I'm not denying that I do this but I have been undergoing a transformation as of late: what about giving presents that you didn't buy? You may think that I am crazy but sometimes the best presents are ones that don't come from the store. What do I mean? Well, here are some ideas that might spark your imagination.
- Jewelry: an item that was worn by a relative or important family member means more than buying the latest rock. I still get tears in my eyes every time I think of my necklace - it came from my great-aunt. I never take it off. Nothing that was bought can replace that connection.
- Used hobby items: last year for Christmas I got my great-aunt's old knitting needles and it was the best present ever. Of course, I could buy an entire set into a craft store but she actually used these over the past 50 years. Now I am using them. All my mom had to do was fish them out of the closet! Other great items are pinking shears, scissors, pins, crochet hooks, yarn, fabric, books, patterns and such. If they are sitting around and you know someone who is interested in these items, gift them!
- Dishes: for our wedding, we received a butter dish from an older lady who had originally received it for her wedding 54 years ago. This became a treasure in my house. Dishes last for such a long time and can be passed down in the family -- especially if they come with a special story.
- Photos: old family photos are a real treasure. Sometimes everyone wants a copy of each photo, so why not go and get copies made of the old family photos and give those in a nice photo album?
- Recipe cards: look for the old recipe cards that your grandmother or other family member wrote on. To make this present extra special, include the card (or a really good scan of the card) along with the item itself, made from the recipe. For example, grandma's fruitcake recipe with a fruitcake that you made.
- Ornaments: just like dishes, some ornaments are treasures that were given to you by someone special. This is a great idea for whenever a grandparent passes away to give your children an ornament that they gave you one year. Perhaps include a few pictures of the grandparent and you with the ornament.
- Furniture: if you have an item that was passed down in the family or bought from an antique furniture store, why not give that? It could be grandma's dresser or end table that will make someone else's day.
- Articles of clothing: vintage clothing is very popular right now and you may have some items that you inherited or that you bought a long time ago but don't wear anymore. Some great ideas are purses and accessories but also shirts, dresses and such. I know that even if I don't like the item, I can remodel it and it is still something that my mother wore.
- Blankets or quilts: family quilts are heirlooms. So are blankets, especially ones made by a grandparents.