Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Gifts of the Heart for any Occasion

A few years back, the siblings on my side of the family decided to move to homemade gifts for Christmas. There were no stipulations, it just had to be "homemade" in some way. The first year, my sister & brother-in-law cut wood from the 100 year old cottonwoods where we grew up and made them into candle holders. My brother and sister-in-law wrote a fantastic poem (you have to know my bro -- he's Steve Martin kind of witty). Erik and I made homemade vanilla and some other homemade goodies. We were hooked. It was so much fun that the gifts were from the heart of people we love. It is also interesting that those are the gifts we remember! I can tell you years later what they have given me. This year my sibs hit the ball out of the park. I love their gifts so much! I thought I'd share them since I think they'd make great, meaningful gifts for any occassion.....


My sister created an album that chronicles the history of our family. She includes our grandparents family pictures, weddings, children, and any other significant information about them.

I love these old pictures of my grandmother's parents and siblings. My great aunts were some of the dearest people of my childhood. I find my children reading this book over and over. They love knowing where they come from. I really believe this helps give them deep family roots and identity.

My sister includes our families in the book at the end.
This is the last page. I love the words she chose. This is a hallmark trait of my sister, she always knows just what to say.....

Gift #2: Mitch & Sarah: The Family Cookbook
So Mitch & Sarah put together a collection of their favorite recipes and wrote a little blurb about each one. They told about where the recipe came from, special notes about how to prepare it, or what to serve it with, and sometimes pictures of the food being prepared or served. The picture on the cover also captures a moment in time, because here Sarah is pregnant with their 3rd daughter.This is one my favorite pages -- isn't my niece so cute with batter all over her face in that chef's hat??
I love thinking about this family that I love so much when I'm cooking for mine!

Gift #3: Our Gift: Personalized Subway Art (I told you I was into this Subway Art thing)

I bought some blank canvases at the craft store and painted them black and brown. My husband and I brainstormed words that describe each family and their history and life. I then used my Sillouette machine to cut out vinyl words for each canvas. I mailed one of them before I could take a picture, but here are the other two.

Part of the fun of homemade gifts is coming up with the idea. It usually takes weeks of brainstorming before I come up with something I'm excited about, and then I scurry around getting it done, but it is always worth it in the end! All of these gifts took a lot of time, but it is time well-spent and deeply appreciated by those on the receiving end!


  1. I just love these ideas. I think I just had a really warm fuzzy flash of the good old days. Thanks!

  2. Amazing ideas and so incredibly thoughtful. I love this family!

  3. Thanks Becky and Kay C! Glad you like ;)