While we're all familiar with the phrase, "It's the thought that counts," nothing says it more than a homemade gift from a loved one. After all, anyone can buy something from a store. Where the real trick comes in is actually taking the time to think up a special gift, gathering the supplies, and crafting it out of your own time, energy and talents. Small, thoughtful gifts, while usually less flashy than diamonds, are often cherished more than the most precious of gems. Here are ten ways to show your loved ones that you love and appreciate them!
1Bake Something For Them
Call up Grandma and get that delicious red velvet cake recipe, you've wanted for so long. Besides, what could be more romantic than fighting over who gets to lick the bowl and the spoon? Not only will it give you a chance to catch up with Granny, but it will also show your loved ones that you care enough to take some time out of your busy schedule to whip up some fantastic eats.
2Create A Card
Remember making cards in 5th grade? Grab a sheet of construction paper, some Popsicle sticks, and a few of those fancy hole-punchers, and go to town. Who knows, maybe you'll uncover a hidden talent!
3Cook A Homemade Dinner
There are thousands of great recipes online for dinners that will wow any loved one. So, pick one and prepare a homemade dinner. Even if you aren't a great chef and have some trouble when it comes to pots, pans, and open flames, just go with something simple.
4Make A Coupon Book
A coupon book is always a hit with your partner. Fill the coupon book with massages, a night away from the kids, or even a week of taking care of the other person's chores. Make it personal, honor the coupons without complaining, and don't put an expiration date on them.
5Make A Slide Show
Whip out your old pictures and make a slide show from "then till now." Set it to your favorite music. Then, let it scroll through some of the highlights of your relationship. If it's for your partner, remember what it was like before kids; when the kids left the house, before grandkids, or whatever stage of life you want to remember. Just sit back in each other's arms and let the pictures and music envelope both of you for a while.
6Recreate Your First Date
If you went to a fancy restaurant, recreate the experience at home. Dim the lights, put on the same music, and fix the same meal. If you drove somewhere, pack a picnic-style dinner, go back, and enjoy the experience all over again. Whatever you did that first time, do it again and remember where you began and how far you've come.
7Make Chocolate Covered Fruit
Pick a kind of fruit. Dip it in chocolate. Allow it to cool. Indulge. Simple, right?
8Make Homemade Jewelry
It could be a necklace made from triangle-shaped pieces of wallpaper, wrapped into bead shapes. Or, it could be rings made from polished stones. In whatever form it is, handmade jewelry is always a hit with family and friends.
9Make A CD
Remember mixed tapes when you were a teenager? Technology has advanced a bit since then, so why not create a CD that holds all the songs that have meant something to you and your friends since you've known each other? It will remind you of old times and bring back memories of the past. These are great, as gentle reminders of why you love them so much.
10Create A Scavenger Hunt For Your Partner
Start with a trail of rose petals from the front door to a location of your choice. From there, use a post-it-note to give them a second clue. The next one can be written on the inside of a chocolate wrapper. Send them all over town if you must and have them meet you somewhere special.
There are thousands of things you can do to show appreciation to those you love. The best things to remember are the ones closest to the heart. No matter what you make, or how well you do it, your loved ones will appreciate it because it's coming from you.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."