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No spend Christmas gifts?

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DD makes a calendar every year for my parents. She draws pictures for each month on the back of the prior month (so the flip works correctly), I laminate all the pages, and bind them together. Some small expense for supplies I already have, but otherwise a free gift that my parents appreciate and that is definitely original!

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My favorite gift of all time was the record album my mom gave me from her collection. It was one of my favorites growing up and I couldn't find a copy for myself. She wrapped it up and gave it to me one year. I cried. Didn't cost a penny and it was just so sweet of her.

Family heirlooms make great gifts also.

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I wanted to post on this thread. But I couldn't find it, so I had to start my own. Now thanks to Lynne I found it.


Here is my list


1) A music CD of my boys playing piano. It's what my Mom always asks for. It might also double as a gift for my FIL.


2) Eldest is writing a book. We are going to make it into an audio book with our family members (and neighbors since we will need more voices) playing the parts. This will be a gift for numerous family members. Aunts, uncles, cousins, ...


3) A board game. Well this is for my sons birthday that is in 2 weeks. The boys say the game "Get Bit" played on Tabletop (

19 minute mark). So Eldest and I made our own version with called "Lego Sucks". It has Lego men and a toy vacuum instead of robots and sharks. We then made cards on the back of some old business cards. Eldest and I are going to have to try different ways of playing then write a rule book. We even have a little cute box to hold the game.


4) I usual come up with various little things for my boys.

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This year ds is participating in NaNoWriMo, and I am considering having a few copies bound for gifts, but if the cost is prohibitive, I am just going to print it out, add his drawings and bind it myself with a matte board cover. Angry Chicken has a tutorial here. Scroll down just a little bit to the "hardback sketchbook tutorial." I've seen really pretty duct tape in colors and patterns instead of standard silver too. Grandparents love that kind of thing. A book of the children's drawings, or dictated stories would work nicely if your dc are too young to write themselves. Or for your artistic or writerly child, blank books are nice.

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We have the kids do handmade gifts for each other. We do give them a nominal amount of money, but supplies are mostly sourced from around the home.


We're making one kid a set of paper dolls using cardstock and a laminator. The original plan called for using photographs of each of the people in our family (and photo paper in the printer) but ... last week I broke the camera lens, so the new plan is to just draw the paper doll family LOL.


We've made rose water; there are tons of recipes and how-to websites on the internet. We source from our own bushes, but I find many of my neighbors are fine with people picking roses (with permission). This is great for facial astringent or even adding to bath water. My grandmother makes jasmine-infused water for our hair. You could also do rosemary tea for hair washes, we have wild rosemary around here free for the taking.


Handbound books - in the vein of scrapbooks, this is something we've done since I was a kid. We'd do it for the new year and leave the books at the graveyard to share what we'd done that year with the ancestors. My kids do this just for fun, but it'd be an easy gift similar to the calendar idea. You could laminate it for durability, but we always just use cardstock (sometimes aged with tea) and fancy scissors and then rope or something to bind it. You could do a cookbook like this, too. Earlier this year I made my teenaged nephew a "Nephew Can Cook" cookbook that I bound with twine, with all of his favorite recipes and some easy ones he could take to university with him.

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my kids & husband


I'm going to be making nice looking hex-a-flex-agons for my uncle the math teacher.




I'm just going to make them out of card stock, or some other extra thick paper. I'm going to make him three different versions. 3 sided, 5 sided, and 6 sided.


I was thinking of making a hexagon shaped box for them. But I know that is to much work for my tastes.

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