Christmas Gifts to Make

Some of these are appropriate for the children to make as gifts for their parents and some are for the day care providers to make as gifts for the parents or friends. Enjoy!

"A Priceless Gift"
by Amanda Formaro
The best inexpensive Christmas gift I ever received was from my son when he was in Kindergarten. The class took empty boxes (hair color, toothpaste, whatever) and wrapped them in wrapping paper and tied them with a ribbon. Attached to the box was this note:

"I took an ordinary box
As empty as can be
I filled it with a special gift
And wrapped it carefully

But please don't ever open it
Just leave the ribbon tied
And hold it tightly near your heart
Because my love for you's inside!"

You could also change the ribbon line to read "just leave the bow applied" if you use bows instead of ribbon. This of course is easier than the ribbon for little ones.

Sand Art Brownies
This is a recipe for brownies to give as a Christmas gift....or whenever. Mix ingredients in a wide mouth quart size jar, just like sand art that kids make today. Add to wide mouth quart jar in this order:
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 + 1/8 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup Choc. Chips
1/2 cup Vanilla Chips
1/2 cup nuts
This should pack nicely into jar.
Include a decorative tag with instructions for making the brownies:
"Combine contents of jar with:
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
Pour into a greased 9x9 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 27-32 minutes."

Cake in a Cup
1 cake mix any flavor
1 ( 4 serving size) instant pudding mix ( not sugar free), any flavor
Place dry cake mix and dry pudding mix into a large bowl and blend well with a whisk. This will be about 4 cups dry mix and will make 8-9 coffee cup cake mixes. Place 1/2 cup dry mix into a sandwich bag. Place glaze mix into a corner of the bag and tie it there with a twist tie. Continue making packets until all your dry mix is used.
Flavors:
Lemon cake mix- lemon pudding
Yellow cake mix- chocolate pudding
Devils food cake mix- chocolate pudding
Pineapple cake mix- coconut pudding
Butterscotch cake mix- butterscotch pudding
Select a large coffee cup. Check it to be sure it holds 1 cups of water. That way you will be sure you have bought the size the recipe calls for. It can't have any metallic paint on it because it will be used in the microwave. Places like Wal-Mart and craft stores sell plain cups. Decorate the cups. Paint on the cup if you like. DecoArt Ultra Gloss Acrylic Enamel is one brand of craft paint that can be made dishwasher safe by baking the painted cup in the oven. (instructions are on the bottle of paint usually).
Glaze mix:
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp dry flavoring ( such as powdered lemonade mix, powdered orange breakfast drink mix, cocoa powder)
Vanilla powder sold by coffee flavorings
Select the flavoring appropriate to the cake you are making.
For the pineapple coconut cake include flaked coconut in a separate bag with instructions to sprinkle it over the frosted cake. Place the glaze mix ingredients into a sandwich bag and tie into corner of bag. Label this bag "glaze mix" and attach it to the other bag with a twist tie.
Place one baggie cake mix and one baggie glaze mix in each coffee cup. Now attach the following baking instructions to each coffee cup.

"Bake a cake in a coffee cup. Generously spray inside of coffee cup with cooking spray. Empty contents of large packet into cup. Add 1 egg white, 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp water to dry mix. Mix 15 seconds, carefully mixing in all the dry mix. Microwave on full power 2 minutes.( You may not get satisfactory results in a low wattage small microwave. While cake is cooking, place ingredients from "Glaze Mix" into a very small container and add 1 tsp water. Mix well. When cake is done, pour glaze over cake in cup. Enjoy while warm."

Christmas Tea
Make a little bag out of Christmas fabric, just big enough to fit a tea bag in. Wrap with a pretty ribbon and this poem was attached:
“On Christmas Day at half past three,
Brew yourself a cup of tea.
I'll think of you,
You think of me
While sitting 'round the Christmas Tree.”

Christmas Jelly Jar
1 cup simmering liquid potpourri
2 packages Knox gelatin
Decorative jar(s) - small canning or other with a lid
Large fabric or doily
Ribbon optional
Heat 1/2 cup of liquid potpourri in medium saucepan, stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining liquid potpourri. Fill the jar with the mixture. Refrigerate for about 2 hours. Remove and cover with lid and doily. Remove lid to display. Keep away from direct heat. Note- try adding glitter or a small plastic object for interest. You can even put some in a wine glass with a silk rose in it for a really wonderful look for a center piece. (Remember, this is not to be eaten.)

Snowman Soup
1Pkg.Hot Chocolate Mix
3 Hershey Kisses
15 Marshmallows (More If Needed)
1 candy cane
Put items in colored plastic wrap tuck into a nice mug and attach the following poem:“

Was told you've been real good this year
Always glad to hear it
With freezing weather drawing near
You'll need to warm the spirit
So here's a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick
Add hot water, sip it slow
It's sure to do the trick!”

Fragrant Soap Balls
Have children make homemade soap balls to give as a holiday gift or just as a middle of the year surprise to someone special in their lives.
Use water to moisten Ivory Snow Flakes to the consistency of a very stiff dough. Divide the dough into several bowls. Add a different perfume and food coloring to each bowl for variety.
Have children shape large spoonfulls of the soap into balls. Have them make about three balls each. Place the balls on trays (labeled with their modeler’s name!) to harden for several days.
Have each child wrap their three soap balls in colored cellophane paper and tie the package with a pretty ribbon.

Candle for Parents Gift
Take a baby food jar. Tear different colored pieces of tissue paper. Cover the jar using a paintbrush with glue diluted slightly with water and attach the pieces of tissue paper. Throw a few sprinkles of gold or silver sparkles. Add ribbon around the top and place small votive candle in jar. Before making test candle size with baby food jar, as not all jars are the same so the candle sometimes will not fit.

