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 Holiday Recipes from Our Cookbook

Serve holiday guests a stylish meal with recipes from our 15th edition Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. These recipes include perennial favorites, as well as fresh ideas that welcome the holidays with seasonal ingredients, time-saving techniques, and, as always, utter deliciousness.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Caramel-Pecan French Toast

      Breakfasts and Brunches Chapter

      Holidays are all about indulgence -- and this French toast holds nothing back. It's a much-loved way to start Christmas morning.

    • Hot Coffee Latte Eggnog

      Beverages Chapter

      Warm up eggnog with coffee liquer. This homemade eggnog recipe is fun to make as a family -- we have an alcohol-free version for the little ones.

      Tip from Our Cookbook: Once the mixture is heated, dip a metal spoon into the drink and swipe your finger across the back. Your finger will leave a mark when the mixture is done.

    • Broccoli-Cauliflower-Raisin Salad

      Salads and Dressings Chapter

      Even kids will eat their broccoli when it's served in a light honey-vinegar dressing and mixed with sweet raisins and kid-friendly cauliflower.

    • Potato and Squash Salad

      Salads and Dressings Chapter

      This recipe proves that potatoes and butternut squash aren't an either-or decision. They play nicely in this side salad that will look gorgeous on your holiday table.

    • Cheesy Garlic Potato Gratin

      Vegetables and Fruits Chapter

      Seven ingredients (including salt and pepper) are a hint to how easy this recipe is to prepare. The taste, however, will make guests think you slaved over it.

      Tip from Our Cookbook: Yellow-flesh potatoes give your potato gratins warm and winning color. If you like, substitute half the Yukon golds with sweet potatoes for a two-tone treat.

    • Skillet Scalloped Corn

      Vegetables and Fruits Chapter

      A 15-minute side in the mix of more-involved dishes makes this holiday recipe a favorite. Two kinds of canned corn provide the base; crushed crackers, milk, and butter create the crispy-creamy texture.

    • Crab and Poblano Soup

      Soups and Stews Chapter

      Warm and comforting, this creamy soup with white cheese and milk mixes with poblano chile peppers and lump crabmeat for an indulgent holiday starter.

      Tip from Our Cookbook: You might find the Asadero cheese labeled as Chihuahua or Oaxaca. By any name, it's a great melting cheese in this soup and other recipes.

    • Squash, Corn, and Barley Succotash

      Beans, Rice, and Grains Chapter

      Enjoy butternut squash in a beautiful side dish. The sweet butternut makes a great companion for hearty barley; corn and onions add more layers of flavor.

    • Potato and Ham Bake

      Casseroles Chapter

      We call for Yukon gold potatoes in this holiday casserole because they won't fall apart. If you prefer, you can substitute round red potatoes to go alongside asparagus spears and cubed ham.

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      Beef Stroganoff Casserole

      Casseroles Chapter

      This hearty casserole gains oomph from Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, and portobello mushrooms. Refrigerated beef roast au jus takes the work out of the prep.

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      Our Classic Roast Turkey

      Poultry Chapter

      Turkey is the king of the holiday dinner menu. This is our classic roasting recipe, complete with two options: an orange glaze and a butter-herb rub.

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      Balsamic Glazed Flank Steak with Fall Fruit Salsa

      Meat Chapter

      Green apples, pear, and dried cranberries offer the "fall fruit" in the title of this hearty cookbook classic.

      Tip from Our Cookbook: Most flank steaks weigh about 2 pounds. If you buy a 2-pound flank steak for this recipe, cut it in half and freeze the extra pound for later.

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      Wine-Braised Brisket with Onions

      Meat Chapter

      Dry red wine makes the perfect marinade for indulgent brisket. The prep time on this recipe is low because beyond making the marinade, there's little hands-on work.

    • 14 of 28

      Mile-High Meatless Lasagna Pie

      Pasta Chapter

      A springform pan takes the place of a baking dish in a lasagna recipe that will impress holiday houseguests. Between layers of cheese and noodles, you'll also enjoy a garden of vegetables: carrots, zucchni, button mushrooms, and baby spinach.

