This year, as usual, I wanted to go the handmade route for Christmas. But there’s only so many crochet scarves you can give people (who, in fact, don’t end up wearing them). I also wanted to make sure that our Christmas gifts to our families were in alignment with our values of simplicity.
I already shared what we did for the younger members of our family, but what about for all of the grown-ups? We’ve been through a lot this year, and really want to make sure everyone knows we are appreciative of their help during wedding season without breaking the budget too terribly.
Don’t read below this line if you’re a family member
Or at least until Christmas. Actually, if you’re family and you’re reading this, thank you and please read on. It means a lot that you’re even visiting my blog.
We decided to go with candlemaking this year! We’ve never done it, but it sounded like so much fun and candles are so lovely to have on hand. Plus, they’re consumable. Check out the mess we made (it turns out we had way more wax than we needed, so we made every extra jar and cup we had into candles as well):
Overall, we made 18 candles for a little over $3 each (some are gigantic and will burn for hours and hours). Here’s what we used:
- Soy wax from Amazon ($26)
- Wicks from Amazon ($9)
- Lemon sugar cookie melting wax from Joann Fabrics ($7)
- 8-ounce jam jars from Target ($9)
- An old pot from Goodwill ($4)
Since I’m not an expert, I won’t walk you through our process. It was pretty haphazard, and I did a lot of guessing on the temperatures since we don’t have a candy or meat thermometer. Here’s the video I watched to get an idea of what to do.
The whole package
We’re also going to include a bottle of wine as well for each member of our family. Since there’s no Trader Joe’s back home, we have the advantage of being “the cool relatives who buy wine from Trader Joe’s” (eh, it’s not that impressive now that I think about it).
For the one person who wouldn’t really care for a candle or wine, I’ll be making a custom embroidered baseball cap! We’re six days away from Christmas, so we’ll see if I can complete it before then.
But the candles turned out great! I’m so excited to share these with our family members, and any flaws will be extra special since they’re homemade.
The final perk
Yes, there’s more. The unexpected bonus of this is having several extra candles for spontaneous gift exchanges and, let’s be honest, to take to California with us. They’re usually an expensive luxury, so it’ll be nice to have a few for ourselves!
Christmas is drawing near. What is your gifting strategy this year?