Clay Pot Christmas Tree
You buy graduated sizes of clay pots, like at Home Depot. We are buying 3 of the smallest sizes to make mini ones. The magazine used larger ones, and stacked as many as 5 or 6. Paint them green all over, then stack them upside down, biggest on the bottom and smallest on the top. it makes a tree shapeusing hot glue to secrure them together.. Then you decorate them. You can use a sponge to dab white paint on them, as snow. Then use torn cloth strips to make bows, and hot glue them around the tree. Younger children could make fingerprint ornaments by dipping their fingers in the paint, or you could make paper or foam cut outs and glue them on or even glue on some small buttons for ornaments. Very cute.

Bird Baths
Take a small clay pot and turn upside down and the saucer is placed on top of the pot with the basin up. Hot glue together. The kids painted the inside of the saucer blue and if you want to get fancy you can buy textured paint to paint the outside with. We then glued a little bird to edge of the bird bath and glued moss and ivy and little flowers inside one edge and around the bottom of bird bath. Turned out real cute.

Tile Trivets
One of the nicest gifts we've ever made were tile trivets. Go to your local tile store and buy some 12x12 ceramic tiles. Then you will need to go to a craft store and purchase paints that you will then use on the tiles AND bake in the oven to set. That is the key...mine are somewhere in that mess I call a playroom...you have to have the kind that bake in the oven to set the paint. Anyway, hand prints or foot prints on these are darling (you can add a cute little border and personalize with the child's name and the date) or just let the kids free-paint or sponge. Then, you will bake in the oven. After they are cooled, add little feet or some felt to the bottom of the tile and you have a really nice trivet/hot pad FOREVER. Now...the easier way > - if you have Michael's or MJDesigns around you - see if they have a bisque dept. You can set up a time to take your kids in, purchase their trivets (from .99 - $5.00) and they supply everything else at no additional cost (paint, brushes, sponges, aprons, CLEAN-UP...everything!). The price of the bisque includes everything including the firing in the kiln. I can't tell you how nice these turn out (homemade or from MJD) - we have them for all the seasons of the year and it's a nice way to look back and remember.

Chocolate Covered Spoons
Quality plastic spoons (pink for valentine's day? red/green for christmas?)
Chocolate chips
White chocolate chips
Mixing bowl
Small plastic ziplock bag
Wax paper
Tray
Melt chocolate chips in the micro and let the children take turns dipping a spoon into the syrup and placing the chocolate covered spoon on to a wax paper lined tray. When finished put the tray in the frig for ten minutes for the chocolate to harden.
Now in another mixing bowl melt the white chocolate (don't do this in the plastic bag) and place his melted chocolate in a plastic bag. Put a hole in a corner of the bag and let the children take turns squeezing the white chocolate in a drizzle over the spoons. (My kids wore their mittens/gloves while doing this as the white chocolate was a little hot.)
Wrap cooled spoons in cellophane and tie with a ribbon.
Age: Great for any age because the younger children just made the plain chocolate spoons while the older children added the drizzled chocolate to theirs.
Variations: Try rasberry chocolate or butterscotch chips - these are wonderful to stir tea with. Try adding some vanilla or cinnamon oil to the chocolate - these are wonderful to stir coffee with.

Toilet Paper Rolls
Fill empty toilet paper rolls with candy OR lightweight toiletries or leave empty. Cut 2 sheets of tissue paper from 2 different colors in a square longer than the roll is. Roll the tube up and tie the ends with some curling ribbon. Cut the ends into strips to look like little firecracker things. leave a loop on one end of the curling ribbon to hang on the tree.

Stained Glass Pictures
(This would be for older Kids) Trace Chrismas patterns onto small pieces of paper. Tape each paper down to a piece of small cardboard. Tightly cover each pattern with plastic wrap and tape down on backside. Carefully outline area to be painted- then fill in. Paint in the pattern with thick squeeze paint (example:fabric paint) Let dry between colors and thoroughly dry 24 hours before peeling off the dried paint. Trim with scissors if paint seeped. Very colorful but not suggested for little kids. They will stick onto glass windows like vinyl clings also!

Marbled Ornaments
clear glass ornament balls
glitter paint various colors
procedure:
Take top off ornament
Pour 1 color of paint into ball on one side
Repeat step 2 with other colors
Roll ball around to swirl colors as much as desired. Turn upside down on empty egg carton tray to drain for a day or two. Put cap back on and give as beautiful ornaments.

Fairy Dust Glitter Gel
This fun, whimsical gel is great for your skin. Apply a little anytime you want to sparkle and shine. * Kids love this trendy gel
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
1 teaspoon glycerin
1/4 teaspoon fine polyester glitter (any color)
5 drops fragrance oil (your choice)
1 drops food coloring (your choice)
Mix aloe and glycerin in a small bowl. Stir in glitter, fragrance and color. It is ready to use immediately. * You can buy fine polyester glitter at most craft stores.

Snuggle Sock
This is a great gift for parents or grandparents. You will need new, white tube socks, rice and optional acrylic paint. Have the children fill the sock a little less than half full with plain, uncooked rice. Tie a knot in the end of the sock and attach the poem below. As a variation I had the children put their handprints on the bottom of the sock and dated it.

“A gift for You!
This is called a ‘snuggle sock‘.
We made it just for you.
It's good for all your aches and pains,
Cause it makes you feel brand new.

Just pop it in the microwave
And turn it up to one,
And then before you know it,
Your ‘Snuggle sock’ is done.

Now take it to the living room,
And lay down on the couch,
And press your toasty ‘snuggle sock‘,
On the nagging little ‘ouch‘.

