It's that time of year again, folks! Time for roasting chestnuts on an open fire (who does that sort of thing? Anyone?) singing Yuletide carols, and dressing up like Eskimos (unless, you happen to live in Florida).
Oh....and buying everyone and their brother something for Christmas.
Are you running out of money, AND out of inexpensive ideas for every teacher, neighbor, friend you want to give a present to? Then, feel free to steal my idea:
Christmas in a mug!
I love plants, and have quite a few of them. Just the other day, I was separating my plants (again) getting ready to give some friends and relatives some plant starts, when the idea came to me. Why not create an inexpensive Christmas present out of them? So, off I went to my local thrift store, to purchase some Christmas mugs. Now, some of you have never even set foot in a thrift store, unless it was to buy an ugly sweater for that annual office Christmas party.
Why not? Are you too proud to be seen in one? You would be surprised at all the treasures to be found there! That is a whole different blog post, but one thing you can find there this time of year is very low cost things for Christmas. For only 59 cents, at our local thrift store, you can get a like-new Christmas mug. 59 cents! That is even cheaper than going to the dollar store!
Here is an example of one of the Christmas plant mugs I created for a teacher gift:
If you don't already have plants, and you want to create a Christmas plant mug, you can buy a few starter plants at just about any store, and separate them out into several different mugs that you have filled with potting soil. I made sure to include at least three different varieties of hardy plants that transplant well. I used some festive garland I already had, and attached a little red bow.
There are many other things that would work well to put in a mug. By balling up tissue paper and placing it in the mug first, you can make it so that whatever you put in the mug will be elevated. Here are some other ideas for things you could put in a Christmas mug that would make great gifts:
*Hot cocoa mix and mini marshmallows
* Cup O' Soup packets or any other "cup" food (my oldest daughter's term, and her favorite kind of food!)
*Assortment of hand sanitizer, lotions, or chapsticks
*Homemade or store bought candy
*Assortment of different flavored tea or coffee
*A variety of office supplies like paper clips, white out, erasers, etc.
*Small notepad and pens or pencils
*Golf balls and tees
*Deck of regular playing cards or UNO cards
*Small frame with picture of kids (would make a great Grandparent gift!)
*Nail polish and other mani/pedi supplies
*Any gift card (iTunes, coffee shop, movie theatre, book store, restaurant, etc.)
*Brownie, cupcake, or muffin baked in a mug (make sure the mug can be put in microwave or oven first!) Or, you could just write down a bunch of yummy recipes for mug desserts down on recipe cards that you make yourself. Need some recipe ideas? You can go here for some inspiration.
If you cannot afford to give much other than the mug itself, fill the mug with little slips of paper of all the things you admire about the person you are giving it to. Who wouldn't want to read all of the things you love about them?! That's a true gift from the heart.
You could also make up coupons for those people you know well. Need to give a gift to a friend or family member with small children? Offer to babysit their little tikes so they can have a quiet night out! Some other ideas could be to shovel their drive, a meal given to them at a later time, pet sitting, free house cleaning, really whatever you can think of that is a labor of love that the person receiving the gift would enjoy!
Use your imagination, and I'm sure that you could also come up with some creative ideas on creating Christmas gifts in a mug.
Now, put on that Christmas thinking cap, and get busy! Only 8 more days until Christmas....