    • 15 of 28

      Flaky Biscuits

      Breads Chapter

      Wake up to light and layered biscuits that guests can top with honey and butter or their favorite preserves. You'll see why homemade is worth the effort.

      Tip from Our Cookbook: Lightly handling the dough will help you acheive irresistibly tender biscuits.

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      Mixed-Grain Bread

      Breads Chapter

      Make your own mixed-grain bread with our classic recipe.

      Tip from Our Cookbook: To test for doness, tap lightly on top of the baked loaf with a finger. It should sound hollow when the bread is done.

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      Crumb-Topped Fruit Pie

      Pies and Tarts Chapter

      Suit your holiday mood: Filling options for this chapter-opening pie recipe include raspberry, apple, rhubarb, peach, and blueberry.

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      Apple-Pear Praline Pie

      Pies and Tarts Chapter

      Fruits and nuts in one pie make this a must-have in our famous cookbook.

      Tip from Our Cookbook: Granny Smith and Cortland apples are good choices for the tart apples called for in this pie. No need to peel them -- they're sliced so thinly it won't matter.

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      Lattice-Top Cranberry Relish Pie

      Pies and Tarts Chapter

      We used this tart holiday pie to demonstrate our quick lattice-top trick (see below). Inside, dried cranberries and golden raisins mingle with orange juice for a tangy bite.

      Tip from Our Cookbook: To make a quick lattice top, place half of the pastry strips over the filling parallel to each other and 1 inch apart. Place the remaining pastry strips at 1-inch intervals perpendicular to the first strips. Before crimping the edge, roll the bottom pastry up over the ends of the pastry strips to seal.

    • 20 of 28

      Cream-Filled Cake Roll

      Cakes and Frostings Chapter

      Pick from a strawberry-cream and a lemon-cream filling for this gorgeous holiday cake roll. We featured the strawberry version in our 15th edition cookbook.

    • 21 of 28

      Triple-Chocolate Cookies

      Cookies and Bars Chapter

      Chocolate No. 1: bittersweet. Chocolate No. 2: unsweeted. Chocolate No. 3: semisweet drizzle. Curb your chocolate cravings with this made-for-Christmas cookie.

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      Strawberry Shortbread

      Cookies and Bars Chapter

      Bring classic shortbread cookies into the holiday mood by drizzling a strawberry-hinted glaze on top. Pretty scallop-edge cookie cutters provide the delicate cookie shape.

    • 23 of 28

      Buried Cherry Cookies

      Cookies and Bars Chapter

      What hides at the center of these chocolate-frosted sugar cookies? The name gives it away.

    • 24 of 28

      Star Mint Meringues

      Cookies and Bars Chapter

      Mint and meringue say Christmas in flash. And the red stripes, courtesy of food coloring, hint at the peppermint flavor.

    • 25 of 28

      Toffee Butter Crunch

      Candies Chapter

      One of our top candy recipes, this Toffee Butter Crunch opens the candy section of our cookbook. The mix of smooth chocolate sandwiched between a crunchy toffee base and chopped nuts offers wonderful contrast.

    • 26 of 28

      Easy White Fudge

      Candies Chapter

      This gorgeous fudge recipe features white baking pieces and sweetened condensed milk. Holiday guests will love the hint of shredded orange peel that hides in the mix.

    • 27 of 28

      Classic Truffles

      Candies Chapter

      These change-up-friendly truffles offer a base that works great rolled in chopped nuts, cocoa powder, or powdered sugar.

    • 28 of 28
      Next Slideshow Our Best Christmas Candy

      Our Best Christmas Candy

      These gorgeous Christmas candies are perfect to give as party favors or special holiday food gifts. Whether you prefer light-as-air truffles, hard candy, over-the-top fudge, chewy caramels, or sweet gumdrops, this is your one-stop shop for delicious candy recipes.
      Begin Slideshow »

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