Got a lot of blackberries? Then check out this recipe for Blackberry Mojito Fruit Leather.

I'm not a huge fan of fruit leathers, but this turned out super good! And, really, you can't go wrong with blackberries, mint and rum.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Buy Hand for the Holidays Challenge

I really like doing the Buy Nothing Challenges, mostly because they make me think about the purchases I make and keep the spending down considerably. Well, at least from my end of the credit card. I wanted to do another one this year, but it always gets more difficult as we near the holidays as people have a lot of shopping they need to do, not only for gift giving, but also for holiday celebrations, parties, dinners and the like.

So, I got an idea that I'm pretty excited about. It's a new challenge that I'm unleashing on you and I'm calling it the Buy Hand for the Holidays Challenge. What's with the name and what does it mean?

Well, the goal of the challenge is to have you do one or more of the following:

  • hand-make your gifts
  • buy your gifts that are handmade by someone else (like from Etsy or a local craftsperson)
  • buy it used either at a thrift store, yard sale, Craigslist or Freecycle, etc.
  • barter for your gifts

    Giving you all these choices allows that you can still get products for gifts if you don't know necessarily what to make, but you aren't contributing to new purchases and all the environmental impact associated with that. Now, I know this is a HUGE chunk to bite off, so I'm going to let you be flexible about it. Some of you might try to shoot for 100% Buy Hand and some will choose to buy certain objects they know they can't get away with otherwise.

    I'm announcing it so bloody early in the season because I know it's going to take a lot more thought, planning and, in many cases, energy to pull off a Buy Hand Holiday. As the season wears on, I'll be posting skads of suggestions for gifts that you can make, ideas for sticking to the guidelines and open it up to you guys for suggestions. By telling us what you're doing, it will give the rest of us great ideas for gift giving.

    If you are willing to sign up for the Buy Hand for the Holidays Challenge add your name to the comments, including any ideas you have about what to give, just to give people an idea of where to start. If you would like to promote the challenge on your blog or site, you can add this code for the button doohicky:

    <a href="http://www.thecrunchychicken.com/2009/09/buy-hand-for-holidays-challenge.html"><img src="http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_8ndgSYbdkZ0/Srb1yP21yqI/AAAAAAAAC7s/cGuSHsxACUs/S259/BuyHand.jpg" border="0" alt="Buy Hand for the Holidays Challenge - 2009" /></a>

  • 102 comments:

    Blessings from Southwestern , Michigan said...

    I started giving hand made gifts last year to my grand-kids.I made them chef aprons to encourage them to help with cooking in the kitchen,and for wearing while they did there chores. They loved them!
    ~~Hugs~~
    kids ages 3yrs old to 11years old

    Beany said...

    I'm going to sign up. I've never done Christmas - bought gifts or even acknowledged the holiday. But, this year I've turned over a new leaf and am going to give gifts and not be such a damn curmudgeon about the whole thing. It will bring a smile to my friends' faces and maybe it will be something nice to do.

    Kim said...

    Sign me up! I have to say, with the exception of a few things I've picked up over the last year already (and on sale) this was already basically my plan for the year.

    I making gifts things like jewelry and lotions and scrubs...and I've been purchasing from etsy up a storm. PLUS, the craft fairs start soon!

    Tel said...

    Im definitely in, ive been meaning to make presents for my loved ones for a few years, but never have. So this year, now with incentive, I will :)

    Green Bean said...

    I'm in! I'll aim to do about 90% of our gifts this way. Not sure I can recreate a lego set - which is what the youngest wants - by hand or find it second hand. Otherwise, we'd be all in. Great challenge.

    Manda said...

    I'm in too!
    I'm not very handy and usually leave things to the last minute so this will be interesting. I'll give it my best shot anyway :P

    Shibaguyz said...

    We're definitely in. On top of running our own Etsy shop of handmade goods, we make nearly all of our holiday gifts. This year, we will do the usual canned fruits and vegetables as well as my crochet and knitwear designs. In addition, we're making photo albums and cd's as well as making our own wrapping and gift bags. All of our materials (aside from the cd's) will be from recycled products.

