Gauss-Advent Calendar: Christmas gift ideas
The countdown to Christmas has begun and people are rushing to the shops to buy presents for their family and friends. Are you done with your Christmas gift shopping or are you still looking for gift ideas? Here you’ll find some ideas which you can make yourself at home to give it a special, personal twist.
You may find many mugs decorated with permanent markers all over the internet. A plain white mug offers you creative room for endless designs. You will only need a plain white mug and oil-based markers (NOT water-based otherwise it will wash off). You can also use a pencil and masking tape to sketch the design first. If you’re not a good painter, then you can simply write something on your mug. Given the increasing use of technology, handwritten letters or cards are become more rare nowadays, so it will definitely be a special gift.
After drawing your design, you have to put the mug for 30 minutes at 180 ºC in the oven to set the paint. Finally, let it cool before wrapping it. Keep in mind that Sharpie mugs are not dishwasher safe, so it can only be hand washed.
If you have an empty heat-proof jar or candle holder lying around at home, then you can use it as a container to make a new candle yourself. For this, you’ll need candle-making wax, a candle wick and any fragrance oil or coloring you’d like to add. First, you have to melt the wax carefully in a pot. You should stir constantly to prevent the wax from burning. Once the wax is melted, then you can add the fragrance oil and mix well. Then attach the candle wick to your glass container and pour the wax. Make sure to hold the top of the wick (e.g. with some pencils or chopsticks). Finally, let it cool for roughly four hours (time depends on the volume). You can add some more wax at the end to fill holes or cracks that might have been created.
Another thing you can do with empty jars is filling them up with ingredients in layers for soup or a dessert. Here is one example:
Five Bean Soup Mix
Add the ingredients in the following order. The gift recipient only has to empty the jar into a saucepan and boil them with some water until the ingredients are cooked:
- 1/3 cuppinto Beans
- 1/3 cupgreen peas
- 1/3 cupblack beans
- 1/3 cupnavy beans
- 1/3 cupkidney beans
- 1 teaspoondry mustard
- 1 teaspoonpaprika
- 1 tablespoons onions
- 1 tablespoongarlic
- 1 tablespoonoregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small dried chile pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoonrosemary
- 1 veggie bouillon cubes
Another option is brownies in a jar. You can check out the recipe here.
Homemade cake or cookies
You can also bake a cake or cookies yourself as an alternative to the food jars, especially if you know that your friends did not have any time to backe during the Christmas season. Specially around the holidays, (almost) everyone likes to enjoy something sweet with a nice cup of tea to warm up during these cold days.
Photo album or picture frame
A photo album is also a good Christmas gift. Trips or special events usually have three phases: the planning, the experience and the memory phase. You can arrange some pictures into a photo album you took on the last trip you took together to relive that experience. It could also a way to tell them that you’re already looking forward to the next one. A simple photo frame is also a good choice which can be put on the desk.
A tote bag is very practical to take your study materials to the library or buy groceries. Some of them are also made with sustainable cotton and can be washed and reused many times. You can either create a design yourself and have it printed or buy a plain one and paint it yourself with some markers.