Bath Salts
Have the children put one carton of epsom salts into a large zip lock baggie with a couple of good squirts of cheap dollar store perfume and a couple of squirts of baby oil and food coloring to suit your taste. Zip the bag and squish, squish, squish. Until all is mixed up.Baking soda can also be used to give an effervescent effect, but I don't use it because any humidity or moisture makes it clump and doesn't come out! Scoop into decorative jars for gift giving (I used candle jars that I had collected all year long).

Zip Lock Gifts
1. Small plastic clear bag with three marbles inside it. Stapled to the top of the bag is a small piece of paper that has typed these words:

They said you lost your marbles.
I hope that it's not true.
But if you feel you have,
Here's a few for you!!!!”

2. Small plastic clear bag with handful of dried pinto beans inside, sealed. Stapled to the top of the bag is a small piece of paper that has typed these words:


“HILLBILLY BUBBLE BATH
Directions:
Cook and Eat One Hour
Before Bathing !

3. Take a small plastic clear bag (this one is about the size of a postcard). On a white sheet of paper that will fit in the bag, type these words on the top half of the sheet:

“You've waited long enough!
It's time you
Put some Spice in your Life!”

Glue a take out package of salt & pepper to the paper below the words. enclose paper with spice packs into the plastic bag. Seal top of bag and staple a small piece of colored paper to the top saying: “Give-A-Grin”

4. On the same concept as #3, use the same size bag & paper. On this one the message is:

As you go Through Life
No Matter What your Goal,
Watch for the Cheer
And not the O!

Glue 3 cheerios in a row in the space under the sayings. Seal the top of the bag in the same manner as #3 with the words “Give-A-Grin“.

5. This one is my favorite: an Angel. On a sheet of paper you print the following:

ANGELS CRY
When an Angel cries the tears turn
into Pearl Drops and fall to Earth.
The person finding these tears
will be blessed by the Angels.
The Green Tear Drop brings Wealth.
The Yellow Tear Drop brings Health.
The Blue Tear Drop brings Wisdom.
The Red Tear Drop brings Romance.”

There is a black/white graphic of an angel face with wings and she's holding a heart about the size of a quarter. You color the halo around her head with whatever color you wish - green, yellow, blue or red. You glue a small pearl drop onto the paper where the top of the heart begins. You bag the paper into a clear closable bag.

Survival Kit
Mounds: For the mounds of information you learn.
Crayon: To color your day bright and cheerful.
Peanuts: To be a little nutty sometimes and have a good laugh.
Puzzle Piece: Without you, things wouldn't be complete.
Band-Aid: For when things get a little rough.
Aspirin: When all else fails, take 2 and find a quiet corner.
Hugs and Kisses: To keep you going.
Marbles: To replace those you might lose from time to time.
Sponge: To soak up the overflow, when your brain is too full to hold anymore.
Cup: For when yours is overflowing.
Put all the items in the mug and wrap up nicely with colored plastic wrap with the card attached.

Survival Kit for a Dear Friend
Items Needed: Toothpick; Rubber Band; Band Aid; Pencil; Eraser; Chewing Gum; Mint; Candy Kiss; and a Tea Bag.
Put all the following items in a nice mug or decorative bag with following attached:
1) TOOTHPICK - to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others. Matt. 7:1
2) RUBBER BAND - to remind you to be flexible: things might not always the way you want, but it will work out. Romans 8:28
3) BAND AID - to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else's. Col. 3:12-14
4) PENCIL - to remind you to list your blessings everyday. Eph1:3
5) ERASER - To remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it's OK. Gen.50:15-21
6) CHEWING GUM - to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything. Phil 4:13
7) MINT - to remind you that you are worth a mint! John 3:16-17
8) CANDY KISS - to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug everyday. 1 John 4:7
9) TEA BAG - to remind you to relax daily and go over that list of blessings. 1 Thess 5:18
A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.  Friends are a very rare jewel, indeed. They make you smile and encourage you to succeed. They lend an ear, share a word of praise and they always open their hearts to us.

Parent's Survival Kit
Playing card - Raising and educatingg children is a gamble
Rubber band - Children stretch and grow. If we, as parents, put too much pressure on children they will break.
Rope - Before you get to the end of your rope, remember that children need limits and structure. Set and make them.
Candle - Celebrate! We usually celebrate birthdays but not the small things.
"Do Not Disturb" card - Parents and children need time alone.
Card: "Loving, Laughing and Learning" - The three L's are just as important and the three R's This Bag - It is a trash bag. Throw away all the hurts, negatives, grudges, frustrations, and keep the good thoughts.

Journal Jar
1 quart canning jar with lid and ring
a small piece of cloth
a journal or composition book
some raffia and the following material:
The idea is to cut the questions in strips and place them in the jar. Put the material under the ring on top of the jar, and tie raffia around the neck of the jar with a card that reads:
“ Recipe for: my Life History”
We printed these strips on beige paper. The tag that goes on the outside of the jar was printed on tag board in beige and tied with beige raffia. The card was trimmed with pinking scissors and cut in a rectangle shape with one end rounded. The person takes out one strip a day and uses that to write a journal entry. The card that goes on the outside of the jar says:
RECIPE FOR MY LIFE HISTORY
Combine a generous slice of your life history, a dash of nostalgia, several cups of facts & feelings and 104 deliciously interesting questions. Draw one slip of paper. Take a few minutes to enjoy the memories. Paste or write the question at the top of a blank page. Fill in your answer. Don't worry about your handwriting or spelling - just tell your story. This product was prepared to preserve your life as a message. Enjoy the scrumptious, home-made memories that celebrate something very important - YOU!

