Family gifts can be difficult, the whole issue is fraught with tensions, feelings and individual expectations that bubble like lava under the surface only to show up in a snarky holiday letters or passive aggressive comments from one distant family member to another (or maybe that is just my family?)
I have spoken with dozens of people about this and found multiple levels of family angst when it comes to jumping off ( or staying on) the commercial holiday bandwagon and what to do about. Grandmothers who are offended and assert they have a right to buy the grand kids as many toys as they want to Grandparents who feel like they are being held hostage for the big tickets gifts for grandkids that the parents can't afford to give but have promised to the little tikes. I could fill a book with these stories!
I don't have the answers, my own foray into jumping off the crazy wagon was met with such an aggressive backlash that parts of the extended family did not speak to us for years ( seriously) and this was really painful when my only intention was to add more meaning to the holiday. So be forewarned that changing things up might cause you to get a lump of coal in your stocking!
SO.. where does that leave us you ask?.. Maybe you want to give a bit of something to family in your extended tree but you want it to be usable and meaningful. Some opt for the classic tower of treasures from place like Harry and David's but this has gotten a lot more tricky over the years with more people on special diets. Heck the cookie tower I used to love getting ( it was a corporate gift) now makes me weep in frustration due to us not eating sugar or grains. So at the very least make sure you know the dietary needs of the family before you buy one of these treats!
On my part I am going with one of two gifts this year-
The first is a VERY old school choice, but oh so comforting on those cold nights- The Hot Water Bottle
This is a quality German version that is quite nice but since I like to add a bit of a handmade touch I am going to be making my own covers but still needed bottles ( hard to find!).. so am getting these
I am doing something similar to this to make the covers CLICK HERE
My second gift is also old school ( guess that is my theme this year)... A Firewood Carrier
This style is perfect for embellishment or monogramming and at this price I am buying not making!
Up next.. a couple of fun kits you can make that will get used and will not break the bank.