Not all gifts have to come with a hefty price tag to be special. In fact, some of the most touching and memorable gifts can be created by you, in the comfort of your own home, for hardly any money.
This doesn't mean that your present will have to look cheap or low-quality. Homemade gifts are the effort you put into them, and a little extra effort goes a long way!
Sometimes you know exactly what your friend or family member needs and it just can't be bought in a shop. Like last Christmas when my best friend was going through a bad time in her life and was neglecting her self-care. I knew exactly what I wanted to give her that would make her feel better - I could picture it in my head but it wasn't something I could just pick up off a shelf.
I wanted it to be perfect. So, I made it myself.
I got a box and some cellophane and put together a hamper for her. I filled it with incense sticks, scented candles, bath salts, essential oils, an inspirational book and a crystal. I also made a printable with tips on how she should use each object in the hamper.
Altogether, this hamper cost me less than £20 to put together but it looked great and she teared up when I gave it to her.
How to get homemade gifts right
A homemade present should be thoughtful and personalised to the person you're giving it to. When you're buying a gift from a store, there's room to take some risks and get the person something you wouldn't normally. But when it comes to homemade gifts, a lot of the value is sentimental, so it really needs to be something that you know the recipient will enjoy.
By showing that you've really thought about what that person wants or needs in their life, you can really create a special gift that they will remember for years to come.
If you're planning on creating some homemade gifts this year, it's a good idea to pay extra attention to what your family and friends are saying around you. Really listen - what kind of things do they want? What kind of problems are they having? Take note of small things mentioned in passing conversations. It really makes for a great surprise when you've casually mentioned something you like or need in passing, and then a friend remembers and gifts it to you.
You don't need to be crafty
A lot of people hear the words 'homemade gift' and instantly think glue, scissors and disasters are on the horizon. But take it from the least crafty person in the world - you don't need to be the next Picasso to produce a beautiful homemade gift.
Homemade gifting doesn't actually need to involve any arts and crafts at all - one of my favourite ever homemade gifts was a big chocolate cake a friend made me for my birthday. This was years ago, and I still remember how much I loved every bite of it to this day!
If you've got some skills in the kitchen and you're gifting someone that loves food, (like me!) this is the perfect type of homemade gift to make. Another food-related gift I loved from a friend was a selection of cupcakes she had made with my name and face on them. That must have taken her ages to make, and I really appreciated her spending all that time and effort on a gift for me.
Nowadays, thanks to technology, there are more ways than ever to get creative with your homemade gifts. You can put together scrapbooks and photo albums or film videos in minutes. If you like to get crafty, that's brilliant! But there are still amazing options for those of you who don't.
With homemade gifts, it's the thought and effort that counts
That's what makes homemade gifts so special. They instantly show someone that you've gone out of your way to spend time creating an original and unique present that they would like. When you're running out of ideas for a present to buy, don't be too quick to knock the homemade option. You might end up giving someone the best present they've ever received!