The strips to cut apart and place in the jar are:
* Tell something about each of your children, their personalities, their talents, & traits that make them different and special.
* Describe a favorite vacation of your married years.
* Tell about home cures or old wives tales, hiccups, toothaches, earaches, arthritis.
* Where were you and what were you doing the day the wall came down in Germany or the coup in USSR or Dec. 7th - World War II started or ended - pres. Kennedy (etc.)
* Describe your wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, suit etc, if male.
* Write a description of your husband or wife.
* Tell about retirement - when, where, what will you do with your time?
* Describe your mother's wedding dress - what do you know about her wedding?
* Where did you live as a child - town, country, suburb, etc?
* What is your greatest joy, your greatest sorrow?
* Do you have a favorite author why? who? Tell about your favorite books as a child - as an adult.
* What do you feel has been the most significant world event that has taken place in your lifetime and why?
* Describe the most serious illness or accident that you have had.
* What is your favorite book and what do books mean to you.
* Describe your yard as a child - did you help with the yard work? What are your memories --- Draw a diagram if you can.
* Tell about Family Reunions.
* Tell about your teen-age social life - your friends, dances, dating, outings, church functions etc.--
* What would you like to be remembered for?
* Describe your 1st home after you were married.
* How did your father spend his time supporting his family?
* Tell about exciting experiences in young women, scouting or whatever.
* Tell about your life as the children left home - new interests, what did you do with the extra time -- new employment, moves, hobbies, etc.
* Tell about handed-down talents, foods, clothespin dolls, willow whistles, pottery, quilting, whittling, meat drying etc.
* What lessons did you take as a child - did you carry any over into adulthood?
* What were the favorite places to go with your family when you were young?
* Tell about any ancestors that you know about - name dates, etc. for historical purposes and any stories about them.
* Tell about anniversaries, celebrations, trips, gifts.
* What were your fears, expectations, & anticipations about getting married?
* Tell about a special date you had with a boy/girl friend or your fiance’.
* What is your mother's best trait? Worst? The traits you share?
* What is your father's best trait? Worst? The traits you share?
* One word on how to live successfully.
* How do you feel about winning? Losing?
* Tell a courtship story about your parents, how they met etc... Tell the same * about your courtship.
* Describe a favorite childhood friend and something you did with her or him.
* Tell about your grandchildren - how many- how did you feel about being a grandparent?
* Have you met or worked with famous people? Who - Where- etc.
* How did you become engaged?
* What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you and the worst?
* What is your child-rearing philosophy?
* Describe your Sundays as a mother/father or as a child.
* What can frighten you the most and why?
* Describe your conversion to the gospel.
* Do you wish you had more sisters or brothers, and why?
* Tell about your favorite aunt.
* What is the most exciting place that you have ever been to and why?
* What was your worst, really embarrassing moment?
* What games did you play as a child - inside and outside?
* Where did your Grandparents live? What was their home like? Did it have a certain smell or look?
* Tell about your favorite uncle.
* Did you have a close relationship with your grandparents = tell about it.
* Write your testimony of life - marriage - the gospel.
* Did you have a bicycle and what was it like?
* Tell how, when, where you learned to drive and any memorable experiences.
* Tell about each of your children's names, birth date, where, doctors, circumstances surrounding the birth - raising them in the home - problems, joys etc.
* How did you like being the oldest, youngest or middle child? What were the advantages or disadvantages?
* Tell about a frustrating experience that you have had with a car.
* What is your advice to those younger than you?
* Were you ever in a drama, speech, sports, pep or glee club? Tell about it.
* Did you and your father share any interests together - what and why?
* What is your favorite scripture and why?
* Describe a childhood Christmas.
* Describe a typical day in elementary school for you.
* What did you do when you were a child that got you in the most trouble and how did your parents handle it?
* Tell about your first crush.
* What church callings have you had and which did you enjoy the most?
* Did you go camping? Tell about your experiences.
* How did you feel about school?
* Do you remember any of your four grandparents? Any greats? What were their names? Any memories that you have.
* Tell about your mother: personality, characteristics, stature, coloring, talents, temperament, family stories about her, her role in your home, etc..
* Do you have a favorite General Authority? Who and why?
* What do you fantasize about doing or being?
* What is your personal secret of happiness?
* Describe a perfect spring day and activities on that day?
* What is the most important lesson, message, or advice that you have learned that you might pass on to others?
* Thinking back was there a teacher who had a great influence on you?
* Tell about your own family traditions: Christmas, birthdays, graduation, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Mothers or Fathers Day, weddings, funerals, hunting etc.
* Describe a childhood birthday.
* How did you become engaged?
* What personality trait do you admire and why?
* Did you have a favorite TV or radio program as a child? Tell about it.
* Did you go to college or have vocational training - where or when?
* Did you have a childhood hideout - tell about it.
* Tell about a favorite trip or vacation.
* What is your secret for good health?
* Describe a childhood Christmas.
* Did it snow much when you were a child - tell something about it, what did you do?
* Describe getting a Christmas tree as a child, when did you put it up and decorate it?
* Tell about your civic or political activities.
* Write about some places you went with your father.
* Write about some places that you went with your mother.
* What do you think about movies - what is your favorite movie and why?
* If you could be an animal, which one would you choose and why?
* Describe a typical day during your Jr. High years..
* What kind of extra-curricular activities did you participate in at school?
* Tell about the houses you lived in childhood - addresses, phone #'s, etc...
* What do you think brings good or bad luck?
* Tell about all the places you have worked.
* Describe your wedding day.
* What are your food preferences and how did they come about?
* How did your mother spend her time?
* Where you responsible for household chores? What were they? Which did you enjoy most/ least?
* What are your most deeply and imbedded values?

