Each year there are several individuals or families that we give one Christmas gift to, from our family as a whole. We almost always make these gifts. Last year it was pretty log coaster sets that the boys and my husband made together in the wood shop. The year before it was an assortment of home canned goods: jellies, jams, peaches, butters, etc. We’ve also done knit or crocheted gifts, boxes of an assortment of homemade candies, baskets of pretty fire-starter pinecones, and many other things.
I realize that it is a bit early for most people to be thinking about Christmas. But since we home-make not only the gifts we give to other families, but also most of the gifts we give to one another, we generally start thinking about it in August or September and at least getting a plan together.
So this year I had a new idea, and one that I hope will become our yearly tradition. Our kids are getting older and are learning many skills that make it possible for them to create wonderful homemade gifts. So we decided that the gift that our family will give to other families and individuals this year, and hopefully every year, will be what we are calling “Homestead Baskets.” It is a basket full of homemade goodies from our homestead. Each year the basket will be different, though it might have some similar items appear numerous times. Each family member will decide each year what they are making for the baskets and then they will make several of that item to put one in each basket. We will also throw in any items that we make as a family together for our own use, like when we make our soap for the year we will make enough to put a bar or two in each basket, or when we can peaches we will have a jar for each Christmas basket.
Some ideas of what might go in our homestead baskets over the years:
- Soap, wooden soap dishes, crochet soap cozies
- Crochet or knit dishrags, dish scrubbies, sponges
- Log coasters or candle holders
- Wooden bowls
- Pinecone fire-starters
- Canned goods: fruits, jellies, jams, butters
- Dried herbs
- Embroidered items: bookmarks, dishtowels, hand towels, hot pads, etc.
- Hand towels with crochet tops w/ button hooks to hold them on cabinet handles
- Little packets of seeds saved from our garden (someday!)
- Jars with dry baking mixes layered to look pretty
- Cookies or candies (or both!)
- And….the list goes on and on!
So we have all been contemplating what we want to make for this year’s baskets. My husband and sons will be making wooden soap dishes to go with the homemade soap we are all making. My oldest daughter has decided to make embroidered hot pads. My youngest daughter thinks that she wants to make crochet dish rags, but hasn’t decided for sure. And I decided to make crochet dish scrubbies.
I have been playing with different patterns and different types of scrubby material to decide exactly what I want to do and then I ordered my coordinating yarns and netting or tulle to start working on these for the Christmas baskets.
Watch for an upcoming post that includes more information on how I make my dish scrubbies and a give-away of items that will make it so you can make your own!