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Tis the season to gift! How to spend less for the holidays and enjoy more.

I love to give gifts. The process of thinking about what someone would value, creating beautiful packages, and seeing the look on their faces when they open a special gift really brings me joy.

The problem is that I run out of time, energy and money! I don’t want my gift giving to empty my bank account, nor do I want my children to think that you have to spend a lot to give really great gifts. It’s about giving, not spending.

So I’ve gone back to my roots to help myself keep the joy in my gift giving.

When I was little, my mom and I would make homemade gifts. One year it was a challenging attempt at embroidering initials on handkerchiefs! Yet my grandmother made me feel like I had created the most special gift that she had ever received!   As a young adult, I could barely afford anything so I made our family favorite oatmeal cookies as gifts, and now my husband and I make our “famous” chocolate sauce to give to friends and clients.

We put on music and really enjoy an evening cooking a huge batch of the chocolate sauce. It gets us in the holiday mood and we have accomplished so much in one evening! Without breaking the bank.

Making gifts as a family and with friends allows you “together time” when everyone is feeling pulled apart. Ask your children what their favorite memories are and they will tell you about times you all spent together. Priceless.

I’ve always felt the homemade gifts just seemed to carry more love. Certainly, as an adult I appreciate these types of gifts more. Plus, I don’t want others to feel like they have to spend a lot to make me feel special. Let’s keep the “joy” in giving.

So DinnerTime has added a number of wonderful homemade gift ideas for you and your family to make. Show your love (and financial responsibility) with one or more of these ideas from your kitchen.

Remember to include a tag that says “Made with Love”. (Here is a link for some great DIY tag ideas.)

Search in your DinnerTime recipe box for “Gifts”… You’ll find all sorts of great ideas that are fun to make and super to receive!

Also search in your recipe box for delicious ideas for your holiday events.  Just type in Christmas or Hanukkah to find a dish just right for your party.

Our DinnerTime team wishes you a wonderful holiday season filled with fun, joy and good food.

Extra Special Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

A favorite cookie filled with goodness!

Cowboy Cookie Mix in a Jar

Perfect gift to send to those out of town.

Famous Chocolate Sauce

Impress with this delicious gift.