Flower Pot
Get a clay flower pot and paint it with the blackboard paint. Let the paint dry. Using regular paint, paint the Teacher's name on it. Place some flowers in the pot and have the child write or draw something on it with chalk. You can now give it to the teacher.... Or try filling the pot with an eraser, chalk, pens and pencils. Wrap a ribbon around it and give it to the teacher. How about writing a poem on one side (with paint) and using the opposite side for writing on it with chalk. You can also decorate it with some glitter, ribbons, gems, etc.

Message Board
Paint a piece of wood with the blackboard paint. Decorate the edges with paint, glitter, ribbons, gems, etc. Personalize it by paint the teacher's name on it. Give it as a gift with some chalk. You can even have the child paint his/her name on it with a little saying.

Pencil Holder
Using an old coffee can or any can, Cover the outside with construction paper or paint. Then decorate it. You can write a nice poem on it and have the child sign it.

Bookmarks
Take a piece of cardboard and cover it with some construction or white paper. Have your child write a nice saying or poem along with a drawing on one side and personalize it with the teacher's name on the other. Cover it with clear contact paper. Using a paper punch, punch a hole in it and string a nice ribbon through the hole and tie it.

INSTANT COFFEE MIXES
These would be nice tucked into a pretty coffee mug:
Instant Cappucino
1 c. powdered creamer
1 c. powdered chocolate milk mix
2/3 c. instant coffee
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Mix all ingredients together. Store in airtight container. Use 1 heaping Tbls. per cup of boiling water.

Cafe Vienna
1/2 c. instant coffee
2/3 c. sugar
2/3 c. nonfat dry milk solids
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Stir ingredients together. Process in a blender until powdered. Use 2 teaspoons to one cup of hot water. 56 calories each.

Italian Mocha Espresso
1 cup instant coffee
1 cup sugar
4 1/2 cups nonfat dry milk solids
1/2 cup cocoa
Stir ingredients together, Process in a blender until powdered. Use 2 tablespoons to one small cup of hot water. Serve in demitasse cups. 60 calories each.

Mocha Fireside Coffee
2 1/2 cups powdered non-dairy creamer
2 cups hot cocoa mix
1 cup instant coffee granules
1 cup Ovaltine chocolate drink mix
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Combine all ingredients: mix well. Store in an airtight container. To serve, add 1 tablespoon mix to 3/4 cup boiling water. Yield: 6 cups mix.

Instant Russian Tea
1 lb. 2 oz. jar of Tang
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. instant tea mix
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
Mix all together. Add to cup of boiling water to suit taste.

BREWED COFFEES
Orange Cinnamon Coffee
1/3 c. ground coffee
1 1/2 tsp grated orange peel
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Blend coffee and dry ingredients in a blender. Blend in flavoring and extracts. Scrape sides and blend 15 seconds more. Makes one 8-cup pot. Place coffee mix in a filter. Place filter on a square of plastic wrap. Draw together with a ribbon.

Butter, Nut & Rum Coffee
1/3 c. ground coffee
1/2 tsp nutmeg
butter, nut, and rum flavorings
Blend coffee and dry ingredients in a blender. Blend in flavoring and extracts. Scrape sides and blend 15 seconds more. Makes one 8-cup pot. Place coffee mix in a filter. Place filter on a square of plastic wrap. Draw together with a ribbon.

Doily Candy Bowl
This is a very easy project for kids and it makes a lovely gift or table decoration.
· White crocheted doily, 4" - 6" diameter.
· Small margarine container (empty)
· Fabric stiffener
· Narrow ribbon
· Craft/white glue
· Wax paper
· Plastic wrap or sandwich bag
· Christmas florals (optional)
· Christmas candy
Turn the margarine container upside down and cover with a plastic sandwich bag.
Pour the fabric stiffener into a bowl. Dip the doily into the bowl, saturating it thoroughly. Wring out the excess back into the bowl.
NOTE: If you don't want to buy fabric stiffener, you can make your own by · boiling equal parts of sugar and water until the sugar is completely dissolved.
· using liquid starch, OR
· mixing white glue with a little water
Drape the doily over the margarine container. Press down over the sides, but let the edges flair out. Set on the wax paper and allow to dry overnight. Thread the narrow ribbon in and out through the holes in the doily bowl. Leave both ends on the outside and tie together into a bow.
If you want, glue a Christmas floral or other decoration to the side. Fill with candy and enjoy!

Easy Computer Crafts
Wrap up 5 pieces of corn (or candy corn) in netting. Print out the following verse on paper, cut to size and attach to wrapped corn. Tie with ribbon and put at each place setting at Thanksgiving dinner.

The first kernel reminds us of the autumn beauty around us.
The second kernel reminds us of our love for each other.
The third kernel reminds us of God's love and care for us.
The fourth kernel reminds us of our friends.
The fifth kernel reminds us we are free people.”

The Jelly Bean Prayer
RED is for the blood He gave.
GREEN is for the grass He made
YELLOW is for the sun so bright.
ORANGE is for the edge of night.
BLACK is for the sins we made.
WHITE is for the grace he gave.
PURPLE is for His hour of sorrow.
PINK is for our new tomorrow.
A bag full of jelly beans colorful and sweet,
Is a prayer, Is a promise, Is a special treat.

Small plastic clear bag with three marbles inside it. Stapled to the top of the bag is a small piece of paper that has typed these words:

They said you lost your marbles.
I hope that it's not true.
But if you feel you have,
Here's a few for you!!!!”

"Angel"
On a sheet of paper you print the following:

“ANGELS CRY
When an Angel cries the tears turn
into Pearl Drops and fall to Earth.
The person finding these tears
will be blessed by the Angels.
The Green Tear Drop brings Wealth.
The Yellow Tear Drop brings Health.
The Blue Tear Drop brings Wisdom.
The Red Tear Drop brings Romance.

