Make a Great First Impression With These Perfect Gifts for Meeting the Family

Meeting your significant other's family for the first time this holiday season? We've got you covered with thoughtful gift ideas guaranteed to make a great first impression.

We all know the dos and don'ts of meeting a significant other's parents for the first time: don't argue about politics, don't talk with food in your mouth and, of course, do bring a gift. Especially during the holidays, a sincere, thoughtful gift tells his parents that you're invested in your relationship with their child and that you care about building one with his family. But if you're still struggling to find the perfect present, don't stress! We've compiled a list of great gifts to buy or DIY just in time for the big day. 


Homemade Goodies

Cranberry Orange Linzer Cookies Recipe

Cranberry Orange Linzer Cookies Recipe

Sweet and tart, these sandwich cookies combine two favorite seasonal flavors and are as pretty as they are tasty.

Volunteer to bring a delicious homemade dessert to the holiday gathering. They'll be super impressed by your thoughtfulness and, of course, your mad baking skills. 

40 Homemade Holiday Food Gift Recipes

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Snowman Chocolate Bark

Delicious, adorable and easy to whip up even for a big group of people, these sweet snowmen will delight everyone on your Christmas gift list. Get the recipe

From: Heather Baird

Photo By: Heather Baird

Coffee Cupcakes To-Go

Bake coffee-flavored cupcakes in paper to-go cups then top with rich homemade frosting and dash of nutmeg, cinnamon or sprinkles for a morning pick-me-up lookalike that is sure to hit the spot any time of the day. Get the recipe.

Cookie Cutter Peppermint Fudge

Cookie cutters aren't just great for baking, they also make cute containers for decadent fudge you can gift to friends, coworkers, neighbors or any sweet-tooth on your holiday gift list. Get the recipe

From: Heather Baird

Photo By: Heather Baird

Christmas Ornament Cookie Pops

Festive and oh-so-tasty, these colorful ornament cookie pops are almost too pretty to eat -- almost! But, with a gooey chocolatey filling, we bet you'll want to give eating them a try. Get the recipe

From: Heather Baird

Photo By: Heather Baird

Greeting Card Cookie

Homemade chocolate chip cookies are always a favorite goodie. Embellish CD tins with our free printable templates to turn this tasty treat into a clever holiday card. Get the recipe.

A Sweet Snow Globe

Looking for a unique homemade food gift? Well, look no further! This sweet surprise is a Christmas decoration they can display, then devour! Get the recipe.

Photo By: Heather Baird

Cranberry Pistachio Sablés

French for sand, sablé cookies are essentially shortbread with a signature toothy texture. This version ups the ante of a classically delicious shortbread with the addition of chewy cranberries and crunchy pistachios and the perfect balance of salty and sweet. Get the recipe

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Chocolate-Covered Peppermint Crispies

A year-round favorite treat gets a delicious update for the holidays. Add the flavors of chocolate and peppermint to crisp rice treats before packaging them as homemade gifts for family and friends. Get the recipe.

Hazelnut Hot Cocoa

Chocolatey hot cocoa knocks the chill off even the coldest of winter days. Share the warmth this holiday season by packaging the rich ingredients in a canning jar so the recipient can whip one up whenever they need a warm and creamy pick-me-up. Get the recipe.

Cranberry Orange Linzer Cookies

Sweet and tart, these artful cookies combine two favorite seasonal flavors -- cranberry and orange --and are as pretty as they are yummy. Get the recipe.

Ginger Date Chews

Chewy and not too sweet, dates are a foolproof cookie ingredient. These are so delicious that you'll want to bake several batches so you'll have plenty to give away without depriving your own cookie jar. Get the recipe

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  3. plating

Peppermint Bark Chocolate Cookies

Honestly, who doesn't love a moist chocolate cookie? These are definitely moist and chocolatey but with the added kick of peppermint, they're a holiday treat that peppermint fans will gobble up. Get the recipe.

Holiday Breakfast Kit

The holidays are a harried, stressful time for most of us. Give a friend a (delicious!) reason to relax with a cup of coffee or tea before hitting the malls for another marathon shopping day by boxing up homemade cinnamon biscuits and a flavorful spread. Get the recipe.