    Robj98168 said...

    I am so in on this one- Great Idea- I did something simular last year and it turned out great. So count me in!

    Robj98168 said...

    BTW- If anyone wants a slighlty used copy of Ed Begley's Guide to Sustainable Living, I am hosting a giveaway on my blog. Great gift for the holiday!

    Robj98168 said...

    Grean Bean- the sell all sorts of lego on Ebay!

    Nonie said...

    I'm very in. :)

    Robj98168 said...

    Not to be a comment whore, but aren't you starting this christmas thing a tad early- or are you taking your cue from WalMart...

    Fleecenik Farm said...

    I've been working on making presents most of the year. Yeah I know ..its silly. but I am a big knitter and each December I would have cramped fingers and not a very giving attitude because I was busy and rushed getting it all together. So this year I decided to make one thing a month towards the goal of knitting all the hats and mittens for extended family that I wanted to give. This has pleased my Hubby because he thinks he might actually get something besides a bag of yarn and a promise.

    So, yes, I will join the challenge!

    Radioactive Duck said...

    I'm so in. Last year I knitted everyone hats (kids) and scarves (for those 15 & up). For my friends I started a Christmas in July attempt, which has really turned into "Christmas whenever Hope happens to get to the post office". I opened the pull top cans with one of those safety can openers on the bottom of the can and then filled the inside with hand made dream pillows, then I recycled the coupon mailers as decorations for the outside of the cans. They've been a big hit so far. I definitely up for doing something similar for my family for Christmas, especially since the job situation isn't looking very promising and I may just be working off my school loans while I finish my masters.

    The Mom said...

    I'm in! My family did this last year and it was great. This year will be a combination of knitting sewing and having my neighbor build a few things for the kids. Its going to be fun!

    organicneedle said...

    Great idea. And Rob...it is not to early because if you are going to do handmade you need to plan waaaaay in advance. I always think of 10 great ideas...in December ...that needed to be started in October. If only we could wrap up good intentions.

    Sandy said...

    I'm totally in. We're already making goat milk soap and horsehair jewelry, and I picked up an antique tim box at a flea market yesterday. This is the only kind of shopping I enjoy! YAY!

    Sandy said...

    TIN, not TIM. Sheesh

    Jenny said...

    I haven't been a big commenter, but I am totally in on this one! I have already started as well. I got my son a basketball goal at a yard sale for his December birthday. And we bought a train table used from a friend for their big gift at Christmas this year. I am, by request, crocheting washcloths for relatives, and have been wanting to learn to make soap which would make a great gift with the cloths.
    I really like the apron ideas for the kids--my daughter is wanting to learn to cook, so this would be great!

    Heather @ SGF said...

    We've done 1/2 handmade by me and 1/2 handmade from our farmers' market for the last two years. At first I thought people would think I was just cheap, but it turns out, people LOVE the gift baskets I put together of my homemade jams and granolas and farmers' market honey and salsas. BIG hit!

    Sandy said...

    Another thought: Lots of non-profits and Fair Trade organizations offer handmade goodies this time of year. This would be a great time to both lower our carbon footprint AND contribute to the greater good. I LOVE the idea of handmade washcloths with handmade soap! Thanks!

    Julie said...

    Count me in too. From my perspective the presents I remember giving and getting have been the homemade ones. Sometimes because they were so good and sometimes not, and that's what makes good memories (and stories.)

    Heather @ SGF said...

    Oh... and I'm in. Just put the icon on the blog...

    JanetDavies said...

    I appreciate the reminder! I usually do make most of my gifts but frantically at the last minute. I would like to take the time to really enjoy it this year. Your button thingy is on my blog. Thanks!

    Mimi said...

    I don't really celebrate Xmas by buying gifts much anyway and when I do gift exchanges(like for certain material individuals in my immediate family or stupid secret santas) it is always local crafts of some sort or made by me. This will be an easy one.

