Christmas Gifts: 20+ Cute and Clever Ideas to Try

Friends and family will adore these handy handmade Christmas gifts -- including dishware, vases, and other home accessories -- that are just as fun (and easy!) to make as they are to give. Start one of these simple Christmas crafts today so you can check everyone off your holiday gift list.

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Three-Step Christmas Centerpieces

Create a striking holiday centerpiece in just three steps. We have a special secret for the step one: How to lay the table runner.

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Creative Christmas Tree Themes

Be creative by decorating your Christmas tree with a favorite theme that suits your decorating style or your family's personality. We were inspired by a local festival of trees and have included tips for bringing the looks inside your own Christmas home. Bonus: We've included lighting tips to make your tree shine.

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Christmas Sugar Cookies

Turn a simple sugar cookie into a masterpiece this Christmas. Whether you like your sugar cookies soft or crisp, simply decorated or frosted with intricate designs, these sugar cookie recipes are sure to sweeten up your holiday season.

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Deck a Christmas Staircase in Two Steps

It's so simple to decorate your staircase for Christmas! Get our damage-free, two-step plan to ensure that the holiday spirit extends from first floor to second.

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Creative Christmas Wreaths

Christmas wreaths don't have to be made from traditional evergreens -- in fact, we encourage you to mix it up with eucalyptus leaves, boxwood, lotus pods, and even items that don't come from nature, such as peppermint candies and pom-poms. These fun-to-make creative designs show you how to make Christmas wreaths with unexpected shapes, dazzling colors, and out-of-the-ordinary materials.

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Genius Christmas Hacks

Get ready for the Christmas season with our clever tricks to simplify the holidays. Including crafty Christmas wrapping ideas, must-try ideas for hosting guests, and why-didn't-I-think-of-that Christmas shortcuts, our tips for the holiday season are guaranteed to make your life easier.

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Classic Christmas Cookies

Need a go-to Christmas cookie recipe? Chocolate chip, peanut butter, gingerbread, sugar cookie cutouts -- all the classic cookies are here. No hard-to-find ingredients; just pure, unaltered, classic cookie recipes like the ones handed down by Grandma.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Vanilla Spritz

      A cookie press gives these butter cookies their traditional shape. In a pinch, a heavy-duty pastry bag tightly fitted with a larger tip makes a decent substitute; be sure the dough is slightly softened for easier piping.

    • Peanut Butter Blossoms

      The dynamic duo of chocolate and peanut butter will forever keep this cookie recipe on the favorite-cookies list. Whether your family tops them with chocolate kisses or chocolate stars is up to you -- we promise both options are delicious.

    • The Best Sugar Cookies

      If you can make only one cookie recipe this holiday season, this best-loved sugar cookie should be it. Rolling, shaping, baking, and decorating Christmas cookies is a tradition that gets the entire family involved generation after generation.

    • Essential Chocolate Chip Cookies

      No collection of classic cookies would be complete without the quintessential chocolate chip cookie recipe. With melty morsels of semisweet chocolate nestled in buttery cookie dough, this cookie is hard for anyone to resist.

    • Crispy or Chewy? The Choice Is Yours!

      Put yourself in full control of whether your cookies turn out soft or crispy by picking the right fat option. Which will you choose?

    • Snickerdoodles

      The simple snickerdoodle is all about balancing the right amount of dough to the cinnamon-sugar coating. The sizes and amounts here will produce the classic cookie you know and love.

    • Crinkle Cookies

      Get a head start on holiday baking by chilling this crinkle cookie dough for up to 24 hours. You can also store baked cookies in the freezer for up to three months to pull out when guests come knocking.

    • Classic Peanut Butter Cookies

      Chilling this sweet and salty dough before shaping it into balls prevents the cookies from spreading and makes them easier to handle. To speed up the process, cover the dough and place it in the freezer for one-third of the chilling time.

    • Gingerbread Cutouts

      The aroma of these spiced cookies wafting through the house will have everyone running as fast as they can to gobble up a gingerbread man.

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      Sandies

      Delicate pecan flavor makes these powdered-sugar-coated cookies hard to resist. Maybe that's why this sandies recipe is a classic.

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      Melt-in-Your-Mouth Sugar Cookies

      Sometimes basic is best, as these oh-so-tender sugar cookies prove. Using both butter and shortening ensures flavorful and supersoft cookies everyone will rave about.