Cranberry Dacquoise

Fluffy white chocolate mousse layered between light-as-air homemade meringues give this gorgeous dessert a dreamy texture. Hand-deliver this impressive treat to wow the foodies on your gift list. Get the recipe.

Coffee and Caramel Pep-Corn

Give crunchy, sweet caramel corn a flavorful kick with the addition of espresso. Package the "pep-corn" in tubes covered with our free printable template for a one-of-a-kind homemade gift. Get the recipe.

Maple Nut Toffee

Take the traditional taste of toffee up a notch with the addition of real maple syrup. Topped with a layer of semisweet chocolate, this toffee is so irresistible that you'll want to box it up as gifts quickly before you're tempted to keep it all for yourself. Get the recipe.

Tangy Citrus Marmalade

Marmalade is surprisingly simple to make and, canned in pretty jars, it's a holiday gift they'll enjoy for many months to come. Pair your homemade marmalade with a basket of freshly baked croissants or scones for a treat they'll never forget. Get the recipe.

Walnut-Rosemary Olive Bread Recipe

Everyone will love this simple yeast bread that's studded with olives, walnuts and fresh rosemary. Once the loaves have cooled, slide them into a paper bag embellished with a stamped tag. Get the recipe.

Lemon-Filled Honey Shortbread

These honey cookies are no ordinary shortbread. They have all the makings of a classic shortbread, but include a textural bite from the corn meal and subtle sweetness of honey. The tart tang of the lemon curd adds a refreshing finish. Get the recipe

Photo By: Sam Henderson

Gooey Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Delight chocoholics on your gift list with these soft-centered cookies that are a snap to bake. Get the recipe.

Salted Caramel Bars

With a crumbly crust topped by rich, gooey caramel, these sweet-meets-salty treats are destined to become a comfort-food favorite. Get the recipe.

Homemade Baked Churros

Treat health-conscious friends to this baked version of the typically fattening (but oh-so-yummy!) Spanish pastry. Get the recipe.

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies

For many people, classic oatmeal cookies are a nostalgic treat. For holiday gift-giving, try our recipe for a thick, hearty cookie that pairs the clean taste of citrus with chewy dried cranberries. Get the recipe.

Simple Homemade Fudge

With just 5 ingredients and 5 steps, this decadent fudge is a snap to make -- and so irresistible that friends and family will ask for more. Get the recipe.

Lemon Lavender Pound Cake

Lemon and lavender taste divine together and the sweet, tart icing adds a wonderful finishing touch. This cake is moist and totally fork-worthy. Make it anytime or save its tangy sweetness for special occasions. Get the recipe.

  1. icing
  2. plating

Chocolate-Dipped Kettle Chips

Coat super-crunchy, salty kettle-fried potato chips with semisweet chocolate and a thin layer of caramel and chopped nuts to create a sweet-meets-salty snack that satisfies all your cravings at once. Get the recipe.

Coconut Hot Chocolate Spoons

Gift friends with a colorful coffee mug and silver teaspoon they just swirl in hot milk to create a delicious homemade hot chocolate. Our free printable tag adds the perfect finishing touch. Get the recipe.

Herb-Infused Olive Oil

Make your own flavor-infused oils and package in vintage bottles for a personalized gift aspiring chefs will appreciate. Get the recipe.

White Chocolate Truffles

Surprise friends and family with a box-full of these decadent little mouthfuls; they'll think you spent hours slaving away but they're actually easy to make. Get the recipe.

Ale Pretzel Caramels

Brown or pale ale lends these caramels a complex flavor while salty pretzels add just the right amount of crunch. Get the recipe.

Mincemeat Thumbprint Cookies

Mincemeat -- which, don't worry, doesn't actually contain meat -- is a centuries-old holiday favorite. Made with a variety of diced fruits, the flavor is complex and spicy. Surrounded by a rich, crumbly cookie, these little goodies are a perfectly balanced, not-too-sweet treat. Get the recipe.

Pear and Fig Tart in a Jar

These fruit-and-cream tarts are simple enough for novice chefs to make, thanks to a pie crust shortcut. Individually portioned in clear glass jars, they're just the right size for holiday gift-giving. Get the recipe.

