idea for Christmas 2015.
  5. Mix tape: In my view, making someone a mix tape is the ultimate gesture to show that you really value someone and care what they think. It's impossible to put together a compilation of songs for a friend without giving a lot of thought to what they like and how they are.
It's such a shame that tape decks have become a thing of the past. I think that the closest modern equivalent is a Spotify playlist but it doesn't quite have the same impact as handing over a cassette with a handwritten label.

I know most people will have already purchased all your Christmas presents for this year. However, if you're at a loss for some inspiration and can't face wrapping up another set of bath salts, maybe give some of these ideas a try.

Are you trying any last minute homemade ideas, or are you relying on your deliveries turning up on time?

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