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5 Quick and Cheap Gift Ideas

Quick and Dirty Gifts on the Cheap

Wrap It Up


Oh, you can feel the rumblings. The malls are about to burst with jingles and garland. Hide your children! Christmas shopping season is upon us. Starting now, you can involved your kids in making some easy and convenient holiday gifts while you are already going about your normally busy lives.

Five Quick Crafty Gifts for the Holidays

1. Double Down on Dinner

Making a pan of lasagna? Cooking up a crockpot of BBQ? Why not double the portions and pack up the second batch to gift. Freeze in disposable tins or make a gift of a casserole dish. Tie it up with a tea towel that your kids personalized while you slaved away at the stove. Pop it in the freezer and bam. One family down.

2. Visit the Liquor Store

No, silly. Not to save your sanity. What you do in the privacy of your own home is your business. But when you drop by your local liquor shop, pick up a few small sample sizes for the adventurist drinkmaster in your clan. Tie them to skewers, pop them into a flower foam packed into a cute glass or two, tie ribbons around the bottle necks. Include a few fun recipes on a cute little tag. Kiddos might want to make something similar with juice packets or water elixirs.

3. Just Make a Whole Bunch

I start saving jars in March, washing them, rinsing off the labels with water or GooGone. Then, when I make a double batch of cookies, or toffee, peppermint bark or caramels, I pack up some as gifts to give as needed. I’ve even left a few in my mailbox for the postwoman. Nothing as easy as that. Have your kids make paper tags, wrap them with ribbon, or even cover the lids with their art work. You could even paint the lids with chalkboard pain and add a little piece of chalk to repurpose the jar again.

4. Share the Artwork

Keep the piles and piles and piles of artwork your darlings bring home every day. Make stacks for their grandparents and have their masterpieces bound into books at the local copy store. Your children can create cover pages, author pages, and a flyleaf if you want to get fancy. Books like this can be tough to package… so…

ALSO ON PRIME PARENTS CLUB : Parenting Tips for a More Stress Free Holiday Season

5. Keep Every Empty Container and Scrap of Paper

You’d be surprised what you can wrap in an oatmeal box or a simple cellophane bag. Some online vendors ship in ready to color boxes (Land’s End is famous for this). Keep the boxes, have the kids color them in and reuse them. Pull out your recycled paper pile and have them make fingerprints or footprints all over the paper and use that as wrap. Collect old maps as wrapping. I keep bits of string, random buttons, and small toys to hang off of gift bags or boxes.

What’s your easiest gift idea?

I'm a Pittsburgh transplant in Tulsa, OK, where I live with my husband of 17 years and our 3 wild things. They are 14, 12 and 8. I keep my feet, fingers and head busy running, crafting and writing. My first book, "Run With Me: An Accidental Runner and the Power of Poo," is available on amazon and b&n.

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