Go green and light on the spending by creating homemade gifts that are inexpensive and meaningful. I love to give practical gifts, especially these days.

Look for some attractive wooden, plastic or metal trays that could be part of a gift. Marshalls and Goodwill have economical prices on some great finds. Trays are great for serving healthy snacks. For guests, potlucks or simply at home.  When my daughter comes home from school, she is often greeted by a tray of cut up carrots, celery, sugar snaps, a tiny bowl of nut butter, apple slices, a cluster of almonds, pecans and/or walnuts, perhaps some crackers, etc. The point is to make healthy foods attractive and appealing to eat. You might even include little baggies of Holiday Nuts or Live Nuts to add to the tray for the gift.  (Send your family and friends to healingthehunger.com for more Fresh Ideas.)

Quality cookware is always a great gift. Goodwill, or Craig’s List is a great place to find a cast iron pan and a lid. A heavy duty cookie sheet can be extremely versatile. Use it for cookies of course, but also roasting vegetables, nuts, squashes, etc.

A sweet tea pot and a variety of teas is also a practical and warming treat. Perhaps, including a recipe for a sweet treat with a sample of it, such as Butterscotch Brownies or Gingerbread People.

Perhaps, even buying boxes of wooden matches, decorating them with pretty paper, loving messages,  and paint or drawing can be a nice, personal touch. Wrap them in a set of kitchen towels for a lovely gift. Creative ideas are endless. Just remember that it’s more about the caring and thoughtfulness than the amount of dollars spent!