christmas · life · penny pinchin' · pinteresting

christmas gifting ~ ideas

Last time I shared some wrapping ideas.  Today, I’d like to share some creative and inexpensive ideas for what’s on the inside.

A couple of years ago, we were expecting our first grandchildren (twin boys). I decided the theme of  A Christmas Carol was in order–Christmas past, Christmas present, and Christmas future.  Each of my ‘kids’ received 3 gifts, one for each category.

Christmas Past
The ‘big boys’, who still wish that they would find Lego under their trees, and my cl boy all got the same mini Lego kits for Christmas past.  After the gift exchange, we had a ‘Master Builder’ challenge à la The Lego Movie using the kits.  The winner was my cl boy, although, in fairness, he was in total Lego mode at that time, and the big boys, not so much.  The challenges were based on speed, execution and creativity.  He won a coveted solar bobble head monkey trophy.  The littles also got a Pez dispenser for nostalgia’s sake.


The ‘girls’ got hand made signs for Christmas Past to commemorate the birth of Christ, each according to their tastes.


Christmas Present
This was the practical gift.  Everyone got a useful item–mostly clothes, if I remember correctly.

Christmas Future
This was the inspiration–looking forward to Christmas future with grandlittles! My Northern boy and his wife got a little handmade Winnie-the-Pooh special delivery watercolour and a blanket buddy from Chapters for the babies and a set of ninjabread men cookie cutters for them.  They affectionately referred to the babies as their ninja babies because they were very active and forever kicking my daughter-in-love in the ribs.  The others got the same cookie cutters (just ’cause they’re so fun!) or Christmas crafting material for the next year.

The following year was a lot of fun, too. We didn’t have a lot of money, so we went for creative.  For the ‘big boys’ we made survival kits. My younger two had fun choosing just the right item that would fit in with the theme, then I made labels in playful fonts to go with each component.

My son-in-love, works as a supervisor at Timmies, so we made him a “Tim Horton’s Survival Kit.”  His package included a smiling mask (for the days he doesn’t feel like smiling), marbles (for the ones he’s lost), Starburst (for a burst of energy to endure to the end of a shift), and other things to help him get through a tough day at work.


My Northern boy is a sleepwalker/talker and had an incident fending off a zombie (his wife) one night. It was a pretty funny story, so we couldn’t resist making him a “Zombie Survival Kit.” His box had useful items, like Off bug spray (Zombie repellent), duct tape (to contain the zombie when you catch him), and other necessities to ward off, catch or otherwise deal with the undead.

My techie boy loves Tolkien books.  His box was not so much a survival kit as “Middle-Earth-in-a-Box”.  I don’t have any pictures of the inside of this kit, because I wrapped it before I thought of it.  This one was so fun.  We could have stuffed ten boxes if we had wanted to.  We found a crazy gobstopper that looked like a giant eyeball (Eye of Sauron), chocolate gold coins (Mountain gold), a leaf plate to ‘wrap’ the lembas bread (crackers), and other items for breakfast, second breakfast, elevenses and so on.  Of course, we couldn’t forget the ‘precious’, a ring pop to rule them all.

Sometimes, I just need a springboard, whether a theme or basic idea, then I just let my imagination run with it.  One year we bought all locally crafted items for our family. You could focus on a favourite hobby (like art, or music, cooking, baking, etc.) and make a gift basket, box or bag. My girls all enjoy knitting and crocheting, so one year I made them all organizers for their needles, hooks and other supplies.  One Christmas, I filled a sack with all kinds of items for fort-building for my littles: sheets, bungee cords, ropes, clamps, clothes pins, and flashlights. We’ve made spy kits, art kits, bracelet-making kits, carving kits, game night boxes…the possibilities are endless!

Handmade gifts are often inexpensive and thoughtful.  After my dad passed away, I put his glasses in a shadow box and embellished it for my mom.  One year, I gave her a journal to record some memories for us and a jar full of prompts.  My daughter-in-love makes my Love his favourite cookies each year. I’ve enjoyed making keepsake-type gifts for my grandlittles–baby blankets, books and growth charts.

Pinterest is full of amazing ideas that get me thinking.  Hope this helps you to think outside the [gift] box!

*Sorry these pictures are so bad.  I wasn’t planning on posting these, they were just for my own reference.

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