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

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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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Popular in Christmas

Meringue Tree Project

Replace some of your traditional Christmas greenery with sugar-infused decor sure to treat your eyes and tempt your sweet tooth.

Stacked layers of light and fluffy meringue sandwiches create a striking centerpiece. With star-shape peaks and pretty pink icing, the tree adds instant elegance to any table. Top the tree with a shiny ornament for a sophisticated touch.

Meringue Stars

Ingredients

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 recipe pink icing

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla, cream of tartar, and extract with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl).
  3. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Spoon meringue into a large pastry bag fitted with a large star tip.
  4. Pipe 1-inch-diameter mounds 1 inch apart onto lightly greased baking sheets. (You should have a total of about 130 meringue stars.)
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until stars are firm and bottoms are very lightly browned.
  6. Transfer to racks; let cool.
  7. Spread bottoms of half the meringue stars with about 1 teaspoon Pink Icing, below.
  8. Gently press the bottoms of the other half of the meringue stars into icing to form sandwiches.
  9. Dot the icing into an 8-inch circle on a flat serving plate.
  10. Arrange a circle of 15 meringue sandwiches on their sides with one set of points of each sandwich facing the edge of the plate.
  11. Within this circle, make another circle of 10 sandwiches.
  12. On this foundation, stack ever-smaller circles of sandwiches on their sides to form a cone shape. Use small amounts (about 1/2 teaspoon) of icing to attach each sandwich to the previous layer, forming 6 layers of meringue sandwiches (25 in first layer, 15 in the second, then 13, 7, 4, and 1 in subsequent layers).
  13. Makes 65 meringue sandwiches.

Pink Icing

In a small bowl, stir together 3 cups powdered sugar, 3 tablespoons softened butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla. Add 1 or 2 drops red food coloring to tint a light pink color. Stir in 1/4 cup finely chopped candied red cherries. Stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons milk until icing is smooth and of spreading consistency.

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