Tuxedo Cookies

Friends and family will flip for these crunchy, chocolatey cookies filled with rich mascarpone cream and then rolled in mini chocolate chips. The mascarpone cheese makes these cookies unsuitable for shipping; they're best for treating guests in your home or for local delivery. Get the recipe.

Chocolate Stout Pudding

Featuring the rich, complex flavors of Ireland's favorite brew, fill lidded jars with this thick and creamy chocolate dessert to treat friends who enjoy a good pint. Get the recipe.

Tasty Pecan Tassies

These tart-like goodies are the perfect mix of nuts and cookies. Make this traditional holiday treat with real maple syrup; friends and family will love the homey taste. Get the recipe.

S'mores Kit

Creatively package scratch-made marshmallows, cookies and chocolate with handmade skewers in a campfire-ready tin. Outdoorsy types will be sure to thank you when they're enjoying hot, gooey s'mores. Get the recipe.

Low-Maintenance Greens

Glass Jar Terrarium with Orchid

Glass Jar Terrarium with Orchid

In this modern terrarium, floral designer Laurel LeMaistre used a combination of natural found material, such as birch bark and swirled branches along with petite orchid plants, and polished river stones. Orchids are a staple flower for all modern design, and their simplicity and longevity make them a perfect choice for terrarium work, says LeMaistre, a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers.

Photo by: Laurel LeMaistre

Laurel LeMaistre

For a gorgeous gift that won't require a lot of maintenance, choose easy-to-care-for plants and materials like orchids, river stones and birch bark. Arrange inside a glass terrarium for a chic look.

32 Gift Ideas for the Gardener

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Grow a Mushroom Garden

The California company Back to the Roots offers DIY types the opportunity to skip the foraging step, and just grow their own mushrooms -- up to 1 1/2 pounds of oyster mushrooms all inside a handy cardboard box in as little as 10 days. Endorsed by no less a foodie goddess than Alice Waters of Chez Panisse, this kit is a great learning opportunity for kids and a bonding activity for the whole family. (Image courtesy of Back to the Roots)(Image courtesy of Back to the Roots)

Lure Birds and Save the Planet

The sustainably-minded company Birds Choice uses recycled plastic and milk jugs, recrafting them into lovely birdhouses designed to attract the bird of your choice, in this case the jaunty, red-headed woodpecker.(Image courtesy of Birds Choice)

An Airport for Birds

This Thru-Feeder made from recycled material, allows a variety of birds to stop in for a nibble with an easily removable and cleaned seed tray. Comes with a lifetime guarantee not to crack, split or fade. (Image courtesy of Birds Choice)

Sitting Pretty Feeder

Have a penchant for up-close-and-personal birdwatching? This window mount feeder brings the birds right up to your window to eat, so you can just sit back and watch the feathered parade.(Image courtesy of Birds Choice)

Seed Tree

Lifestyle expert James Farmer loves birds and wreaths in equal measure, which is why the bird seed wreaths from Burpee are at the top of his wish list this season. (Image courtesy of Burpee)

This Snowman Won't Melt

These Burpee bird seed ornaments are available in snowman, Christmas tree, sunflower, sun face and traditional wreath varieties. Image courtesy of Burpee

Sunshine for Birds

Want to make the birds in your hood happy? Hook them up with this sweetly beaming bird seed ornament from Burpee. The fine folks at Burpee tell us they fly out the door every year, so get yours now. Image courtesy of Burpee

The Holiday Goes to the Birds

What says Christmas like providing food to those less fortunate? Keep those lovely birds who sing their hearts out for you, happy with a wreath made of birdseed they can pick at all winter long. Birdseed wreaths run from $14.95-$15.95. Image courtesy of Burpee

Flower Power

Tis the season to gift 20 pound books that express your giftee's devotion to all things botanical. Filmmaker and photographer Andrew Zuckerman's lavishly illustrated coffee table book features blooms so colorful and lush they become almost psychedelic. Image courtesy of Chronicle Books

Get Your Bloom On

Fashion designer Carolyne Roehm has a side passion as a photographer and this massive book features her twin love of design and botanicals. Beautifully arranged still lifes of daffodils, Meyer lemons and vases; gardens of blooming lilacs; ballgown pouffs of peonies, all convey the majesty of nature. Image courtesy of Random House