    Jenipurr said...

    I'm in - at least in part. My goal lately has been to either give handmade gifts, or experience gifts (tickets to a show they want to see, for example), mainly as a way to avoid giving more 'clutter'. My younger sister and I encouraged this trend for last year's Christmas, so I'm hoping we've inspired the rest of our family to follow, even just a little bit.

    Tree Hugging Mama said...

    I'm in. In DH's family each child gets a grab bag name and has to give that child a gift. A wants to make her baby cousin (who she hoped to draw) a princess dress up box. We have the tin (one of her old ones) and the dress pattern (one her grandmother made her) as well as much material. I am very excited to see how it turns out.
    For S she chose and older cousin (senior in high school) but she still very much wants to make her a gift, so with my Father's help she is going to make her a jewelry box, and with my mother's help a pair of earings and a necklace.

    As for the girls we are purchasing a used DS Lite for the youngest as her big Santa gift, and a used Digital Camera for the older as her Santa gift.

    The rest will be homemade. Jams for his parents and mine, quilts for the girls, and several scrapbooks for many people.

    Aimee said...

    I'm in too. I usually do about half-handmade anyway but in the last few years it's been drifting up towards 75% as I have less money and want to buy less stuff. Lots of people are getting home canned goods and goat cheese. I highly suggest holiday craft fairs, folks, especially those put on by churches and charitable organizations. They often have beautiful things and raise money for good causes to boot. Happy hunting!

    Ellen said...

    I'm in! I also have the Lego issue but other than that, I plan to give gifts of knitting, CSA goodies and certificates (for babysitting etc). Thanks for the reminder! Taking the button now!

    dee dee said...

    Last year I made about 90% of my gifts: knitted berets, scarves, fisherman's hats and washcloths (these I made from organic cotton in a knubbly stitch that is nice for exfoliating), a hand-decorated glass jar for a nephew's collection of beach glass (bought the jar new), a hand-decorated box (found used) with a padlock (bought new at the hardware store) for another nephew, and various home-made jams and jellies. I loved doing it and the people on my gift list seemed to appreciate my efforts. This year I'm thinking of making flannel pajama bottoms, makek-up and ditty bags, more knitted hats and scarves, and market bags made from repurposed denim jeans.

    Chile said...

    We don't do a lot of gift-giving at the holidays, but I do give things away throughout the year. Generally it's homemade items, often with a thrift store container.

    Lately, I've been giving away food I've preserved. Many of my canning jars are from thrift stores or yard sales. This month, I'll be giving away pre-holiday homemade vinegar in lovely little jars I just picked up used. I had to buy new corks for them, but from a locally-owned brewing store.

    Amber said...

    I have been considering something like this myself, so I'm in! Any excuse to buy something from Etsy is always cool with me. :)

    Segwyne said...

    I have always strived to handmake a gift for each of my children every year. Last year, we did really well. I bought my yarn in September and started a knitting marathon (5 kids means a lot of gifts). We limited gifts last year to the one I make, one from their father (usually he buys something), the obligatory socks and underwear (they go through them so fast), one outfit, and their stockings (not the gigantic oversized ones). I think we kept Christmas to under $500 total for the whole family, including hubby's and my gifts to each other. The kids were not overwhelmed for once, and it was much easier on the pocketbook (though my hands did get tired of knitting for several months).

    What a great challenge. Thanks, Crunchy. I'm in.

    Crunchy Chicken said...

    For those of you who have an Etsy store or sell handmade goods, let me know what the link to the site is so I can compile a list to post next month as a reference for people who are looking for ideas.

    Robj98168 said...

    Orgabic Needle- I know and I agree. Just trying to pluck a few of Crucnhy's feathers. Besides who can resist drawing a beard and mustache on Crunchy? I can't.

    Mary said...

    I'm in...except for one gift for my daughter that has already been bought and was on the top of her list for the last 2 years. Otherwise we will do all handmade to friends and family.
    I have an etsy shop I would love on your list called www.ainsleyandoswald.etsy.com
    I sell toys for children.

