Consider Giving Homemade Gifts this Year

While the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year, they also can become the most stressful and, most definitely, the most expensive. Why not use this holiday season to dip your stocking into natural living? It’s rewarding, cheap, fun, healthful and environmentally-friendly. The best part? You can make some and keep some for yourself.  Merry Christmas to you!

Truth be told, my journey into more natural and sustainable living is one of my greatest pleasures. This hobby/way of life helps me find balance in an otherwise frantic world. What I love most about natural living is that the pace is just so slow and methodical. My life is usually moving at a pace that is dizzying and saturated with things to do RIGHT NOW, so I cherish slowing down and enjoying the process of creating. It’s an anecdote to the chaos that surrounds me. When people ask how I find the time, I chuckle. This IS my downtime and my peace. I get giddy over the bag of elderberries that just arrived in the mail. I am just as excited to share my niece’s cold and cough syrup recipe with you next month!

When I made the decision to begin living more naturally and sustainably, I promised myself that I would only take it as far as I wanted to. I wouldn’t make grand leaps and sweeping gestures, only to find myself resentful or limited or just pissed. I would use up what I already had, dapple into what interested me, create things or make changes on a want-to or need-to basis. I allow myself the freedom and luxury of revising and rethinking my decisions. I think sometimes people want to live a bit more naturally and simply, but they don’t know where to begin or, more importantly, where to end. How FAR do you take it? My answer to that mimics the yogi philosophy: push yourself, but not to the point of pain.

Christmas time is my favorite time to try new remedies, recipes and cosmetics because your personal creations make wonderful gifts. Last year, I made batches of probiotic deodorant, vanilla extract and lip balm. This year, I am making batches of limoncello, limecello, rosemary-infused vodka, reusable kitchen and bathroom wipes, rainbow rice, organic play clay, foundation and mascara. I make enough for myself and enough to spread the love. Even if it fails and ends up in the trash, which happens more often than I would like to admit, I am committed to, slowly but surely, taking more control over the things I consume or the things that my family uses on a daily basis.

lavender-honey-lip-balm

Lavender honey lip balm by Eliza Domestica.

Here are some great links I have used in the past or will use this year:

Cosmetics

http://www.thankyourbody.com/all-natural-homemade-mascara/
http://www.thankyourbody.com/homemade-foundation/
http://www.elizadomestica.com/home-decor/lavender-honey-lip-balm

Consuming

http://creatingnaturally.com/homemade-vanilla-extract-an-awesome-inexpensive-gift/
http://whatscookingamerica.net/Beverage/Limoncello.htm

Cleaning

http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/07/make-your-own-reusable-peppermint-kitchen-wipes.html 

Kids

http://www.healthhomehappy.com/2013/09/organic-calming-playdoh.html
http://www.thingstoshareandremember.com/rainbow-rice-garden-sensory-play/

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About Becky Jha

Born and raised in rural Connecticut , Becky DeMattia-Jha attended Salve Regina University in Newport, RI, and has her M.Ed. She has been teaching high school English for 15 years and currently resides in Massachusetts with her husband, their two children, and their German Shepherd. She spends her precious summer vacations indulging in passions other than literature: serving as a lactation peer coach, practicing herbal medicine, organic gardening, making natural cleansers and cosmetics, and preparing quick and easy organic recipes for her family. She hopes to share her efficient, chemical-free, eco-conscious, frugal, and simplistic homemaking and homesteading tips with you.

Comments

  1. It’s also a great way to get the kids involved! Andrew and I will be making homemade gifts for people together, enjoying craft time instead of grab time in a chaotic box store this holiday season.