Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 11-18-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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8 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE 2020 | THE VALLEY BREEZE If you've been feeling disconnected from family and friends lately, one way to show them how much they mean to you is by rolling up your red-and-green flannel sleeves and making some home- made gifts. With the extra time we're spending at home, it's easier than ever to grab a few supplies, turn up your favorite holiday music, and get creat- ing. Below are just a few fun sugges- tions, but whether you're a woodwork- ing wizard or a quilting queen, use your skills to make your loved ones' holidays merry and bright. Picture perfect One of my favorite gifts to give and receive is anything involving family photographs: from a simple framed pic- ture to a photo album, scrapbook, or a homemade ornament. Any craft store is sure to have scrap- book paper, stickers, and whatever other supplies you need to create a book of memories for a loved one. For added fun, center it on a theme: a favorite vacation, Christmases past, or quirky quarantine activities. A simple ornament can consist of a small frame with a photograph. It's a great way to pay tribute to family mem- bers or pets who have passed away or to showcase past holiday memories. Sweet treats From classic cookies to pumpkin pie, you'll be hard pressed to find someone who won't enjoy a culinary creation. For extra sentimentality, use a beloved family recipe and share with its creator. One of my family's favorite holiday rec- ipes are chocolate chip cookies with a festive twist: red and green maraschino cherries. Place in a decorative tin, and they're sure to brighten someone's day. If you've spent time this quarantine perfecting brewing ho-ho-homemade beer, bottle it up, stick a bow on it, and share with your loved ones, 21 and older of course. For added fun, make your own labels with creative names, such as Jolly Juice. This also works with homemade eggnog, spiked or not. To take your gastro gifts to the next level, fill some Mason jars with ingredi- ents for your loved one's favorite baked good, soup, or hot cocoa mix. Don't for- get to include step-by-step instructions. Bright lights If you want to give a gift that will brighten your loved one's day, home- made candles are easy and fun to make, and they'll surely think of you when they light it on more than one chilly winter night.To make candles, you'll need wax (such as beeswax or soy wax), a container, fragrance oils, and a wick, which can be found at local craft stores or online. For containers, Mason jars work well, as do empty food con- tainers such as glass yogurt jars. There are plenty of step-by-step guides online, but essentially you'll be melting wax and adding the scented oils and wick. Bonus: This is a great activity to do with kids. Jolly jewelry Jewelry is a popular gift, whether it's for your significant other, friend, or grandma. Take your presents up a notch this year by making earrings, bracelets, rings, or necklaces. What you decide to create can be as simple as grabbing some string and beads to make a bracelet. If you're feeling more ambitious, make sure you have pliers and wire cutters on hand as well as jewelry wire, and you can use gems, sea glass, charms, or other knickknacks as the decorative pieces. If you want to be extra festive, make earrings out of small jingle bells. You can also purchase jew- elry making kits, which include all the required tools, for an inexpensive price. Crafting coupons Remember when you were a kid and you made your parents a coupon book full of chores you promised to do – such as taking out the trash or folding laundry – if they turned in one of the coupons? Go old-school this holiday season and create a coupon book for any or all of your loved ones. Homemade gifts show you care By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer HOMEMADE CANDLES are a fun, creative gift to make your loved ones this holiday season. You can repurpose items, such as glass yogurt jars, for the containers. BREEZE PHOTO BY NICOLE DOTZENROD See HOMEMADE, Page 18

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