    DramaMama said...

    YES - I attempted to make gifts last year and I'm going to attempt again. If I fail to complete them all (like I did last year!) I will do my best to buy handmade. That's new for me - I've always wanted to shop on etsy, but haven't taken the plunge yet. We also have 2 really cool handmade stores in town, so I'll start looking there too =) Thanks for this challenge! I hope word will get around and more will join!

    Tadj said...

    I'll sign up! I usually try to make most of my gifts anyway. It will be good if I try to go for 100% handmade this christmas.

    lisazahnwrites said...

    I will definitely participate in this! I'm going to try for 100%, though that is a huge challenge with stuff for our own kids. I may just have to make them pajamas, since I was planning to get them some nice ones...big challenge for me!

    I'm glad you're starting this one early.

    Something else I'm going to buy are books at half.com or used on Amazon. I already have some in mind, and figured why not get books that look new for half price or less?

    And some people (prob. just women) on my list will be getting vintage aprons I picked up for 25 cents each at a garage sale this summer. They're beautiful and like new.

    Anonymous said...

    Count me in, we've always done a lot of homemade or thrift shopped gifts but t this will get me motivated to do more. I'm currently doing a 20/20 challenge with our Be Local group. They're challenging us to spend at least $20 locally for the 20 weeks. Here's a link if you're interested:
    http://belocalnc.org/ We have a lot of amazing local artists and food artisans so I'll definitely support them.

    So far I have made several bottles of herbal vinegars, dandelion wine and 2 cases of peach butter. I have lots of seed to package up, pesto to make and dried herbs.

    One year I bought a bunch of small baskets and bottles from the thrift store, filled the bottles with good olive oil and placed them in the basket with a clove of garlic from our garden and an envelope filled with a dried Italian herb mixture. I added a recipe for dipping sauce which I tied onto the bottle with raffia and tucked in a stem of fresh rosemary.

    Another year I made bath salt (very easy!), I've made earrings, colored pencil drawings....

    I have to get busy!!

    diana

    abitnesty said...

    i'm already doing it anyway, so...i'm in!

    abitnesty said...

    see abitnesty.wordpress.com for ideas :).

    Farmer's Daughter said...

    I try to do as much hand-made as possible. It always makes me think of the year my then-boyfriend (now husband) gave me a 4-poster cherry bed that he built on Christmas Eve, then proposed on Christmas morning.

    I'm nowhere near that skilled, but I give canned items, hats or scarves, etc.

    Farmer's Daughter said...

    Oh, also wanted to note that everyone in my family had hand-knitted Christmas stockings from my grandma Mema. She makes them for babies at birth and then she also gives them when people get engaged/married so everyone in the family has one. We love ours! And it's a good starting place if you don't have them already.

    Simplesmente Green said...

    I'm in too. From the other side of the Ocean... the holidays will be more fun and personnal.
    Paula
    Portugal

    LizzieDee said...

    In,in,in!! Fed up of consumer crazy mentality and yucky gifts that are played with once and then chucked aside..I want quality!I want handmade!:o)

    Think Pink said...

    Not to sound repetitive here but...
    I'm in!

    We have our students make gifts for their parents at every holiday. I know that the coworkers I usually buy for are either in need of basics (like kleenex and hand sanitizer for the kids) or services (like someone to prepare the classroom at the end of the day during conference week).

    I'm thinking of making a little coupon book for the two teachers with things that are just so time consuming that they really do need help with (like changing the seasonal display or hole punching all the flash cards for the year).

    ruchi said...

    Sounds good. I'm mostly in ... but I'm adding another category. I'm also going to allow non-stuff related gifts. Such as: gift certificates to dinner, tickets to a play, museum passes, etc, etc

    Q said...

    IN! This is a great idea! I love it.

    Sadraki said...

