For many people, thinking of presents for the upcoming Christmas season can be exhausting. There are so many people that you want to thank for a job well done or show your appreciation to them during the holiday season. While purchasing gifts for all of these great people can be expensive, it can also use up precious spare time and be exhausting. There are many things you can do yourself at home in just minutes that will be great gifts for all types of friends and family members who you want to shower with presents.
Gift Mugs are hand-made gifts in coffee mugs can be great 'token gifts' for those people you need a little something for. You do not have to rush out and purchase fancy new coffee mugs either, many of us have mugs right in our cupboards that came with our dish set and never get used! Take these new mugs which are just collecting dust in your cupboard and use them for gifts instead.
Supplies needed for your Christmas Gift Mug:
- 1 coffee mug, any size ($0 - $2)
- 1 package of instant hot chocolate mix ($0.39)
- paper towel, napkin or tissue paper ($0- $0.15)
- Cinnamon sticks ($0.11)
- 1 individually wrapped cookie, biscuit or your favorite snack item (ie: pretzels) ($0.33)
- approx. 20 mini-marshmallows
- 1 chocolate dipped plastic spoon - you will need Crisco and chocolate chips to make the chocolate (approx. $1.50 for combined supplies)
Supplies needed for your chocolate dipped spoon:
- plastic spoons
- 1 cup of chocolate chips
- 1 tbsp of Crisco
- 2 sizes of pots - one to melt the chocolate chips & Crisco in and one to use as a double-boiler with water in it to keep the chocolate from burning
- parchment paper
Stir your chocolate chips and Crisco together constantly over medium heat while in the top pot while the bottom larger pot acts as a double-boiler with water directly on the element. This will keep your melted chocolate from burning and makes the sauce easier to work with once it is all melted. Remove from heat after it is mixed well and without lumps. Dip each spoon into the chocolate sauce, playing with it slightly to make sure the chocolate is wrapping around the spoon and up the neck of the spoon slightly so it starts to thicken and form to the spoon. Place face down on the parchment paper so it only rests the edge of the spoon while the chocolate dries and hardens. To speed up the process you can place them in the fridge or freezer.
While waiting for your spoons to harden, stuff the bottom of the mug with tissue paper, paper towel or a napkin, whatever you have handy at home. Use another piece to display the contents of your mug by making a shell to put your delicacies in. Arrange the package of hot chocolate in the back of the mug, place your individual cookie or snack to one side, position the cinnamon stick in the middle and place the wrapped chocolate dipped spoon on the other side of the mug. Garnish with approximately 20 mini-marshmallows.
Wrap your package in cling wrap or fancy gift basket wrapping (if you have it at home or want to purchase it for this occasion). Finish off with a bow or ribbon tied to the top and you have a great home-made Christmas gift for anyone on your list!
Depending on the type of supplies you have at home right now this gift can range anywhere in price from $0.83 - $4.48 in total. While this is a great frugal gift for those working on a tight budget, it can also be a great family activity to do together for getting gifts ready for friends and other family members. Remember to try different versions, specializing them for different holidays or occassions and you will be pleased with your creativity!