There is a black/white graphic of an angel face with wings and she's holding a heart about the size of a quarter. You color the halo around her head with whatever color you wish - green, yellow, blue or red. You glue a small pearl drop onto the paper where the top of the heart begins. You bag the paper into a clear closable bag.

Reindeer Bait
Place several Hershey's Kisses (or other treat) in a small square of netting. Tie up with a ribbon. Attach the following poem.

“Reindeer Bait!
Worried about your standing with Santa Claus this year?
Been a little naughty and have empty stocking fear?
Although you've changed your ways,
you're afraid it's much too late!
Just Lure in Santa and his sleigh with some reindeer bait.
The reindeer can't resist it.
They'll lead Santa to your door.
He'll forget that you've been naughty, and leave gifts and treats galore!

Santa or Christmas Jelly Bean Bag
Have a Jelly Bean Christmas
Red is for Santa's Suit.
Black is for his shiny boots
Green is for the Christmas Tree
with an angel on top for all to see,
White is for his beard so white
as white as the snow on Christmas night,
Rosy are his cheeks so pink,
He'll be here and gone in a wink.
Blue is for his twinkling eyes
And the dark blue of the Christmas sky
Yellow is for the Christmas Star
Shining near and shining far.
Jelly beans are such delight
for little ones on Christmas night.

Reindeer Food
Fill a snack-size ziplock bag with a handful of oatmeal and colored sugar. Seal the bag, and staple the folded baggie tag to the top. The little ones are really anxious to get to bed on Christmas Eve after sprinkling the magic reindeer food on the lawn!
“ Just sprinkle this on your lawn at night
The moon will make it sparkle bright.
So when Santa's reindeer fly and roam
This food will guide them to your home.”

Another Reindeer Food
Red gumdrops and call them reindeer noses...
and a poem such as:
"Reindeer noses
All sparkly and bright,
Lead Santa with his sleigh full of toys
On Christmas Eve Night."

Weather Rock
Attach this poem to a rock.
“If the rock is wet...it's raining
If the rock is swaying....it's windy
If the rock is hot...it's sunny
If the rock is cool...it's overcast
If the rock is white...it's snowing
If the rock is blue...it's cold
If the rock is shaking...earthquake
If the rock is gone...TORNADO...
Up to the minute weather report!!!!!!”

Reindeer Poop
Use baggies, red & green ribbon, and chocolate covered raisins And/or Chocolate covered peanuts. After the goodies are in the bag, tie it off with the ribbon and attach either of the following poems.
"Authentic Reindeer Poop
For all the souls who hate the noise
of Christmas Cheer and lights and toys
For Mr. Scrooge , & the Mrs. too,
Here's a little gift for you....

A lump of coal won't be enough
To make up for all shine and fluff.
So, here's a scoopy of reindeer poop
To offset all that Christmas goop!!!!

OR:

We were awakened when we heard Santa call;
"Dash away, dash away, dash away all"
But soon we discovered, out on our lawn
Santa & his reindeer were all gone!

With our little shovel we started to scoop.
All the droppings...."Yuck" Reindeer Poop!
But then we so generously filled up your sack.
Hope you have a Merry Christmas, and
Enjoy your snack!

or
Use Whoppers and attach the following verse:
"We were awakened when we heard Santa call,
"Dash away, Dash away, Dash away all."
But soon we discoverd, out on our lawn,
Santa and his reindeer were all gone.
With our little shovel we started to scoop,
All of the droppings.... "YUCK", reindeer poop!
But then we so generously filled up your sack.
Hope you have a Merry Christmas and
enjoy your snack!!!"

The malted milk balls were packaged in a small red sack with the verse printed out on card stock, cut with fiskars, and stuck to the bag There was a reindeer sticker at the top with lights in his antlers which sealed the sack and kept the top of the verse in tact. More stickers were added on each side of the verse

I “Mint” To
In a small bag place small mints and the following saying:

Mint
I "mint"to call and thank you,
But my time is in demand.
I "mint" to say "I love you"
But I knew you'd understand.
I "mint to send you flowers,
But they cost so much you know.
I "mint" to pray for you this morning,
But I had someplace to go.
I "mint" to say "Forgive me"
But that's so hard to do.
I heard my Lord say, "Bless you child"
I hope he "mint me too!

The Christmas Penny
I am a little penny
Hung on your Christmas tree
And do you know just who it's from?
You're oh so right it's me!!

And though you cannot play with it
It's really not a toy
Just remember when it started -
When you were just a little boy !!

Or

And though you cannot play with it
you can just give it a whirl,
And remember when it started
When you were just a little girl !

The ABC's of Teaching
Always wear a friendly smile,
Because the attitude
Created in your classroom
Depends so much on you!
Enthusiastic teaching
Fuels eager, willing spirits.
Give out praise abundantly;
Hard workers need to hear it!
Individual differences
Jump out from all young souls
Keep in mind that everyone
Learns best through personal goals.
Maintaining classroom discipline
Needs top consideration.
Organized lessons, thoroughly planned,
Precede calm participation.
Quality time that is spent
Reviewing basic information
Sets the needed cornerstones
To build a firm foundation.
Using many creative ideas
Varied in teaching approach
Will help your kids be winners -
eXcelling with you as their coach.
Yes, teachers who make lasting impressions
Zealously teach with true didication!
Get a big coffee cup with an apple on it, and filled it with the items. Then make a card to go with it that has the verse on it.

Friendship Bag
The bag has a lifesaver, cotton ball, Hershey's Kiss, a Hershey's Hug, Sweet Tarts, a B-day candle, a circle with happy face stickers, a rubber band, a pencil eraser(top) , a band-aid, and a recipe card with a recipe on it. All the items came in a bag with the meanings printed on a paper glue to the out side of the bag.

