‘Tis the season to make gifts

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Shalika Oza

Some of the most thoughtful gifts for family and friends can be homemade – with love instead of money.

by Sumaia Wegner, Staff Writer

Seasons greetings, friends! What better time to start thinking about holiday gifts than now? As a hard working student, your time is as valuable as the cash in your pocket. So worry not, because here are four inexpensive homemade holiday gifts to give friends and family.

Painted Photo Frame

Everyone cherishes a favorite memory, so what better way to preserve a happy moment in time than a hand-painted photo frame. You can purchase a plastic or wooden photo frame from Dollar Tree as well as some paint. Once you have your materials, go ahead and let out your inner Van Gogh. As the paint dries, you can print an individual picture at Walmart for less than 20 cents. If you want a bigger size or a glossier touch, it’ll be a few dollars more. With a beautifully customized photo frame, your loved one will feel special when they receive this gift — so much so it will make you want another painted frame to capture their joyful reaction. 

Jar of Hugs and Kisses 

When you cannot be there to show your love language of physical touch, a bite of chocolate is a great consolation for when a loved one is missing you. This is why this next gift idea is one of my personal favorites. You will need two glasses/vases (available at Dollar Tree), a marker, a piece of paper, and some tape or glue. You will also need to get a bag of Hershey’s kisses and hugs. Hershey’s kisses are available year-round, but hugs are seasonal. “Hugs” are white chocolate with milk chocolate stripes. Label one of the glasses with “(insert your name)’s kisses” and the other with “(insert your name)’s kisses.” Fill up your glass with the chocolates, and ta-dah — you have a jar of your “hugs and kisses.” You can paint the glass/vase with paint or tie some ribbons on them if you want a more decorative touch. These love jars are a sweet expression to your loved one that they can always have a piece of your love, when they are missing you. (Keep this one in the books for Valentine’s Day)! 

Customized Coupon Book

We can get so caught up and busy with our days (especially with finals approaching) that we don’t make enough time to spend with family and friends. A homemade coupon book is a great way to show your loved ones that you care and are there for them when they need you. 

First, cut a piece of white printer paper into fourths. Depending on how many “coupons” you want to include, you can use as many pieces of paper as your caring heart desires. On each piece of paper, write a chore or activity you know you can do when the time arrives. For example, if you are giving this book to your parents, some things you can include are: “babysit sibling(s) for you to go on date night,” “wash your car,” or “family activity of your choice.” For friends, some acts of service you may include are: “go see a movie,” “help study with a test,” or “lunch is on me.”

Staple the coupons together and Van Gogh, again! This gift is thoughtful and customizable to the person you are making it for. They will surely appreciate it.

Feelings Box

Sometimes, we can use a little bit of cheering up on the days that are long and tough. With this gift idea, your loved one will surely be reminded that things will be okay. You can tailor this gift to your liking depending on how grand you want to make it. Get four or five bags (they can be as small as zip lock bags or as big as big gift bags). Label each bag with a “negative” feeling, such as stressed, sad, anxious, mad or annoyed. Then, fill each bag with items to make the bad feeling go away. For example for the stressed feeling, you can include candles, a bath bomb and a face mask to remind your loved one to relax. For the sad feeling, you can include handwritten jokes, colorful stickers and personal pictures to put a smile on their face.You can get creative with this idea and go as big as you want. Then, once all the bags are filled with things of your choosing, tell your loved one that they can only open the bag of their feelings when they are feeling it. This gift is four or five little gifts in one your loved one can look forward to opening with time. It is a gift that will show them that you will not let them stay upset over anything, that you can pick them up as soon as they are feeling down. 

The holidays are a time where our love and kindness is extra warm and these gift ideas will ensure your friends and family feel cherished, as they should.

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