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Christmas Gifts for the Young at Heart

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Don't forget to make special gifts for the adults on your Christmas list. Impress them with these useful presents that they won't have to stand in line to return after Christmas.

Trivet Treasures

The Gift of Knowledge

Did you know Bunraku is the name commonly used for the art of puppetry and storytelling? A long line of storytellers and puppeteers have operated throughout history, but it is believed that Bunraku began in l684 when Takemoto Gidayu set up his own theater in Osaka.

Gifting Glitches

Always wear protective clothing when mixing grout. Be sure to throw away the mixing bowl, and don't dispose of leftover grout down your drain.

Mosaics are a newly recycled trend in the craft business. These colorful coasters are easy-to-make, useful gifts for any occasion.

Time frame: Two to three hours to assemble plus overnight to dry

Level: Moderately easy

What you need:

  • Gloves
  • Popsicle stick to mix grout
  • One pound bag or box of grout (can be found in a craft store)
  • Water
  • Disposable mixing bowl (A plastic tub from margarine or foam or paper bowls work well.)
  • Mosaic coaster mold
  • One bag each of red, green, and white tiles
  • Clear acrylic finish spray
  1. Put on disposable gloves. Using the Popsicle stick, mix the grout with water in a bowl according to the manufacturer's directions. The consistency should be slightly thicker than cake mix.
  2. Pour the grout into the coaster mold and smooth it with the Popsicle stick.
  3. Lightly press different-colored tiles in the grout in your pattern of choice (see the photo for an example).
  4. After 15 minutes, lightly wipe the top of the tiles with a soft, moist towel or sponge.
  5. Allow this to dry overnight. Wipe the surface of the coaster with a damp towel to remove excess grout. Carefully remove the coaster from the mold. Spray your finished work with clear acrylic finish.

Wine Lover's Delight

Present Pointers

You could replace the wine in the wine lover's basket with nonalcoholic wine or sparkling cider if desired. If your gift recipient has a sweet tooth, you might want to give him or her a dessert wine and fancy Christmas cookies.

Give the wine lovers on your list a gift to help toast to the holiday season. They'll appreciate these tasty treats.

Time frame: Two to three hours

Level: Easy

What you need:

  • Basket with filler (shredded paper or decorative Spanish moss)
  • Red or white wine (Mulled wines and ciders would be perfect for the holiday season.)
  • Set of wine glasses
  • Gourmet cheeses and crackers (Buy ones that don't need to be refrigerated.)
  • Basket shrink wrap (found in a party supply stores)
  • Bow
  1. Place filler in a wicker basket.
  2. Assemble the goodies and arrange them in the prepared basket.
  3. Follow the directions on the shrink-wrap to cover the basket. Place a bow on top.


Next: Page 2 >>

More on: Christmas

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Great Gifts © 2001 by Marilee LeBon. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


September 1, 2014



Don't forget to hydrate! Forego sugary juices and sodas and pack a bottle of water in your child's lunch. If your child likes a little more flavor, spice it up with lemon, lime, cucumbers, or fresh fruit.


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