Friendship Bag
Contained in this bag are a few reminders of friendship.
LIFESAVERS: To remind you of the many times others need help and we need theirs.
COTTON BALL: For the rough roads, seek the cushioned support of your family and friends.
RUBBER BAND: A reminder to stay flexible.
SWEET AND SOUR CANDY: To help you appreciate the differences in others.
CANDY KISS: To remind you that everyone needs kisses.
CANDY HUG: To remind you that hugs are nice, too.
HAPPY FACE: Smiling not only increases your face value, it is contagious.
CANDLE: To remind you to share your light with others.
BAND-AID: For healing hurt feelings, yours and someone else's.
RECIPE CARD: To share a favorite with a friend as a symbol of caring
ERASER: To remind you that everyday you can start with a clean slate.

Old Age Pills
Fill container with jelly beans, according to below:
Old Age Pills
Take as needed
Gas - Yellow
Constipation - Green
Forgetfulness - Black
Arthritis - Purple
Baldness - White
Deafness - Orange
Wrinkles - Pink
Sex - Red
NOTE: The red pills may be cut into fourths if needed

The Candle
Attach poem to a candle:
A candle's but a simple thing
It starts with just a bit of string
Yet dipped and dipped with patient hand
it gathers wax right up the strand
Until, complete with snowy white
it gives at last a lovely light

Life is so like that bit of string
each deed we do, a simple thing
Yet day by day if on life's strand
we work with patient heart and hand
It gathers joy, makes dark days bright
and gives at last a lovely light

Hugs & Kisses in bag
Hugs & Kisses -- Hugs and Kisses are affection to share,
To show others that you care.
Hugs and Kisses are sent your way,
>From someone who cares and wishes to say,
My prayer for you is to have a good day,
And remember someone while on your way.
And don't be too busy to spend a moment or two,
Thanking the Lord for His blessings to you.
And as you remember this Hug and Kiss,
May it remind you of your friend or sis....

Threads of Friendship
A card with poem on it and a tiny spool of thread glued to card, this card was med.size and placed inside of a zip lock sandwich bag.
Poem:
Threads of A Friendship That Will Never Break:
Thank you for the laughter, for the good times we share.
Thanks for always listening, for trying to be fair.
Thank you for the comfort, when things are going bad.
Thank you for the shoulder to cry on when I'm sad.
This gift is a reminder that all my lifetime through,
I will be thanking heaven for a special friend like you.

Gospel Bracelet
Make a Gospel Bracelet out of Pony beads and leather and this is what the colors stand for on it:
Take piece of brown leather, measure for bracelet. You will need:
black bead, red, green, yellow and white heart bead. The dark bead represents our sins and guilt before God. The bible says,"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"Romans 3:23
Red stands for the blood of Jesus Christ who died on the cross for our sins. The bible says, "The blood of Jesus, His son, purifies us from all sin,"1John 1:7
The new Heart means, "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, "2Corinthians 5:17 This happens when you ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins and be your= Lord
Yellow means that when you ask Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord, you recieve Glory in Christ and are now able to be in Heaven with "The God of all grace, who called you to His Eternal Glory in Christ," 1Peter 5:10
Green is for growing strong in Christ, "The fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and self-control,"Galatians 5:22
This information was printed on card and bracelet is strung black, red, white Heart, yellow, green.

Unseen Gift
You wrap a small block of wood 2x2 or 3x3 with fabric (or a small empty box). You then wrap Either raffia or a fabric bow, with the following poem attached.

"This is a very special gift That you can never see,
The reason it's so special is...
It's just for you from me.
Whenever you are lonely,
Or ever feeling blue
You only have to hold this gift,
And know I think of you.
You never can unwrap it- Please, leave the ribbon tied
Just hold the box close to your heart. It's filled with love, inside".

A Time for All Things
Buy pretty wide-mouth jars that hold 2 cups. Gather regular uncooked rice (buy the cheapest you can find) and bags of unshelled walnuts. You'll also need squares of fabric to cover the top of the jar and hang down the sides a little, some jute or ribbon to tie with.
1) open each jar and put 10 walnuts inside (anyway you can get them in)
2) Measure one cup of rice and pour over walnuts inside the jar - shake jar until rice is in all the little pockets.
3) close jar with material (which has been glued to top of jar) and secure with outside canning band. Tie jute or ribbon around lid.
4) attach this note to jar with cord/ribbon:
“A TIME FOR ALL THINGS
This jar contains 10 walnuts and one cup of rice. The walnuts represent the things that God would have us do, and the rice represents the fun things that we would like and want to do. If you pour the rice into the jar first, the walnuts will never fit. If you put the walnuts in the jar first, the rice poured over and around the nuts fits perfectly.
The lesson is if we set God's priorities first before the time for the things we want to do, we will have time for both. If however, we put the urgent before the important, we will never fit time in for God.
May this jar be a constant reminder of your priorities in your walk with= Him.”

LEGEND OF THE CHRISTMAS NAIL
Take a large nail (with a head) and tie a red ribbon around the bottom of head to make a loop to hang it on the Christmas tree. Print the following on a card, roll it into a scroll and attach it to the nail:
“This is the Christmas Nail.
It is to be hung on a sturdy branch,
a branch near the trunk,
a branch that will hold such a spike without
being noticed by well-wishers dropping by
to admire one's tinseled tree.
The nail is known only to the home that hangs it,
understood only by the heart that knows its significance.
It is hung with the thought:
The Christmas tree but foreshadows the Christ tree which only
He could decorate for us by offering us salvation through His crucifixion“

Prayer Rock
I'm your little prayer rock
and this is what I'll do.
Just put me on your pillow
till the day is through.
Then turn back the covers
and climb into bed,
And whack! Your little prayer rock
will hit you on the head.
Then you will remember
as the day is through,
To knell and say your prayers
as you wanted to.
Then when you are finished
just dump me on the floor,
I'll stay there through night time
to give you help once more.
When you get up next morning
Clunk! I stub your toe,
So you will remember
your morning prayers before you go.
Put me back upon your pillow
when your bed is made,
And your clever little prayer rock
will continue in your aid.
Because your Heavenly Father
cares and loves you so,
He wants you to remember
to talk to Him, you know..

