Gifts you can craft this Christmas

Just Ella Bella


Try these alternative ideas for gifts this Christmas suggests crafty Just Ella Bella blogger Eleanor Douglas-Meyers



Gifting is a big part of Christmas, regardless of your views on the holiday; you know gifts form part of the whole thing.

But,  let’s face it the current economic situation or at least mine anyway makes the Oprah style of “you’re all getting one” a little difficult to follow through on.

But you still want to share some cheer, right? I chatted to some friends about alternative gifting traditions and this is what we came up with:

Good ole secret Santa

Honestly this one is basically how I’m getting all my gifts this year!

  • Put names in a hat and buy for the person whose name you draw.
  • This means you can concentrate on getting something really decent for one person instead of a bunch of last-minute presents for people you forgot about.

Pass the parcel

This is new to me because although as a party game I’ve done it plenty of times as a Christmas gift exchange it is new and I am intrigued.

  • You buy gifts which work across all ages and genders and then wrap this up in layers so each layer receives a small gift.
  • On Christmas morning, or Chrismas Eve if this is when your family opens the gifts, you pass the parcel around accompanied with music and when it stops you unwrap and take out a gift.

Yankee swap

  • Participants bring one wrapped gift (within a price range) and place the gift in a pile.
  • Each person draws a number to determine the order in which they go.
  • The person who drew No 1 goes first and must open a gift from the pile.
  • The person who drew No 2 goes next and has the choice of either taking the gift opened by No 1 or selecting an unopened gift.
  • If No 1’s gift is taken then that player may open another gift from the pile.
  • The person who drew No 3 goes next and can either take No 1’s gift, or take No 2’s gift, or open a new gift.
  • If player 3 takes an opened gift from player 1 or 2, then that player who is now giftless has the option of taking the other gift that was opened or opening a wrapped gift (they cannot take player 3’s gift).
  • Play continues until all the gifts are taken, with each person either taking, swapping or opening a gift.
  • When all gifts are open the round is over (you can’t decide you don’t like what you opened and decide to swap for something else).
  • Any single gift can only be swapped once per round.
  • Once the round is over, No 1 may swap gifts with any other player.

(rules from

Christmas goodie bags

  • This is great for a group of girlfriends, for example, let us say you are a group of five friends.
  • Each one of the five brings one gift bag to the party.
  • Each also buys four of their favourite things, usually keeping it super affordable, like R30 each.
  • Pop a favourite thing into each bag and you are left with five goodie bags with four fun things each.

Santa gift pick up

This will be the first year I do this with Aidan, and here is how you do it:

  • You make up a box of toys your child has outgrown and pack it in a box.
  • Santa then picks up the box and leaves a note to thank the child.
  • Santa and his elves will then spruce up the gifts and give it to other children (in the real world you spruce the toys up yourself and give it to a worthy cause).

Christmas cheer pile

  • Bake biscuits and package.
  • Make hand made gifts.
  • Buy cheap gifts throughout the year.
  • Wrap this pile of gifts and hand out when people come over during the festive season.

See more from Eleanor Douglas-Meyers, a crafty Uitenhage mum on DIY, parenting, natural hair care, fashion, food and fun on her blog JustEllaBella

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