    I'm in! I don't really do much for holidays but between now and mid-January I've got 5 family birthdays coming up! Though I'm adding in "experience" gifts. I've got some folks I want to give concert tickets too and I always donate to a women's rights group in my Mom's name each year. But those are still in the spirit I think--no waste on gadgets we don't really need.

    The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

    I'm in, too!
    Last year I knitted hats and scarves for my sons, their significant others, and my grandchildren. I've already got some ideas floating around, and one afghan started.
    Thanks for the heads-up! I'll get the button for my blog now.

    Condo Blues said...

    Last year I made almost all of my stocking stuffers. Sugar Scrubs for the ladies, peppermint bark for the guys, gingerbread & cardamon cookies for all. My mom made our stockings smallish and all adults help Santa fill them. The dogs got homemade peanut butter treats, braided fleece chew toys, and potty bag holders for their leashes. The only exception was the ornament that I buy for my niece & nephew. I Christmas shop year round and already had it in the gift closet. This year I'm making a corn hole game for my father in law and my mother in law asked me to make her a buttercup purse like the one I made myself this summer. This year the dogs are getting homemade toys and treats again. I'm not sure about the rest. I have 35 people on my list (They are all immediate family) I will be doing some experience gifts as family gifts and a few gift cards because I can help out those who need it (starving college students who need to buy textbooks, etc.)

    Aydan said...

    Farmer's Daughter, that's a very sweet Christmas story!

    I wish I could do this, but I don't see how to make it work out. I have no skills for making things by hand, anything I get up here has to fit into a suitcase, and I won't get home until a few days before Christmas. But I do really agree with the idea of resisting the commercialization of Christmas, and that's something I try to do. Sometimes I'll buy people "alternative" gifts like from Heifer or Oxfam.

    One year as an experiment, I asked people not to give me Christmas gifts, but to make some sort of donation instead. (Not to toot my own horn-- you'll notice I didn't repeat the experiment!) What was interesting was that some of my friends got upset with me, because they felt I was "ruining" Christmas or that I was rocking the boat. I still don't understand why, but I don't think it's a very good commentary on the way we perceive Christmas + stuff.

    organicneedle said...

    I'd love to be included in your Etsy list. http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5619053

    Or you can just search for me under Organic Needle as a seller.

    Thanks!

    abitnesty said...

    ok, so now that i've updated my blog abitnesty.wordpress.com...i wanted to share what i'm making. i usually spend ridiculous amounts of time coming up with a gift for the men and a gift for the women.

    for the women:
    handmade crocheted dishcloths
    homemade lemon-lavender dish soap
    homemade lemony kitchen hand scrub

    for the men:
    a shaving set! complete with a tea tree-lavender soap filled mug and a badger bristle shaving brush.

    check out my blog for pictures and recipes :). yay crunchy chicken! go handmade!!

    Mama Mama Quite Contrary said...

    I'm in too! Perhaps, I'm being optimistic since I have a 3 year-old and infant twins but if it doesn't work out, there's always ETSY and craft fairs! Some of the things I have planned for my girls' stockings are: bean bags, cloth snack sacks, bibs, soft blocks, homemade rattles, felt food, and chunky jewelry for the preschooler.

    I'd recommend the website: www.oneprettything.com to your readers. It is a daily compendium of all the craft tutorials on the web. I've gotten a million ideas there.

    Thanks for the great challenge, Crunchy!

    Veronica said...

    I'm in! I usually try to make a few things but I'm going to make my list today and figure out something to make of everyone.

    One thing I already planned to make are crayons (basically getting a mold and making old crayons new again)

    Another thing I usually make are Texas Christmas Pickles. I think I got the recipe from allrecipes.com -- they are so good!

    The Raven said...

    I am definitely in! I've been trying to do this for the last 5 years or so--but frequently fall down on a few books here and there... The knitting needles are now clacking away!

    LynnieBee said...

    I'm SO IN, I actually kinda did this last year. Between homemade blankets and giving away homemade applesauce and pickles and such, I would say probably 65-70% of my Christmas gifts were homemade, this year I'll really chalenge myself to go 100% "buy hand" :)

    AP said...