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      Chocolate Palmiers

      These pretty pinwheels, sometimes known as "elephant ears," are often made with puff pastry dough. For a holiday twist on the classic, substitute a peppermint filling.

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      Raspberry Sugar Cookie Sandwiches

      The Christmas cookie platter wouldn't be complete without charming Linzer cookies. We've sandwiched sweet raspberry preserves between powdered sugar-sifted cookies for a sweet treat both kids and adults will love.

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      Brown Sugar and Hazelnut Spirals

      Spiral dough is just one easy option for simple slice-and-bake Christmas cookies. This version uses a swirl of brown sugar, ground filberts, and chocolate-hazelnut spread for holiday cookies that taste as good as they look.

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      Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

      You can make these chewy cookies in a variety of sizes -- one or two bites, or a giant grown-up cookie. Each oatmeal cookie is packed with spiced raisins and sweet cinnamon oats.

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      Bumpy Road Fudge

      Our no-bake fudge studded with marshmallows and pecans is the ultimate holiday treat. Guests won't want to wait to sink their teeth into the wonderfully soft texture of this classic fudge recipe.

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      Peppermint-Stripe Meringues

      Meringue cookies are a light and low-calorie classic thanks to their combination of whipped egg whites and sugar. Pipe them into your desired shape, and decorate with festive food coloring.

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      Giant Ginger Cookies

      Chewy and delicious, these Christmas cookies are giant in size and ginger flavor. Dark molasses lends the most intense flavor, while light molasses makes a milder cookie.

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      Linzer Pinwheels

      For pretty, Austrian-inspired cookies, slather buttery cookie dough with raspberry preserves, and then slice into spirals and bake. Make and share them all year long!

    • How to Decorate Cookies with Icing
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      Decorate Cookies with Icing!

      Kick cookie decorating up a notch with our Test Kitchen secrets to success. Learn both marbled and filigree icing effects to make a dazzling decorating impression on your holiday guests.

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      Classic Whoopie Pies

      These soft and scrumptious cookie sandwiches hold timeless childhood appeal. Transform them for any occasion by switching up the creamy filling or adding holiday-specific flavor combinations.

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      Fat Molasses Cookies

      Sprinkled with coarse sugar or crystallized ginger, these big, soft cookies look like they came straight from the bakery. Cinnamon and ground ginger add nice holiday spice.

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      Monster Chocolate-Toffee Cookies

      We love a good monster cookie -- with their crunchy toffee pieces, toasty pecans, and gooey chocolate, it's hard not to. This season, use red and green chocolate candies for added holiday cheer.

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      Melt-in-Your-Mouth Pumpkin Cookies

      Thanks to the soft, cakey texture and generous slathering of velvety frosting, this pumpkin-and-spice cookie recipe is a hands-down favorite.

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      Almond Icebox Rounds

      Homemade icebox cookies have long kept Christmas cookie prep breezy. Ditch the cookie cutters and try these deliciously rich and buttery almond cookies for your next holiday party.

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      No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls

      Every holiday host loves a no-bake dessert because it frees up the oven for more holiday goodies. These no-bake candies have a glossy chocolate exterior, but inside waits a pleasant nutty crunch.

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      Hazelnut Biscotti

      Double-baking these nutty biscotti gives them their crunchy texture, making them perfect for dunking into a mug of hot cocoa, coffee, or tea.

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      Madeleine Cookies

      Crisp, buttery French madeleines are easy to make but quick to disappear. Smear with vanilla bean buttercream icing and crushed peppermint for perfectly festive cookies.

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      Coconut Macaroons

      Lemon peel and juice add bright citrus undertones to these classic macaroon cookies. A crispy outside and chewy inside showcase the perfect texture of sweet coconut.

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      Shortbread

      Flour, sugar, and butter are the only three ingredients in this crisp holiday cookie favorite. Given their simplicity, these cookies are surprisingly addictive.

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      Next Slideshow All-Time Favorite Christmas Cookies

      All-Time Favorite Christmas Cookies

      It's simple: These very merry Christmas cookie recipes are favorites that you'll want to save, hand down, and make again and again. We've got all the classics, including sugar cookie recipes, Christmas spritz cookies, and spiced gingerbread recipes. Try one of our cookie recipes to share this Christmas!
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