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Holiday Gift Ideas!

With the holiday season fast approaching, it is time to begin thinking about presents for those we care about! Having to go out and actually PURCHASE all these gifts can get VERY expensive!

Why not try making some fabulous, enjoyable gifts that everyone will love and actually be able to use? They will appreciate the time you put into the gift and you will be amazed at how fulfilled you will be! Not to mention your wallet will thank you as well.

Each of these gift ideas are fun to make, easy to create and inexpensive. They can be used by many different ages and are sure to bring delight to all the people you care about. Most of these items can be created using things you already have in your home. If you do not already have the items, they can be purchased for VERY LOW prices at local health food, craft supply or grocery stores.

You can give these creations as individual gifts or perhaps make several of the items, place in a pretty basket, tie up with colored wrapping and a bow and give as a Healthy Christmas Beauty Basket! Who wouldn’t LOVE to receive a gift like that? I know I would!

Skincare Basket –
(to be given all in one basket or as individual items)

Natural Lip Balm

You will need:

•½ c oil of your choice (try Coconut oil or Olive oil, or be creative and try others!)

•¼ c Beeswax (from health food store)

•Tablespoon of Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter (optional)

•10 to 20 drops Essential Oils

•Lip pots or tubes (from craft supply store)

Instructions:

Measure and put all ingredients (except essential oils) into a bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water and let melt. Stir occasionally. Take off heat and put in essential oils. Pour into lip balm tubes or pots. Everybody will love this !!

Healing Balm/Salve

You will need: Use similar ingredients, but pour into a larger tin. Include essential oils such as Rosemary, Cardamom, Rose, Thyme, Lavender, Lemon, etc… Recipes are found below.

Instructions: This is made basically the same way as lip balm. Healing Balm for Rough Hands,Cracked Lips/Hands/Heels, and basic skin repair:

1/8 c sweet almond oil
1/8 c jojoba oil
1/8 c grapeseed oil
1/8 c calendula oil
1/4 c beeswax
few drops of vitamin E oil
few drops of carrot seed oil
10 drops each of Lavender, Rose and Geranium Essential Oils

Sore Muscle/Joint/Arthritis Rub:

1/4 c Olive Oil
1/8 c beeswax
10 drops each: Eucalyptus, Clove, Sweet Birch and Peppermint essential oil
5 drops each Camphor and wintergreen essential oil

Foot Balm:

1/4 c beeswax
1/4 cocoa butter
1/2 c sweet almond,apricot kernal or other oil
5 drops each, Lavender and Peppermint Essential Oils

Psoriasis/ Ezcema Balm:

1/4 c calendula oil
1/8 c golden shea butter
1/8 c beeswax

Clear-Mind, Sweet Dream Balm (to aid in falling asleep)

1/4 Olive Oil
1/8 c beeswax
5 drops each, Lavender, Rosemary, Lemon, Ginger and Clary Sage

Body/Baby/Foot Powder

You will need:

•Arrowroot powder (from health food store)

•Essential Oils (from health food store)

•Powder Jar (from craft supply store) OR old spice jars

ForFoot Powder: Peppermint essential oil is a great choice

For Baby Powder: Lavender is lovely.

Just choose according to your preferences.

Instructions: This is SO easy to make. Simply drop your choice of essential oil into the Arrowroot powder and stir or shake (if in a baggie). The natural scent will permeate the powder. If you can’t find Arrowroot powder, you may substitute Cornstarch, although some people have allergies to this. Pour the powder in a powder sifter jar or shaker jar. You can use up your old spice jars if you wish. Simply clean the spice jars well, remove the label and dry. Write on the jar using a metallic pen or create a label on your computer and stick it on the jar.

Scented Body/Bath Oil

You will need:

•Carrier Oil of your choice (Sweet Almond, Grapeseed, Hemp, Olive, etc)

•Essential Oils of choice (refer to a good aromatherapy book, or choose from those that you already have used and feel comfortable with.)

•Jars or Bottles

Instructions: This is very simple. Just place a few drops of essential oil into the carrier oil and pour into desired jars. These can be used before bathing, during bathing, after bathing, for hot oil hair treatments, or just for body oil whenever you like!

Body Polish

You will need:

•1 cup ground Oatmeal

•½ c Sea Salt (from health food store)

•½ c Honey or Molasses

•Jar

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients and place into desired jars. Feel free to add other ingredients, such as ground herbs (from local herb-growers or health food stores), sugar, essential oils, etc! Experiment!!

Natural Toothpaste

You will need:

•1 part Salt (from health food or grocery store)

•1 part Baking Soda (from health food or grocery store)

•Vegetable Glycerine (optional- from health food store)

•Essential Oils (optional- from health food store)

•Tube or Jar for storage

Instructions: Mix the salt with the baking soda. Add essential oils according to preference (Peppermint or Cinnamon work well). This will be a dry mixture. If you want more of a liquid mixture, stir in some vegetable glycerine (from your health food store) until you reach a paste-like consistency. To give as a gift, you may store this in small jars or tubes (from craft supply stores). Attach a little label or tag that explains what your creation is and how to use it. You simply dip your toothbrush into this mixture and brush away!

