First let me say... (Imagine beautiful singing here...)
Happy Birthday to my Daddy!! He is 68 today!!!! "I love you Dad!"
Now on to the regularly scheduled post...!
I love the Holidays and all of the gift giving, especially as "gifts" is one of my Love Languages. More than receiving them though, I love to give them. My mom is perhaps one of the craftiest and creative people I know, and I must have gotten some of the genes. Home made gifts are some of my favorite things!
In years past we have done everything from chocolate covered pretzels to assorted cookies. We have made boxes for movie nights and "Y2K survival baskets". (Remember all the panic?! While there was never a crisis, all those oil lanterns and fleece blankets are still well-enjoyed on a cold winter's night!)
This year... Home made hot cocoa with mini marshmallows, and glass mugs hand etched with the names of the recipient.
This is a photo of a pan of home made marshmallows... I have never done these, so I was excited to see how they turned out. Much yummier than store bought. A little chewy and very melt- in- your mouth! I used this recipe for them. I placed them in a shallow dish to make mini-marshies! They cut up with scissors, and look so cute holiday in gift baggies. Perfect for the hot cocoa! This cocoa recipe has a pinch of Cayenne Pepper in it... so great! It tingles a little in your throat, and makes it feel all the more warm! YUM!
Micah is always so helpful with holiday baking dishes!!! Never too far away during any food project!
Here are a pair of mugs. I love the cobalt blue when it is etched. On David's, I taped off a band and put stick on letters from my previous life's** craft of scrap booking. You can see through the glass and see some stars, too. Danielle's was made with these little re-usable plastic templates right next to the etching cream at Wal-Mart!
These are clear mugs, and the etching looks just as nice. The mugs are still dishwasher and microwave safe. The cream is an acid and just barely roughs up the shiny surface of the glass.
Here is *most* of one finished basket. (The marshmallows aren't quite finished yet!) Love the Dollar Tree for the glass containers to put the cocoa mix into! The painted wooden Christmas tree is sitting on a jar of Concord Grape Jelly... Thank You Jane for the grapes!!!
These baskets were less than $8.00 to make, but all together are such a nice gift.
This is a previous year's craft! My whole family LOVES Veggie Tales, and my sister Lynn had the kids in our home school group make these. Olivia made this little "Asparagus Family" singing. The lights are battery operated from ... where else!... the Dollar Tree! My sister was the first born in our family, and while I got some of the genetic creativity... she definitely took the lions share! The woman is a creative, artistic genius! (Unfortunately I took all of the organizing and computer genes, so you will never have the pleasure of her sharing all of her wonderful talents on her own blog! I will try to feature her some times for you.)
The clay is home made with bread and glue! She has used paint for the tints instead of food coloring. It was a loooong time before the food coloring came off her hands! The paint color just washes off now!
There are a few other things home made for this holiday, like place mats sewn into tote-style bags, (mine don't have pockets...!) and apple pie filling canned with a separate jar of crisp topping. These are a few of my favorite things ...! I hope you have enjoyed a sneak peek at my holiday gift giving. I am off to baggy up marshmallows!
**by "previous Life" I mean "before 5 children" ... just to clarify!