I can now post some pics of some things I made for gifts since everyone has opened them!
I'll start with my most frugal, which was for a contest of 'most bang for the buck' present: This basket is worth $77.76 if you wanted to pay full price for it. I paid $5.32! Here's the breakdown:
Basket: Dollar store $1.08 $1.08
Walmart gift card won via McDonalds Monopoly $0 $5.00
Au Gratin Potatoes coupon from All You Magazine $0 $1.75
Hashbrowns coupon from All You Magazine $0 $1.75
Pens, 10 count online coupon & price matching $0 $2.19
Hand Warmer Dicks sporting goods $1.08 $1.08
St. Johns Bay Shirt JCPenneys coupon $10 off $10 $2.16 $37.80
Candle Bath&Body Works coupon $0 $10.26
Old Spice Body Wash, large Walmart, 2 coupons used $0 $4.35
Label book (post it notes) Free sample for my business $0 $2.00
2 5oz @ Cherry Berry partly regifted (we got 4, kept 2 for us) $0 $5.50
Fake USB cord online: ThinkGeek, used reward points $1.00 $5.00
(you can't see all of these items, some are behind the shirt.) I had more free stuff since I'd had my eyes peeled for months, but decided to keep them for our family. But don't worry, we did buy him some 'real' gifts too! I just had so much fun putting this basket together! I'm motivated to do even better next year! :)
I made several big fleece blankets this year that are so easy and fun to make, and even more fun to snuggle in! Some other fabric projects were pillows and capes:
For my Oklahoma nephews I made personalized pillows for their room. I'm so glad their momma loved them!
I also made scripture cards for Ry, and two of her other cousins around her age:
It's a cute, large charm from Hobby Lobby with beads strung on bendable wire and two initial beads on the ends, one for each of her kiddos.
In addition to making and buying gifts, I had done my first craft fair earlier in the month selling my famous cake balls and custom candles. I had orders totaling over 400 cake balls!And most of them ordered them wrap in a festive holiday box because they were being given as gifts:
Here are some I made for my family to display as examples:
My favorite gifts to BUY were the ones I bought on Friday after finding out that we were going to host a foster kid from the Laura Dester Shelter. I found out his age and immediately went out shopping with all the other last minute crazy people to find him something that he would like. Len picked him up Christmas morning and he got to open a stocking and 3 presents, along with us, at our house. We were about to pray before opening presents and he asked if he could pray...that was very special. :) We had a fun day taking him to go eat a fabulous Christmas brunch and playing Wii and some football catch with my family. Then we all went bowling and played video games. With the tickets he won, he got US 'Christmas' presents!! Things like a hacky sack for my bro, rings for my sis and I, playing cards for dad, a crown for Rylan, and candy for everyone. That was very special! He's a good kid! My heart aches for those kids that need forever families...makes me wish our adoption process was further along than it is...but that's another post for another day. Goodnight!