One big trend in holiday gift giving that makes holiday shopping easier, faster and more personal is making one primary gift and giving everyone their own copy. You become the creator of a one-of-a-kind present that captures the heart of your family, and that present becomes a treasured gift for all.
Here are some ideas for bulk gifts that are ideal for your holiday gift giving this year.
*Family Recipe Cookbooks
"For many families, holidays mean food and family come together," says Virginie Martocq, co-owner of custom cookbook site Heritage Cookbooks. "You're sure to hit the right emotional notes by giving your loved ones a custom cookbook filled with treasured family recipes and photos of past celebrations." So your cookbook gives everyone their own copies of the recipes that everyone loves to see on the holiday table. Plus, the added bonus of family holiday photos and stories about particular recipes gives guests a heartfelt connection to the family via your gift.
Don't worry about typing up recipes scribbled on napkins or stained from years of meal preps, and don't worry about photocopying or binding them. You can build your cookbook online, uploading your recipes and photos, easily putting this project together in your spare time. "And for the new generation, e-books are the perfect solution to make sure they stay in the loop," says Martocq.
Your family cookbook can be from you alone, or you can invite your relatives to contribute to your gift of a family cookbook by inviting them to log into a group cookbook creation site so that they can add their recipes, photos and stories, as well. "Self-publishing has made it so easy for people to turn their old recipe card boxes into professional books that they can give to future generations. During the holidays, we see a lot of baked goods books. It's amazing how many baked good recipes people have. A cocktail and appetizer book would also be really fun during the holidays," says Martocq, who adds that conversion charts and family trees can also be added to the family cookbook.
If you've found a wonderful family photo, perhaps great-grandparents in their wedding attire, have it professionally restored and masterfully duplicated for framing and giving to everyone on your gift list. You might also include photos form when your entire family was able to be together -- which might not be the case now, with relatives living far apart, deployed or departed.
If you have a bunch of precious photos, consider making family photo albums at sites like Shutterfly, or creating DVDs or drives with photo slideshows on them. Especially when you locate photos that your family members have never seen, or haven't seen in a while, these photo memories turn into a priceless gift.
Using sites like Ancestry.com or the free records search at Ellis Island, you can trace your ancestors' history, perhaps revealing fascinating details like the cities where your great-great-great-grandparents lived or were married. Your elder generation may be able to fill in gaps with stories they know from their childhoods, and additional family photos from long ago may be added to this book of family legacy.
A bonus of family history books is that other relatives may begin their own research as well, adding even more stories to your collection. And if any relatives are planning a trip to the land of your family's origins, they have fabulous details that may lead them to visit those towns and the place where your great-great-great-grandparents were married. Plus, younger generations get a good lesson on how their ancestors lived in their early days, feeling more of a connection to your family.
If your family is the giving type, you might choose to make a donation to a family-favorite charity in lieu of tangible gifts. For instance, you might give to a medical, educational or animal charities near to your family's hearts, letting your gift recipients know about your donation via a pretty card announcing the cause. Or you might wrap up a little themed gift, such as chocolates or candles in the shape of trees to help announce your donation in a budget-friendly way. Your donation doesn't have to be enormous, since your recipients won't know exactly how much you've given. Only that they're a part of a positive cause, at this most giving time of year.
If your family has a beloved quote, order a framed version from Etsy. It may be classic quote from a great thinker or poet, or a quote from a family elder. This framed quote delivers a message any time your gift recipients see it, and they'll be reminded of your thoughtful efforts in giving them the perfect, meaningful present.