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Holiday Gift Exchange??

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I have a very large family. At first my brothers and sisters and I used to do a grab bag, but then it's migrated into something totally different.

The first things is that we all started giving homemade goodie bags. One bag per family. (My Mom plus six brothers and sisters.) For instance, in the bag I give to each family member I have a loaf of zucchini bread, cookies, homemade truffles and Christmas ornaments my two year old made from pine cones. I also have small packages of marigold seeds (third generation) that were harvested from my garden.

The second thing is that we still do a grab bag but the gifts also have to be homemade. Some of us knit or crochet, some are carpenters -- everyone has a talent. Each year the most amazing things are made!

I still have lots of nieces and nephews to buy for, but I try and make things when I can. For instance, I made my teenage nieces ponchos this year.

I hope this helps. If you must do a gift exchange, maybe you can do a baked goods, or a homemade gift exchange?


At our family party we are doing a gift exchange.  We are doing a family gift......... perferable with a theme.  Like putting together a basket of things for New Year's Eve.  or  "movie night..... you could give away a movie from your own collection.  Let this open up ideas....... like game night.  letter night.... family night....  craft evening... :)  

Theresa Marshall:
Just to add to the above ideas, my family is very big so our answer is to play Dirty Santa, much the same as the above games mentioned but we limit our gifts to the Dollar Store.  If there are five in a family, that family only spends $5.00. Wonderful items from candles to fishing lures and everything in between that are useful get exchanged!  One step further if items are not needed is to donate them to a charity based thrift store.

To add to the previous idea if you are an arist paint them some pictures.  If you are great with plants give them some easy starter plants or set up a flower bed from your or others excess bulbs.  (Check out free plants under Gardening topic.)  If you like to clean, iron or do other household chores use that as your gift.  And if you are without any giftable talents (in your opinion) then have movie or card night at your house.  Provide the drinks (kool-aid works) and have them bring their own snacks.  A nice homemade card can be the gift, just include your service that you are offering as the rest of the gift in the message.  

Nancy Zimmerman:
Great ideas.  ::)
Here is another one:   :D
Another suggestion is to bring/exchange your favorite recipe.  

Again depending on the money situation, you can decide.

I have given to couples my favorite cake recipe in large canning jars, all they had to do was add the liquid ingredients.  I attached a card with the directions on it.  You could do cookies, brownies, etc.  I also make an assortment of jams and jellies throughout the year so I might include whatever my specialty of the year is (or what I know they might like).  Sometimes I get requests..have you made this kind (flavor) yet, etc.

I have even received in a basket from a friend her favorite soup mix in dry form and I added the liquid with the directions, crackers, mints, and a desert box of pies.

My husband creates lots of seasonings or sauces when he grills and always gets requests how does he do it, etc.

I think you get the idea you can be creative.  J  Use what you already have or are doing that others dont do and it will be a hit and appreciated.
Good luck. Let me know what you decide to do!


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