Green Under Glass

Terrariums are the perfect hostess gift because they're something people covet but will rarely buy for themselves. At Garden in Atlanta, Georgia owner and landscape expert Matthew Klyn makes his with a mixture of succulents including echeveria, sedum, pencil cactus and hens and chicks and they're decorated for the holidays with small ornaments, snow, red and green pebbles and birch cut-outs. $40-$400. Image courtesy of Garden

Yard Art

This garden sculpture keeps springtime alive all year long. Created by California artist Susan Regent, the steel iris is just over two feet high and will adopt a rust patina after it spends a few seasons in the elements. $135.95. Image courtesy of The Growers Exchange

Keep Your Best Friend Cozy

Why should those who walk upright have all of the sartorial fun? Outfit your dog in a cozy fleece vest and you may find him fetching your slippers with more of a spring in his step. Leave it to the outdoorsy folks at Orvis to make sure even Fido is covered in the winter gear department. Image courtesy of Orvis

Winter Blooms

Nothing is quite as emblematic of the promise of spring like the hopeful ivory blossoms of paperwhites. Beautifully presented in a sea-grass basket, these paperwhites will bloom in about six weeks. Image courtesy of Orvis

Honey-Do Lease

Our go-to gift for the gardener who has every gadget under the sun, this honey hive lease lets the bees do the work and the recipient reap the rewards! Lease options include early summer, late summer or a single flavor lease that lets you choose between blueberry (harvested in Maine), raspberry (harvested in Vermont), wildflower (harvested in the Catskills) or cranberry honey, which is harvested on Cape Cod. Recipients receive a lease document, three progress reports and a minimum of 30 ounces of 100% natural honey delivered to their door. $39.95-$59.95. Image courtesy of Rent Mother Nature

Herb in a Box

We love the smart, sleek design of this grow pot, which looks great on any shelf long before the basil starts to sprout. Made of sustainable bamboo, the top converts into a drainage saucer. $20. Image courtesy of Spoon Sisters

Gardening Go Guide

Destined to be displayed proudly on any gardener's bookshelf, Trowel & Error is more than an adorable play on words. This handy guide offers up more than 700 inventive tips like how to use spoiled milk on sick plants and why baby powder keeps hungry rabbits at bay. $13.95. Image courtesy of Spoon Sisters

Garden Apron

Skip the basket to gather your veggies and instead don a gorgeous linen apron. Scoop up those baby eggplants and heirloom tomatoes in this pretty garment designed by blogger-turned-designer Valerie Rice. Image courtesy of Valerie Rice

Herbal Circle of Life

Dried dill, savory, marjoram, sage, lavender and fresh rosemary is harvested by hand on a family-owned farm and shaped into this lush and lovely wreath, which looks just as good as it smells. $69. Image courtesy of Viva Terra

Flower Footsies

Mums are one of the most fleeting flowers of fall, but they're in season year round thanks to these stylish slippers. Crafted of felted wool from a group of women in Kathmandu, these blooms will brighten up even the coldest winter day. $75. Image courtesy of Viva Terra

Mod Pod

Want to bring a little hip to your garden? Stake one of these vibrantly colored and super-cool planters in powder-coated aluminum from California husband and wife designers Wallter in your garden for some mid-century pop. Image courtesy of Wallter

Hipster Planters

At $92 each, these powder-coated aluminum planters aren't cheap, but if a design-savvy gardener in your life is looking to add some color and cool to their green space, these whimsical planters from Wallter are just the ticket. Image courtesy of Wallter

Task Master

Every garden chore becomes a little sweeter with a well-designed tool. These clever cross-hatched tools from West Elm are both stylish and functional. Image courtesy of West Elm

It's Ornamental

Air plants with their unique growing habit, deserve a vessel that does them justice. These whimical glass orbs from West Elm are an appropriate showcase for your ethereal plants. Image courtesy of West Elm

Making it Rain

Elegant in its simplicity, this white galvanized watering can brings a dash of farmhouse chic to your tasks. $16-$29.Image courtesy of West Elm

Basket Case

Every gardener yearns for an organizing device to keep all of the tools of the trade close at hand. This tool basket is a charming solution in rattan with a removable canvas liner you can wash when things get messy. $39.95. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma


