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Topic: Gift for sister who has NOTHING?  (Read 2838 times)
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« on: August 06, 2011 01:28:00 PM »

Ok, I've seen lots of brain blockage threads about what to make the person who has everything. But this year, I need ideas about what to make someone who has nothing.

Basically, my younger (early 20s) sister made some bad decisions in life and ended up with absolutely nothing but a few tee-shirts and a new baby. She's turned her life around since then. The family has helped her all we can and she's found a wonderful live-in fiance, but times are very hard and they still have next to nothing.

With that in mind, what should I make her for Christmas? I've asked her what she needs and she says nothing. I've asked my mom and she says anything I give her she wouldn't already have. Last year I made her a quilt. What should I make her this year?

I can crotchet, make jewelery, sew (moderately well), embroider and do various assorted crafts. I don't mind spending a considerable amount of time, but I can't spend a lot of money. It should be for her; not the baby (I'll get something separate for the baby.) And it should be as useful as possible.

Any ideas?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011 07:21:03 PM »

pillowcases to match the quilt?

cook some food?

i made some lampshades and bought a lamp as a gift one time haha...they liked it! but maybe thats because we're both weird Smiley

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« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2011 12:32:30 AM »

How are you cooking - I agree with the food thing - but what about preserving things - pickles, beets, relishes, jams, jellies.  They are not hard to do, and there are lots of recipes available, just make sure you do it safely to prevent contamination and illness.  Otherwise, there is making dried treats - jerky, fruit leather, etc.  Or frozen goodies, or premade meals, or in-a-jar type things - soup mixes, baked good mixes, drink mixes that they could use later.

How are they set up in the home situation?  Perhaps you can can find some used furniture to decorate - like a painted, mosaiced, woodburned nightstand, or coffeetable or something?  Reusable napkins or table linens?  Sewn or crocheted shopping bags (some stores give a discount if you bring your own bags).  Coupons for services - free babysitting for date night out, housecleaning for a day, homecooked meals, and maybe include tickets for a movie out for the two of them or something?

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« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2011 12:42:06 AM »

i second the pillow cases to match the quilt idea, also, on the same kind of theme, some nice bright throw cushions? i have some big bright orange cushions in my sitting room and they really lift it, i always feel a little sad while they're in the wash

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« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2011 01:11:39 AM »

I have a sister who has been in a similar situation, so I understand the problems here. I usually think about either things that she needs/make life more pleasant or things that are more like personal treats - things that she couldn't treat herself to but would truly appreciate. In the first group you might have things like cushions, throw blankets, pictures/art for the walls, clothing, kitchen supplies...In the second, handmade toiletries (sugar scrubs, soaps, bubble bath etc), chocolates, books, music, special food? My sister is a real foodie so I often give her things that she couldn't justify spending money on herself but really enjoys when she gets them! Homemade chutneys/jams are easy enough (especially if you use a slow cooker - no burning, no stirring for hours!) and you could make up a jar of luxury hot chocolate, coffee mixes etc (dried powders and spices to last.)

I'll try and think what else I've made!

« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2011 07:34:46 AM »

I work for a homeless shelter, so am familiar with the circumstances of people who have few belongings.

Essentials are a good idea, with winter approaching. 
Note which really basic items she lacks & try to fill one of those needs.

Some ideas:
a cozy sweater or nightie/pj's or robe & slippers in her favorite color
a winter jacket or coat...maybe you can jazz up a thrifted one to suit her
a pretty hand knit or felted hat, scarf & mittens set in a color that flatters her & goes with her outer wear
a sturdy & multi-pocketed quilted purse/bag...scotch-guarded against baby eruptions

A nice extra would be an ATC "gift card" for an evening or 2 of baby-sitting from you.

Hope this helps.
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2011 11:41:42 AM »

Anything that will help them keep their power bill down in the cold winter. A throw blanket, crocheted slippers, flannel pillowcases (check thrift shops for fabric or old flannel shirts), draft blockers (the fabric tubes filled with beans/rice/fluff to put at the door), christmas decorations, a shawl, scarf, or a hat. When money is tight, as it is for many right now, I try to keep in mind what they will like, what they need (if anything), what is functional, what will help them.

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« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2011 09:25:44 PM »

I agree with all of the above, in terms of practicality. 

However, do you know what her main goals are in life?  It might be really special to collage or frame a print in a shadow box to represent what her goals are now that she has turned her life around. 
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012 10:57:53 AM »

When you look at what she has, what would you want to have for yourself if that's all you had? If she has her own place, what is she missing? curtains, a cozy rug by her bed?

New moms spend all available time and money on the baby, so if you do bath stuff, maybe make her a bath salts, bath pillow, face scrub set?

Does she have a hobby or want to learn a crafty skill? You could help get her started there.

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