[NOTE: Most toothpastes on the market are POISON… read the warnings!! Very scary indeed…why would you put something like that in your mouth and allow it to absorb into your bloodstream as you brush your teeth? Natural is best. ]

Deodorant Cream
(Okay, deodorant by itself might be an awkward gift (LOL), but this is great to include in a skincare basket)
You will need:

•2 parts Baking Soda

•2 parts Arrowroot powder (or cornstarch if you cannot find arrowroot)

•2 parts Sweet Almond Oil (or another carrier oil)

•1 part Beeswax

•Essential Oil (optional)

•1 part Kaolin (white) Clay (optional)

•Small jar

Instructions: Stir all ingredients (except the essential oils) over low heat until a smooth cream forms. I have seen similar recipes that use petroleum jelly instead of the beeswax and oil, BUT you do not want to use that since it is a petroleum product (not healthy). Take the mixture off the heat and add your essential oils. You do not want the essential oils to be added when the mixture is really hot since they are so volatile and they will evaporate. Spoon the mixture into small jars (old baby food jars work well. Make sure to sanitize and dry the jars first.)

Soap Balls/ Soap on a Rope

You will need:

•6 oz pure Unscented Soap

•Water

•Food Grater

•Essential Oils (optional)

•Rope or cording

Instructions:

Soap Balls – You will have a blast making these! Grate the soap into a bowl and add water (1 part water to 2 parts soap). Place the bowl over a boiling pot of water and stir gently but consistently until the mixture is uniform. This might take about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the bowl from heat and add 15 drops of essential oil if using (a great combination for Christmas is Cinnamon and Orange essential oils). Let the soap mixture cool for a few minutes, then wet your hands and pick up a small amount of the soap mixture. Roll around in your hands until a ball forms. Place on a plate. Let these harden in a cool, dry place for about a week. Make sure they are hard and dry to the touch before giving as gifts. You can place several of these in a basket and wrap with pretty gift-wrap.

Soap on a Rope: Follow the instructions given above, except when forming the balls, place two ends of cording or rope into the middle of the soap and form a ball or oval shape around the rope. This is a great gift idea for men. Make sure to let the soap dry and harden for at least a week.

Personalized Soaps:

You will need:

•Pure, natural soap bars

•Carving tool/Knife

•Washcloth

Instructions: This is a very easy, and fun gift to make. Using a carving tool or knife, carve someone’s initials into a bar of soap. You could also try different patterns or designs. For unique gift-wrapping, wrap the soap up in a pretty washcloth and tie with ribbon or raffia.

Other Gift Ideas –

Personalized Wreaths/ Trees

You will need:

•Small wreath or miniature Christmas tree

•Decorations

For this project, you can decide to make it purely for “looks” or actually include functional items.

What you do is decide whom the gift is for…(beautician, hairdresser, etc) and collect miniature items that represent who they are. For a hairdresser, you could include small sample bottles of shampoo, a comb, a hairbrush, etc… (This is a great way to give all the skincare items you have made.) Place these on the tree or wreath in a pretty fashion using hot glue or string. The items can be actual items you have made yourself or purchased that can be actually taken off the wreath and used, or it can all be purely for decoration and not intended for actual use.

You can tailor this project to just about anybody or any idea you choose, including:

•Skincare Items

•Hair Care Items

•Tools

•Animals

•Candy

•Food

•Nail Care Items

•Cosmetics

•Toys

•Etc…!

Make Your Own Gift Bag/Wrapping Paper

You will need:

•Brown paper bags, butcher/parchment paper

•Spray Paint

•Leaves

•Spray Adhesive (from craft store)

Instructions: This is a great way to create inexpensive, customized gift wrap. Simply find some leaves out of your yard (or cut out any shape you like from card stock if you cannot find leaves). Spray the back with removable adhesive spray and stick the leaves/shapes onto your bag or paper. Spray paint the entire sheet of paper or the entire bag with silver or gold paint, let dry, and remove the leaves. You will be left with a very gorgeous, personalized gift-wrap!

Gift Certificate Booklet
(Free to make!)

You will need:

•Markers/Pens

•Paper

•Twine or Ribbon

•Hole-Puncher

Instructions: This is a GREAT gift if you are low on funds or really want to show someone how much you care! Basically you are making a booklet of “tickets” that your friend/mother/sister/husband, etc, can “cash in.” When they turn in a ticket, you have to do what is written on the piece of paper.