    In. Last year I did a 'no malls and box stores' Christmas. So easy to avoid the mall, and I nearly succeeded on the box stores (blast you Kohls for your sales).

    I went with experience gifts (tickets to shows), Goodwill (nice picture frames), bottles of wine, and Etsy.

    Missy said...

    Will definately go for this one...I've already started picking up a few items at thrift store..that fit in with things I have been making by hand..or grown in garden..drying herbs stuff like that..

    Megan@SortaCrunchy said...

    In. Count me in.

    (My word verification is "deork." Oh, Blogger. You know me well.)

    Kayleigh said...

    I'm in. :) Every year for Christmas my sister & I make ornaments to give out to all of our family members. This year it should be easy for me to make/buy second hand gifts since I'm without a job and don't have many people to get gifts for.

    Julie Andrea said...

    I'm in too! When I think back, some of the best presents that I have received were home made. We can do this! LOL

    Julie Andrea

    Liz said...

    Count me in! I am planning to make some foodie gifts =)

    Anonymous said...

    I give away a lot of homemade jams, sauces, and pastries for birthdays and Christmas. Doesn't work so well for my husband, though; he's receiving all those things anyway! But we consider good, durable tools that will be well used a valid purchase.
    NM

    Robbie @ Going Green Mama said...

    I'm in, sort of. This year, we're being uber-practical with the gifts (clothes for the kids, and frankly, I can't sew!). But everyone else is getting a homemade gift.

    Not to do a shameless plug, but I put ideas for some up on my blog last holiday season (especially for slacker types who wait till the last minute like me.)

    Going to have to re-read these to get ideas later!

    Kari said...

    I'm in!

    We're already doing this, so it's not much of a challenge, really. ;)

    Some handmade gifts we've created and given away have been:

    - playmats for the kids (a fav was a fishing playmat)
    - toy felt food
    - aprons
    - fabric "paper" dolls
    - fabric books
    - handmade sugar scrub
    - handmade lip balm
    - handmade hand cream
    - home canned foods
    - home baked foods
    - shoe bags
    - laundry bags
    - fabric balls
    - soft shoes/slippers
    - dolls
    - scripture totes
    - tote bags/drawstring bags
    - clothing (pajama pants are easy)

    Michelle said...

    I'm totally in and have known since last Christmas what the gifts will be: altered Altoids tins. I spent about $50 (including S&H) on 150 used tins earlier this year. Now I seriously need to get working on them! Looks like there will only be 2 storebought gifts this year, yay!

    Allie said...

    I'm in. My holiday shopping list is small, but I generally give home-canned foods, second-hand books, etc.

    Lorri said...

    I'm in. I do try for handmade gifts; this year will be a combination of handmade & purchased. The crafts I can make, I'm still learning!

    Liz said...

    I'm in!!! I picked up some funky reclaimed yarn from Smart Monkey (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6245031) at the fremont sunday market (reclaimed yarn by local business!) and will be making washcloths & market bags. Sam is going to make candle holders out of big canning jars & tissue paper on the outside (jars from good will, tissue paper reused from my junk drawer!)

    Rachel B. said...

    Sign me up! So far I'm knitting washclothes and soap, and edibles.

    Renee Unplugged - said...

    I am definitely IN!
    My group of close friends has already done this among ourselves for several years. Gifts have included handmade toiletries, jams/jellies, home baked cookies, baking mixes in jars, quilts, prepared meals and hand made clothes.

    Sandy said...

    Would anyone be interested in trading wares for Christmas presents? For instance, I make goat milk soap and hand crocheted washcloths which I market for $15 a set...if you would have something of equal value and be interested in trading, to give us a little more diversity...it might be fun. What do you think, Crunchy? Is there a forum for this? I can't give everyone soap!!!

    Sparkless said...

