Make Your Chrismas Gift Exchange Memorable- Fun, Alternative Gift Swapping Ideas

Make Your Chrismas Gift Exchange Memorable- Fun, Alternative Gift Swapping Ideas

With the dark nights drawing in and the cold weather upon us, its hard not to get excited for the festive season!

With only 71 days until Christmas, I have already began making plans with my family, I have always loved Christmas and getting together with the people that I love, is by far the best part!

But Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without gifts.

So to make the giving and receiving of gifts, extra fun.. I have come up with these creative ideas.

gifts

Homemade Gifts

A home-made gift is  thoughtful and great fun to make, it really get’s you in the spirit of Christmas.

Take a look at these blog posts for inspiration..

8 Fun homemade Christmass Gift Ideas

Homemade Sweet trees

The Gift That Keeps Giving.

What about having everyone chip in to purchase a magazine subscription based on the interests of each recipient?
There are a lot of great deals online and can work out a great value treat that lasts all year round!

Around The World.
Get everyone to pick a different country (preferably not the one in which you live) and buy a gift that is relevant to that country,
This could also be a Secret Santa Theme. (See Below)

Swap Entertainment Gift’s

Can Include books, movies, games, and even food — basically anything the recipient can enjoy doing, to entertain them over the festive period.

Secret Santa

 A tradition in which members of a family/ group are randomly assigned a person  to whom they anonymously give a gift.

 The names of participants are placed in a hat, and participants draw the name of a person for whom to buy a gift.

To make the exchange more fun you could add a theme; decide on your own theme for the year, then everyone’s gift needs to fit the theme. For instance, if you choose “,Red or Green” all the gifts need to be predominantly red or green.

Theme Ideas

Red Or Green

Health & Beauty

Food

Local / Hometown

Childhood

Retro

…And So On

What will you be doing this year? 

How To Make Sweet Trees

How To Make Sweet Trees

How to make Sweet Trees

s1 s2 s3

What you need

  •   Polystyrene balls
  •   Cellophane
  •   Wooden dowels
  •   A pot for each tree which you can decorate to tie in with your theme or colour scheme
  •   A glue gun
  •   Curling ribbon and bows
  •   A bag of plaster of Paris
  •   Tissue/Crepe Paper (colours to match the sweets)
  •   Cocktail Sticks

 

What to do

  • Cover the ball with a couple of sheets of tissue/crepe paper to match the style of sweets.

 

  • Decorate your dowel if necessary with crepe paper, ribbon or you can paint it the desired colour

 

  • Centre the end of the wooden dowel at one end of the ball. Push the dowel into the ball firmly. Do not push it all the way through, however push it far enough so that the weight of the sweets on the ball later will not cause it to fall off the dowel. You can also put some craft glue on the end of the dowel to ensure it stays in the polystyrene ball.

 

  • Make up the bag of plaster of Paris according to instructions. Fill up your pots to 3/4 full and leave to set for a couple of minutes, centre the other end of the dowel into the plaster and hold for a minute until it sets. This is the skeleton of your tree. Once the plaster sets you can cover it with either some moss or some crushed cellophane or material or crepe paper.

 

  • Add your sweets of choice by either sticking a toothpick into your sweet and then into your tree or by just using glue to hold them on if you are using a glue gun be careful as they get hot and you don’t want to burn yourself or, if you’re using chocolate, melt it! Fill in any gaps with or crushed crepe paper and tie on your pretty bow.

 

  • You could also use strawberries and other fruit which have to be attached with toothpicks but are really nice and different, you could make variations on these by first of all dipping them in chocolate or white chocolate and or dipping them in sprinkles.

 

Example Pricing: UK  (these prices vary depending on where you get them from and sizes, quantity etc)

5 Large Polystyrene balls                       £6.99    Dougarts – Ebay
(120mm/120cm)

5 Medium Polystyrene balls                   £4.99    Scotsman2777- Ebay
(100mm/100cm)

10 Small Polystyrene balls                     £8.49    Scotsman2777 – Ebay
(90mm/90cm)

 

8 12mm x 30cm Dowel (Large Tree)        £3.50 & £2.25 Darbysdiy- Ebay

8  9mm x 30 cm Dowel (Medium Tree)    £2.65 & 50p

12 6mm x 20 cm Dowel (Small Tree)       £2.65 & 50p

Postage discount is if bought together

 

Plaster Of Paris 500g                            £2.75 mister-crafts- Ebay

Cellophane 20 metres                            £5.65    j333young
Plus 20 metres of ribbon

 

Approx amounts of sweets on each tree:

Flying Saucers-

Small-   45

Med-     100

Large-   145

Lollies

Med- 130

Large- 160

Fererro Rocher

Med- 45

Large- 65

Love Hearts

Med- 64 tubes

Haribo

Med –  400g

Chocolate Eclair

Med – 75

Large – 120

Marshmallow

Med- 100

Medium sized Toffees

Med- 70

Choc Football

Med- 600g

Until Next Time
xoxox

Simple, Cheap and Free,Romantic Valentines Day Ideas to Woo Your Loved One…

Simple, Cheap and Free,Romantic Valentines Day Ideas to Woo Your Loved One…

With everyone tightening there belts at the moment , it means that we can’t splash out on expensive items & goodies for our other halves as much as we would like. But that doesn’t mean it cant be just as special! in fact, most people would prefer a handmade, straight from the heart gesture more than a bunch of expensive roses or a pair of cuff links!

