Sunday, December 7, 2014

Favorite Handmade Christmas Gifts

Sorry I am so late to get this up today. It was one of those busy days.  It's so nice when I have the hubby home on the weekends to help with some of the home details and especially this time of year with all the Christmas prep.  We tackled some final projects around the house, and we got a lot of present wrapping done while he was willing to help (ha!). I had to run my daughter to a birthday party, fix dinner for the in-laws, run errands etc. You get the idea - one of those days where time for myself got away from me. Better late than never, right?
I love homemade gifts! They're my favorite kinds of gifts to receive...and that I especially love to give. I have done many homemade gifts through the years.  I love and use shutterfly a lot.  I have done albums for others on their site as well as many personal gift items from their store. I think of these things as homemade as they take your own personal photos and some creativity and extra thought.  I have made mugs, notepads, magnets etc all with my kiddos photos. I had wrapping paper made this year for all of the grandparent presents:
I also make a calendar for the grandparents each year personalized with my kiddos' photos for each month. Here's a link right to Shutterfly's calendar page.
As I mentioned in previous posts I do a lot of food gifting for the holidays.  I have made flavored vodkas, faux turtles, bread....but I'm most known for homemade sugared pecans. They are SO good!! They're wonderfully addictive and great for munching, or in salads, or on top of a dessert. I found the recipe long ago from the artist Mary Engelbreit when she used to have her Home Companion magazine.  I might have adapted it a bit - but I know that's where I found the original recipe.  Here it is for you folks - Merry Christmas!  Lol
1 egg white + 1 Tbsp water
3c. pecan halves
1 c. sugar
2tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Line a jelly roll pan with aluminum foil.  Take egg + 1 Tbsp water and whisk until foamy.  Add pecans and stir to coat.  In separate bowl mix together sugar, cinnamon, & salt.  Pour over nuts and stir to coat evenly.  Take the butter and put on pan in oven to melt.  When melted take out & add pecans and gently stir to coat w/ butter.  Bake for 25 mins stirring occasionally (watch close not to burn).  Take out and cool in pan.  Break into pieces and store.  It will last a few weeks if kept in airtight container.
One of my favorite parts is finding fun and different containers to give them in as a gift.  Neat old tins are probably the best, but I always find some new fun ones in the dollar store or crafts stores each year.  This year I found some great deals at Michaels and scooped up many containers there. Here's some of them to give you an idea:
I love the book one that has beautiful artwork inside too. I always line the inside with either wax paper or tissue paper before I put in the pecans.
They don't even always need a lid. I loved these little tin pinecone buckets and I might throw the pecans in a baggie first that seals well. Then place the baggie inside some red tissue paper all wrapped around so you don't even see the baggie part.
It's a great gift for teachers, neighbors, relatives, friends and anyone that might enjoy a homemade treat! 
Just attach a fun personal tag and you're ready to gift. I have made tags myself before or I often find really neat printed tags on Etsy.  Maybe this year I should have my daughter create some fun ones for me?

I can't wait to go checkout every ones posts from today! I'm linking for Day 7 Blogmas with Sandra at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom


  1. I've never seen that personalized wrapping paper - very cool!
    I made a book for my Dad with photos of all the family using Picaboo. It turned out really nice.
    I love the containers you shared. I often make gifts like that and the containers make them look so cute!

    1. The paper is really cool & so nice because we don't need to sign a tag - easily can tell who it's from! Lol!

      Love gifts from the heart!!

  2. Oh my word, I LOVE the personalized wrapping paper, I have never seen that. What a wonderful idea for grandparent presents :)

    Love the containers and all your ideas. Hope you're having a wonderful night my friend :)

  3. Aw - thanks Sandra! I bow to you, though, the queen of ideas!!
    Blogmas is just so fun!! Love reading every one's good bits. ;)

    God bless. XO

  4. All of your preparations are so beautiful indeed!!! xx

  5. I like to give home made gifts also. Your sugared pecans sound delicious!

  6. Thanks Lori! And thanks for popping by & I see you have a blog I can visit as well. Hope you visit again & I highly recommend this recipe. Your kitchen will smell amazing as they bake. ;)