    I already pretty much do this for my family members. I bake cookies, make soaps and bath salts. I've baked cakes, sewn hats, knitted scarfs and blankets.
    My husband is a pretty good painter and has collected large stones and painted on them for people's gardens and yards.
    We've made hot pads out of old tiles and glued on some cork on the back. We've made holiday basekts and filled them with whatever we can make or find.
    I think the favorite gift I gave was when I made jams and salsa and everyone got a couple jars each along with some Christmas cookies.

    Allison said...

    Great idea! I have gradually increased the percentage of handmade gifts (by me or purchased at craft fairs or on etsy) each year over the last 3 years. This year I expect to be at about 80%. Some things I want to give will be store bought.

    I am making tea bags (purchased loose teas and supplies at SF Herb Co.), my 3 year old is painting wooden boxes for his grandparents to put the teas in. Crayon rolls, jammie pants and art aprons for kids, knitting socks, jams and mustards, cookie of the month club, bread of the month club (make different cookie/bread each month and deliver to recipient.) Finishing up a bunch of knitting projects that have been in hibernation: an afghan for my husband, socks for my mom.

    I started in July, and I'm about 60% finished!

    Kellie said...

    I'm finally committing! We've increased our handmade gifts each year as well. There are a few store-bought green gifts that I plan to buy (which is why I hesitated to join the challenge) but I can safely say that about 80% of our gifts will be handmade, with the other 20% still being pretty green (the Simple brand shoes I bought for the hubby).

    suzannah said...

    i'm thinking about 75%. i love to buy handmade, but i wish i were craftier myself! i can make a mean lemon curd and cranberry infused vodka, tho:)

    Luna said...

    Wow...just the challage I was looking for to motivate me through the season. Thank you.

    Greenjoycie said...

    I'm in.

    Katy said...

    Okay. Count me as someone with no skill in making stuff. Most of the time I give donations to things, and/or experiances (ie concerts, theater etc.) This will he a whole new experiance for me so I'm going to get a jump on it and start now.

    Thanks for the challenge!

    exhausted said...

    Poverty is sometimes a blessing, from demand I began making small baby blankets, its a fraction of the shop price, food I have always given as gifts, and as my repetoire expands from jams, cookies, herby cheeses, to bath scents etcs. I like to think I have quite a reputation now for "good stuff" Besides the price, and the green factor, the sheer enjoyment and ideals I bestow to my kids is precious.
    Contrary to being a miser/frugal, I took the thought and love behind every present and trully gave a gift:)

    Diana R.Smith said...

    Our Christmas celebration has always been 95% homemade even when we had more money than now. This year people will get baskets with our honey, beeswax candles, homemade soap,soup-in-a-jar and their must have gift of date-filled oatmeal cookies...heck, probably could skip the other stuff but never the cookies!!!!

    Already have our turkey ordered from our Mennonite friends that raise pastured poultry. We try to eat our Thanksgiving meal with everything straight from our own farm...and usually only the coffee isn't.

    When my kids were little they always got homemade matching pj's and several pr. of mittens..was I wrong when they reached their teens thinking I could skip the jammies! This a a GREAT challenge...I'm in. DEE

    Monica said...

    I'm signing up as well. Last year, I didn't plan my holiday shopping at all. I usually do a mix of used and new. We ended up at the mall in between snow storms, doing a last minute scramble to purchase all of our gifts. :(
    I love this idea.

    Country Girl said...

    Great post! I read through all the comments and got some good ideas. Every year I make more and more presents. These are the gifts people love most. Here is a link I recently did with last years posts on handmade goodies for anyone that wants some ideas.

    http://achornfarm.blogspot.com/2009/10/homemade-christmas-presents.htm

    anne m. said...

    I'm in - this is our usual plan anyhow =)

    nettlejuice said...

    I love the name "buy hand..."
    I was planning on hand making gifts anyway, but what fun to do it as a challenge. I'll be knitting toys and hats, sewing toys and decorations and bags and who knows what else. My husband plans on trying to make a wooden castle for our son. We'll see...

    Earth Mama said...

    I love it!! Thank you for such a wonderful idea!

    aspiemom said...

