Every year I have grand plans for all the homemade holiday gifts I plan on giving everyone, and often by the time December rolls around I’m in the midst of a full-on holiday freakout. (It isn’t unusual for my family members to receive polaroids of half-knitted socks). If you find yourself in a similar situation, here are a few suggestions that might help you out, depending on how much time you have to devote to crafting:
Have two months, or close to it? You have time to do practically whatever you want! Knit a sweater, crochet a blanket, or design and make your own holiday cards.
Have a month? Drinks like limoncello or fragolino make festive gifts, and take about a month for the flavors to infuse. Try the fragolino recipe in Olives & Oranges: Recipes and Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus & Beyond, by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox.
Have a weekend? One Skein Wonders: 101 Yarn Shop Favorites, edited by Judith Durant, features quick projects that use only one skein of yarn. There are projects for a wide variety of yarn types, so chances are good you already have something in your stash that you can work with.
Have a day? Homemade soaps or spa products make great gifts. Get some inspiration from books like Natural Soapmaking by Marie Browning, or Organic Body Care Recipes: 175 Homemade Herbal Formulas for Glowing Skin & a Vibrant Self by Stephanie Tourles.
Have a few hours? Everyone loves cookies around the holidays, and even at the last minute they make a great handmade gift. Books like The International Cookie Cookbook will help you find something creative enough to gift, but easy enough to whip up in a few hours.