I'm a huge advocate of the home-made present. Each year I do something, in addition to the baking treats. Some years have gone off better than others.
This tradition began in childhood with those typical kiddie things you made your mom in kindergarten. Most of my early presents back then were pieces of art work or clay sculptures and one time I made ornaments using walnut shells, cotton balls, and teeny wooden figures my mom still has.
A few years ago I made paper stars and moons for ornaments and also sheets of paper I impregnated with violets and ferns I pressed over the summer. The week before that Christmas I was chatting with the bagger at our grocery store when he asked if I was finished with my shopping. I said yes, I just needed to finish making my home made gift, which was paper that year. He was aghast. "Lady!" he exclaimed, 'NObody wants paper!" That still makes me laugh.
This year I made fudge, three varieties of cookies, gingerbread, lemon curd, chocolate and cranberry covered nuts, a photo book of my mom's cats in humorous positions (she wanted it to draw from), a Klimpt-inspired needlepoint pillow, and six suet feeders from instructions found in Bird&Bloom magazine. The one I kept is below:
Taking old pieces of cypress, the suet holders are hammered pieces of flat wear. The suet cakes are held in position by the plastic trays they are sold in. A door hinge nailed on top holds the wire I strung through and looped to hang from a chain or whatever. I took the wood burning kit and burned our initials and a bird on the bottom. I think they came out rather cute. I plan to make more for gifts next year.
Excy's getting better at flying his remote-control helicopter and is almost able to land it on the ceiling fan. Surprisingly enough, the cats don't seem to be scared of it at all...