    I made banana breads, full loaves, for the teachers last year instead of purchasing gift cards.

    I'll do the same this year or I might give jars of cookie mix. Here's an example:

    http://allrecipes.com/recipe/gingerbread-cookie-mix-in-a-jar/detail.aspx

    Will pass this along on Facebook.

    Anonymous said...

    Okay, Aspiemom, I am taking the challenge. If my 7 kids get wind of it, it will be all over for me. It is a necessity this year for us since there are 9 of us living on one income. My hubby got no overtime this year. Most of us are struggling with the recession. This will be fun to do, I hope.

    Beany said...

    Hey Crunchy: Do you know about regretsy?, for the hated one on your shopping list? Or for hours of hilarity for yourself. (NSFW...well most of the posts anyway)

    *jean* said...

    i am painting little wooden houses and angels i found at the thrift store...i got really lucky...and am making gift tags and small cards....maybe some jewelry...i also support local business...i found a local candy store and bought candy last year....the last 2 years everything i gave was handmade, made locally or from the antique store...just got some beeswax candles made in VA for this year too!

    Sidonie said...

    Count me in! We had already committed as a family to do this from this year forward...and now that there is a platform for bartering via blogspot, thanks to your challenge, even better... I am a jewelry artisan, selling statewide to high-end gift shops and health food stores, also have a fiber studio...sooooo...I would love to barter some of my jewelry or raw fiber( merino or angora) for just about anything. I can work something out on the shipping, so no problem there...and if anyone is in MO, then local is even better. I can also do custom orders on the jewelry, so those of you who want something super special for wifeypooh...bring me your barter offer! Kudos to you for starting this up...I will be promoting it for you on my blog, and in my other ygroups.namaste, Sidonie

    nocton4 said...

    I'm in too.
    Bath melts, sleep pillows and bath bags are in the works along with knitted scarfs, mittens and hats.
    xx

    lauralynne said...

    I mentioned this on my blog a couple of weeks ago but don't think I actually signed up. I'm in, although I think it will be more like 80%. I will make some things for my husband, but may also buy some things as well. Most of my other gifts will be homemade. I'm expanding this to include items I buy that might help another achieve success in making their own things (if I know they're interested). For example, my BIL loves to garden and I have a couple of great books that I think he'd really love.

    Kimmie and Heartpoet said...

    We have lots of lovely homemade gift ideas in our friendly forum.
    All are welcome to join :]


    http://lickyalipsdelish.com/

    Wendi said...

    We've been moving towards a totally handmade holiday for the last few years. We're not all the way there, but we're getting close! I know that this year no one will get anything from me that isn't handmade.:o)

    Lily Girl said...

    We've been moving more and more in this direction. In fact last year I did make the vast majority of our gifts.
    This year's ideas so far:
    - something-in-a-jar for aunt/uncles/cousins (may necessitate buying canning jars, but I think I probably have enough)
    - homemade preserves for our dads
    - homemade bath fizzies/bombs for mom's and sisters
    - homemade bread/treats for the neighbors
    - homemade playdough for friend's kids and my niece
    - used books for my niece and his nephew

    Radioactive Duck said...

    I meant to post this forever and a day ago, but for my "Christmas in July" presents I took canned items that had a poptop and opened the bottom of the cans with a safety can opener so the poptop was still in tack and then filled the cans with the gifts. I then used a glue stick to glue to bottoms back on. After I pilled the labels off the cans I took the advertisement junk mail and decorated the outside.

    Melodie said...

    I'm spending time on Etsy this year for presents. That and my local Saturday market. Etsy has everything. I'm splurging and buying a beautiful handpainted duvet cover for my husband, my girls are getting handcrafted toys from a Xmas craft fair (wooden cameras and baby doll slings) and my mom is getting a handmade purse. I also tell my mom to buy clothes for my girls second hand and they always end up with more than they otherwise would have.

    Jenni said...

    I am making cards and scrapbook pages, maybe some baked goods, too!

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