Candle
Include this poem with a candle
Here's an early Christmas greeting
For your family to share.
Let it brighten up your season
& spread gladness thru the air.

You can start a new tradition
Every night 'til Christmas day,
To burn the Christmas candle
While the family doth play.

You can bake, draw or read stories,
Sing songs or just play games & by the season's finish
Only memories remain.
A special season full of fun
& that love will burn more brightly
When your holiday is done.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

A CHRISTMAS STORY
Note: This is a great story to give accompanied by a gift of oranges.
In the very early 1800's, a young boy about 14 years old named John lived in an orphanage in Old England along with several other children. Orphanages were dreaded. Orphan meant unwanted and unloved. The orphanage was administered by a master and his wife who were results of meager backgrounds themselves and were short on love but high on discipline. No childlike play, no expression of compassion, no understanding.

Every day of the year was spent working. They worked in gardens, cleaned, sewed, and cooked sometimes for wealthy children. They were up at dawn and worked until dark and usually received only one meal a day. However, they were very grateful because they were taught to be hard workers. John had absolutely nothing to call his own. None of the children did.

Christmas was the one day of the year when the children did not work and received a gift. A gift for each child -something to call their own. This special gift was an orange. John had been in the orphanage long enough to look forward with delight and anticipation of this special day of Christmas and to the orange he would receive. In Old England, and to John and his orphan companions, an orange was a rare and special gift. It had an unusual aroma of something they smelled only at Christmas. The children prized it so much that they kept it for several days, weeks, and even months - protecting it, smelling it, touching it and loving it. Usually they tried to savor and preserve it for so long that it often rotted before they ever peeled it to enjoy the sweet juice.

Many thought were expressed this year as Christmas time approached. The children would say, "I will keep mine the longest." They always talked about how big their last orange was and how long they had kept it.

John usually slept with his next to his pillow. He would put it right by his nose and smell of its goodness, holding it tenderly and carefully as not to bruise it. He would dream of children all over the world smelling the sweet aroma of oranges. It gave him security and a sense of well being, hope and dreams of a future filled with good food and a life different from this meager existence.

This year John was overjoyed by the Christmas season. He was becoming a man. He knew he was becoming stronger and soon he would be old enough to leave. He was excited by this anticipation and excited about Christmas. He would save his orange until his birthday in July. If he preserved it very carefully, kept it cool and did not drop it, he might be able to eat it on his birthday.

Christmas day finally came. The children were so excited as they entered the big dining hall. John could smell the unusual aroma of meat. In his excitement and because of his oversized feet, he tripped, causing a disturbance. Immediately the master roared, "John, leave the hall and there will be no orange for you this year." John's heart broke violently wide open. He began to cry. He turned and went swiftly back to the cold room and his corner so the small children would not see his anguish.

Then he heard the door open and each of the children entered. Little Elizabeth with her hair falling over her shoulders, a smile on her face, and tears in her eyes held out a piece of rag to John. "Here John," she said, "this is for you." John was touched by her youth and innocence as he reached for the bulge in her hand. As he lifted back the edges of the rag he saw a big juicy orange all peeled and quartered. . . and then he realized what they had done. Each had sacrificed their own orange by sharing a quarter and had created a big, beautiful orange for John.

John never forgot the sharing, love and personal sacrifice his friends had shown him that Christmas day. John's beginning was a meager existence, however, his growth to manhood was rewarded by wealth and success. In memory of that day every year he would send oranges all over the world to children everywhere. His desire was that no child would ever spend Christmas without a special Christmas fruit!

Super Star
Make a star from foil and secretly place it on someone's pillow, etc. with this poem:
Christmas Star
May the spirit of Christmas warm your heart and home this season.
Secretly do a good need for someone in your family.
Leave this Christmas Star on their pillow.
They in turn will do something nice for someone else,
passing the star on. May it remind us all that small,
secret acts of kindness bring love and peace into our hearts and homes.
May this remind us all that small, secret acts of kindness bring love
and peace into our hearts and homes.

The Spirit of Christmas
(Make a star from foil and secretly deliver it with this poem and a plate of treats to three (or more) neighbors)
THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS HAS JUST VISITED YOU
The spirit of Christmas is moving quietly and quickly through our neighborhood. The Christmas spirit is the warm feeling you get inside when you show someone how much they mean to you.
The plate of goodies that you received represents the special kind of unselfish love that Christ has for all of us.
The star is the bright star of Bethlehem that showed others the way. Place the star in your window to let others know that the spirit of Christmas has visited you.
Make two plates of goodies with notes like this, each plate should have a star like yours and should be delivered anonymously, to others that have not been visited by the spirit of Christmas, letting the star be your guide. Please spread the spirit within 48 hours for each house must have a star in the window by Christmas day.
Thank you for sharing the spirit of Christmas. May happiness and joy be yours throughout the Christmas season and always.

A CANDY MAKER'S WITNESS
(Attach this to a candy cane)
A Candymaker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.
He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy.
White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the Church, and firmness of the promises of God.
The Candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our Savior. It could also represent the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the Candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used three small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Christ on the cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life. Unfortunately, the candy became known as a Candy Cane -- a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear." I pray that this symbol will again be used to witness to the Wonder of Jesus and His Great love that came down at Christmas and remains the ultimate and dominate force in the universe today.

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