Oops, I forgot! Easy holiday gifts to keep on hand

Have you ever been in one of those situations where someone had a thoughtful gift for you, but you didn’t have them on your list?

Or the darling UPS man showed up delivering goodies from the North Pole but you didn’t have anything to give to him?

It happens. The holidays have a way of grinding already busy and stressed folks into mincemeat! And, of course, everyone has to draw the line on gift-giving somewhere.

Happily there are a few very easy things you can do using items you already have on hand to whip up a batch of “emergency gifts” just for these kinds of moments.

Option 1: Dress up some tins and bake

I don’t know about you, but I have somehow amassed a rather large collection of tins. Some boring. Some Easter themed. Some generic. None were good enough package holiday cookies. So, this weekend, while my best friend was over with her three daughters, we organized a little craft-fest. We grabbed some spray paint and gave 80% of my sad tins a makeover. Then decorated the tops and filled them with cookies I had already baked.

Voila – now I am ready for any gift emergency. And entertained 5 children on a rainy Sunday. Win-win-win!

Option 2: Add some pizzaz to unused planters

If you happen to collect planters like I do (yes, I have a black thumb), you can put them to great use as emergency gifts. Just paint the body of a planter with chalkboard paint, write a sweet message on it, and you have a lovely gift ready to go.

If you want a great alternative to baked goods, apply a little chalkboard pain to empty planters. Add a sweet message and you have a lovely gift!
Holiday cookie tin
My personal favorite emergency gift craft involves baked goods. Because I always have a lot of baked goodies made this time of year. Click the next few slides to see how to make your own.
Step 1: Assemble materials
Step 1: lay out newspapers and gather tins in preparation for the painting. Do it in an open environment. We did it in our garage because it was raining outside. We kept the door open for air flow. Fun was had by all participants - from age 2 to age 12 (and the 40+ crowd too).
Step 2: Paint
Step 2: Apply spray paint. Hold the paint far enough away from the tins so that it goes on without pooling. Yes, we may have learned that the hard way.
Step 3: Decorate tins
Step 3: Once your tins are dry, apply stickers or paper cut outs with a little glue. Then tie your tin with a festive ribbon or string and fill up with cookies, toffee, or candy canes.
If you are looking for an alternative to cookies for filling your decorated tins, try chocolate-dipped candy canes. This takes about 5 minutes to do and looks and tastes spectacular. Definitely an amazing craft cheat for this time of year.
Did you know that you can whip up a batch of this insanely delicious treat in 15 minutes? I did not. Until I tried it this weekend. Now the only bad thing is I cannot unlearn the recipe...and I am addicted to toffee.
No matter what you end up making for your emergency gift stash, add a little flourish to your gift with a free printable gift tag.
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Links for the Slide Show

Melt in your mouth 15-minute English Toffee recipe & tutorial via: the coterie blog
Easy homemade chocolate-dipped candy canes via: food-fitness-fresh air
Nifty chalk painted planters tutorial via: a golden afternoon
Free printable set of Holiday gift tags via: buttoned up

Just out of curiosity, where do you draw the line on gift-giving? Do you keep emergency gifts on hand? If you do, what’s your go-to gift?