Here are a few Ideas for a thrifty Valentines Day to make your partners heart melt!

Start With Breakfast:

Toasted Eggy Love

  1. Use a heart shaped pastry cutter or a knife to cut out a shape in the middle of a slice of bread.
  2.  Toast the heart shaped bit from the middle.
  3. Heat a bit of butter in a frying pan, on medium heat
  4. When it’s melted and hot put the slice of bread with the hole into the pan and let it cook…

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Simple, Cheap and Free,Romantic Valentines Day Ideas to Woo Your Loved One…

Simple, Cheap and Free,Romantic Valentines Day Ideas to Woo Your Loved One…

With everyone tightening there belts at the moment , it means that we can’t splash out on expensive items & goodies for our other halves as much as we would like. But that doesn’t mean it cant be just as special! in fact, most people would prefer a handmade, straight from the heart gesture more than a bunch of expensive roses or a pair of cuff links!

Here are a few Ideas for a thrifty Valentines Day to make your partners heart melt!

Start With Breakfast:

Toasted Eggy Love

  1. Use a heart shaped pastry cutter or a knife to cut out a shape in the middle of a slice of bread.
  2.  Toast the heart shaped bit from the middle.
  3. Heat a bit of butter in a frying pan, on medium heat
  4. When it’s melted and hot put the slice of bread with the hole into the pan and let it cook until it goes a little brown.
  5. Flip it over and break an egg into the hole in the middle. 
  6. Cook for about 3-4 minutes then scoop it out carefully with a spatula and serve it with the toasted shape on the side to use instead of a traditional ‘soldier’.

Or Why not just cut ‘Love’ shapes out of toast, you could even spell out your lovers name.
You could also cut out heart  shapes of sweet waffles, and add syrup, cream or strawberries.

Serve with a Mug/ Pot of Tea and maybe a hand-picked single flower for effect.

Create Love Coupons

A love coupon book makes a great Valentine’s day gift for your partner.
Romantic coupons can be as elaborate as you wish. Combine loving, playful and naughty coupons for your love coupon book. You can use your computer or you can create a handwritten book the choice is all yours!
All you need to do next is decide what to include in your love coupon book.
A full body massage, breakfast in bed and a movie date of their choice are all a good start.
You could also include coupons for passionate kisses, sexual fantasies or even a weekend away.
Be sure to personalize the love coupons for your partner.
Have an Old-Fashioned Date

Re-discover your inner teenager and go on a proper, retro-style date!
Simple pleasures, like heading to the local beauty spot for a walk, a stroll along the beach, Or how about a trip to a gallery or museum, or  perhaps leisurely stroll around the local market are all great ideas to spend some quality time together, anywhere that you can do something fun together will make a great date remind you why you fell in love in the first place.

Create a Smile Box

Smile Box is a FANTASTIC way to put all your memories & pictures of you and your Partner together and make a loving ,heartfelt gift.

With Smilebox you can upload any photos quickly and easily create slideshowsinvitationsgreetingscollagesscrapbooksand photo albums right on your computer. With more than 1000 customizable templates to choose from, you’ll find inspiration around every corner.

Smilebox is free and there are plenty ways to share: Facebook, email, blog, printing at home or to a store, and burning to DVD. Smilebox makes a fantastic free & thoughtful gift that is easy, unique and memorable.

You could create your own love story using your photos from the fist day you met until today, or you can send special messages or create funny & cute collages & greetings.

Cook a Romantic Meal

It’s a little cliched but sharing a romantic meal on Valentine’s Day is a great way to enjoy each other’s company and a natural choice if you’re struggling to find a babysitter.
Whether you prepare it as a surprise or approach it as a joint effort with plenty of planning in advance, it’s an evening you can both look forward to, with great food, great company and lots of time to simply chat and be together.

Add some Rose petals to the table or some candles for added effect.

Spa Night In

When your other half gets home, run a hot bath filled with rose petals. (you can pick these yourself or they are available from your florist for cheap or artificial ones from pleaces like Co-op & Asda)
Have a glass of wine and some chocolates ready to nibble on by the side of the bath.
After a relaxing soak, get out the exfoliaters, moisturisers, body creams, face masks, and foot rub cream and treat your Lover or give each other the attention you both deserve.

A Sexy Night In

Candles

Oils

Blindfold

Whipped Cream

Sexy Lingerie

Need I Say More?

The most important thing to do on Valentines day is Talk, talk, talk!
Sometimes the most sincere and memorable activity is to sit, talk and enjoy each other’s company.
Perhaps put some music on, light a candle and have a flick through some old photograph albums from your wedding, special holidays or pre-baby days.