You have an opportunity as a writer (poet, journalist, fiction, non-fiction, songwriter—no matter what form your writing takes) to create a gift that will be priceless, OOAK (one-of-a-kind) and a gift you can DIY (do-it-yourself). Yep, going a little nuts with the acronyms, but couldn’t help myself. The point is, create something for someone special on your holiday list. The following ideas require writing, some require crafting, and all ask you to free your creative self and have fun. There is no better gift for another or yourself. In addition to making and giving something special, creative time feeds your soul, and the joy of the holidays is a perfect time to indulge.
Give a guided journal to a friend or loved-one. In a blank journal, write a prompt at the top of every, or every-other page. If you need some help, there are plenty of writing sites that feature writing prompts to use. (For hundreds of prompts on this site, look HERE.) As you search you will most likely come up with your own. Personalize the journal with photos, stamps, whatever will inspire the receiver.
Memory journals are a wonderful way to relive special times you’ve shared with someone. Use photos, write snippets of memories, leave space for the receiver to add his or her own thoughts.
Create a cartoon strip featuring fun memories. If you can draw (even stick-figures can be charming) great, but in this day and age of computers, you can move heads onto figures and make a fun, creative OOAK comic strip. Use your scrapbooking skills here to create a multi-media piece of art. And don’t forget the frame!
Write a poem and print it out, using different fonts, images, and colors on your computer. Or grab a glue stick and “scrapbook” it. Add images, words, bits of paper, stamps, wherever your creativity takes you. Frame it and give a gift that will be a treasure forever.
Secret hollow books are a great place for jewelry, money, or secret stuff! Now, you do have to murder a book (sorry!) but get one at a garage or book sale and “upcycle” it. Choose a book that is appropriate to a message (or memory) you’d like to share with your gift receiver. All you need is glue, an exacto knife, a brush and a ruler. Specific instructions can be found here to make your secret hollow book or google and find out how to make one.
What to do with all those left-over pages you cut out from your secret hollow book? Make a storybook roses bouquet. Use watercolors to copy, cut petal shapes, pinch and let dry. Add some florist’s wire to hold the bloom and secure with glue. Click HERE to get more specifics.
Give a coupon for a free blog setup. You’re a writer, you know how to do it. If you don’t know how, go to WordPress or Blogger, set up one for yourself and then expand your horizons to help someone. Focus on his or her interests. Does your recipient love animals? Cooking? Scrapbooking? Traveling? Anything can become a blog and anyone with a passion will make an excellent blogger. Spread the love of writing around by getting someone started.
Give a coupon for a free website setup. See above. Same points apply J
Blend your artistic crafting skills with writing skills. Start with pithy statements personalized for your gift recipient. Art them up with images, stamps, papers, etc. and make bookmarks, candle holders, frames, coasters, wall art, personalized mirrors…there is no end to what you can decoupage. Start with words. Make ’em pretty. Give your words a purpose, then give your gift.
Write an artist (or homemaker, mother, baker, librarian, poet, runner, etc.) manifesto, which is a written statement declaring the intentions, motives, or views of the subject. Take the time to write one full of meaning and poetry. Use the words to make your design (bringing out key words with size, color, different type) and then art it up.
Begin a “family history” or “friendship” book and write a chapter a month together. This is a great way to plan family or friend get-togethers and go beyond reminiscing to discovering new depth and meanings to your family or friend connection. You are giving the gift of time together, and what could be more priceless?
A one of a kind gift from your heart is the best gift to receive and to give. Put your writing skills to work to make someone’s holiday special. Do you have any other ideas? If so, please share. I’m always looking for new gift ideas to make!
Kathy Steffen is an award-winning novelist and author of the “Spirit of the River Series:” “First, There is a River,” “Jasper Mountain,” and “Theater of Illusion,” available online and in bookstores everywhere. Additionally, Kathy is also published in short fiction and pens a monthly writing column, “Between the Lines.” She writes from a log home in the woods of southwestern Wisconsin that she shares with her husband and three cats. Find out more at www.kathysteffen.com