Come up with creative ideas/chores, etc that you can give a special someone. Here are some ideas (put each idea on a separate slip of paper):

•Foot Massage

•Back Rub

•Manicure/Pedicure

•Babysitting so they can take a break

•Cleaning the house

•Letting them watch “their” show on TV that night

•FREEBIE (let them choose what they want)

•Etc…

After you write each of these on separate slips of paper, stack them together and punch holes down one side. Lace ribbon or twine through the holes to form your little “booklet.” Make a neat cover page to describe what the gift is.

They may then tear out a sheet of paper (ticket) whenever they want that particular item. So much fun!

Another variation is to date the pages, so that the person cannot turn in their “ticket” until that date. Perhaps one “ticket” for each month! Come up with your own ideas on this… I have done this in the past and it is always a great success!! It really makes someone feel cared about.

And you can make this booklet as simple or as fancy as you like…cut the pages out with designed/squiggle scissors. If you only have plain white paper, you can soak it in tea or coffee to give it an antique look. Have fun with this.

Create a Kit

Rather than simply making a product and giving it as a gift, you could try creating a “kit” for someone to make their own skincare/beauty items! Lip balm is a great choice for this! Simply gather all the ingredients needed (recipe above) and include an instruction sheet on how they can make their own balm/salve, etc! A lot of people would love to make their own natural products, but just do not have the time to gather the instructions and search out all the ingredients. With you providing these things, they will not have an excuse not to try their hand at making their own beauty products!

Another idea is to create a little booklet of natural beauty care recipes for them to try if they wish…

Grow Your Own Healing Herbs Kit

If you know someone who is into gardening or wants to try, you can create a kit for them that allows them to grow and use their own herbs (in skincare, muscle rubs, salves, hair conditioners, etc).

You will need:

•Collection of herb seeds (such as German/Roman Chamomile, Lavender, Calendula (Marigold), Peppermint, Patchouli, Eyebright, St. John’s Wort, Lemon Balm, etc.. etc.

•Small Tins/Jars

•Popsicle Sticks

•Pencil

•Paper/Pen

•Tin or Basket

Instructions: Place several dozen seeds of each variety into its own special tin or jar. Label each one.

Include basic instructions on how to plant and grow these herbs (this information can be found in books at your local library or on the internet). Include recipes they can make with their herbs.

Place the seed tins into a basket or large gift tin, include the growing instructions, Popsicle sticks (for them to use as garden stakes), pencil (to write on the Popsicle sticks) and wrap.

Cosmetic/Skin Care Organizer

You will need:

•2 13”x13” pieces of fabric

•Ribbon or String

•Lid/Bowl or other circular item

•Thread/Needle

•Scissors

Instructions: This is a very cute cosmetic organizer and very easy to make. Simply lay the two pieces of fabric together and pin (any type of fabric will work, depending on the look you want) and place your lid or bowl on the fabric. Trace around the edge with a pencil, then cut your circles out. You will want your circles to be APPROX. 12” in diameter. Place right sides together and sew a ¼” seam around the edge, leaving an opening of about 2”. Turn the circle right-side out through the hole and hand-sew the opening.

You now have a flat circle; two layers thick. Using your pencil, mark 8 notches evenly spaced around the circle (2” from the edge of the circle) and cut slits along each of these marks approximately ½” long. Button-hole sew these slits (so the fabric doesn’t fray… if you are in a hurry, you can place glue on the edges to prevent fraying instead of stitching them but this will not look as nice). Next, take a ribbon or string and thread it in and out, in and out, through the holes and cinch up your little bag. It makes a cute, puffy little makeup bag! This looks really pretty if you use two contrasting colors of fabric!

“Feel Better” Kit

This is a great kit to give during the holiday season, especially since so many people get sick during this time of the year. Everyone will love this gift!

Instructions: Find a pretty basket or gift tin (or paint/decoupage a shoe box if money is tight).

In the Feel Better Kit, include:

•Balm/Salve (recipe listed previously in article) using Peppermint and Eucalyptus essential oils. Your recipient can rub this on his or her lips/nose/chest to help clear a stuffy nose and moisturize dry, chapped skin.

•Tissues (before including the tissues in this kit, place these in a zip baggie after dropping a few drops of essential oils into the bag…the lovely natural scent will make blowing their nose a little less unpleasant)

•Recipe for Your Favorite Chicken Soup

•Tea Bags Filled with Healthy Herbs, including Peppermint, Chamomile and Lemon. These teas will soothe sore throats, especially if honey is mixed in.

•Add a Special Tea Recipe. Here’s a good choice:
Grate a one-inch piece of ginger and place in a pan or thermos. Add lemon juice and honey to taste, cover with boiling water, place the lid on the pan/thermos and let sit for 20 minutes. This is a fabulous cold/flu remedy.

These are just a few gift options that you can create for Christmas. Try coming up with your own ideas and be creative! The main idea is to have fun and let others know how much you care!!

Happy Holidays!

Naturally,
Chandi Plank

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