If you love your chickens, you'll want to give them a home with some style. This one has not only a built-in run, but an attached planter to grow some herbs or tomatoes and add a bit of green to the old homestead. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Hot Off the Presses

Anxious to gift your favorite DIY homesteader with something unique they'll really use? We think this wine and cider press promises seasons full of crisp apple cider and sparkling vino created in this centuries-old design. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Dairy Queen

Cut that expensive grocery store middle man out of your life, and DIY your own butter. This clever kit shows you how to whip up some rich, creamy butter to grace your homemade bisquits. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Grow Up, Already

A free-standing vertical garden turns a kitchen or a living room into a wall of green wonder. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma.

Bin Sprouts

Coax darling little seedlings into life in this galvanized seedling tray that would look just right on a kitchen counter or windowsill. Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Go Cart

What better way to tote your plants hither and yon than this mobile-chic cart with two layers and a fun industrial look? Image courtesy of Williams Sonoma

DIY Rustic Bread Board

Rustic Handmade Bread Board

Rustic Handmade Bread Board

Have a baker, chef or hostess on your gift list? Surprise them with this handy bread board that looks just like an expensive antique. Reclaimed lumber and basic woodworking skills are all you need. Make your own with our step-by-step instructions .

You don't need to spend a lot of money to give a beautiful, vintage-style gift. This rustic bread board is easy to make with just a few everyday tools and materials. Include a fresh loaf of delicious homemade walnut bread and you'll definitely be invited back next year.

64 Crafty Handmade Holiday Gift Ideas

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No-Knit Monogrammed Mittens

Knit accessories are always a popular handmade holiday gift — but what if you can't knit or crochet? Then these personalized mittens are right up your alley — just stitch baker's twine initials onto readymade mittens, a scarf or hat for a personalized gift to keep them toasty warm all winter long.

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Make This Rustic Bread Board

Have a baker, chef or hostess on your gift list? Surprise them with this handy bread board that looks just like an expensive antique. Reclaimed lumber and basic woodworking skills are all you need.

Craft a Handy Firewood Carrier

Whether the folks on your list prefer to curl up in front of a roaring indoor fire or snuggle next to an outdoor fire pit, our DIY firewood carrier will make toting the kindling much easier.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Practice Your Cursive

Calligraphy (or, in this case, faux calligraphy) is an easy way to add an artistic touch to all sorts of handmade gifts, gift wrap or, when popped into a pretty frame, the free-flowing script makes a sweet gift all by itself.

Photo By: Chelsea Faulkner

Wow Wine Lovers

Upcylcle an old wooden pallet into this storage-rich wine rack that'll keep their favorite vintages within easy reach. Handy built-in storage for wineglasses turns this rack into a space-saving bar. 

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Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Trendy Rhinestone Headband

Fashion-forward friends will appreciate this stylish accessory that looks like a pricey vintage brooch — but is actually made from materials you can pick up at your local craft or fabric store.

©Brklyn View Photography

Cookbook or Tablet Stand

Everyone could use an extra hand in the kitchen, especially when they're whipping up a new recipe. Beginner woodworking skills and our step-by-step instructions will help you turn lumber into a thoughtful gift for your favorite chef.

Whip Up These Tasty Dog Treats

Our pets enjoy special treats around the holidays just as much as we do. Get tails wagging by whipping up a batch of these sweet and crunchy biscuits. Package them in cellophane bags or tins and hand out to all the furry friends on your list.

Craft a Custom Tray

Give an old wooden tray a trendy new lease on life by covering it with upholstery fabric, then add a high-end finishing touch with a decorative pattern created with nail-head trim. Craft your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Personalize Your Pup's Bed

Give your four-footed family member a cozy place for cat (or dog!) naps by turning an old shipping pallet into a snug pet bed. You can even make it mobile by adding furniture casters and totally personalized by stenciling on your pet's name.

Make This Classic Board Game

Encourage the kids on your gift list to step away from tech devices and reconnect with friends and family by instead sitting down at a board game. A classic, like this rustic-inspired tic-tac-toe board, is fun for all ages, and is easy for the gifter to create using cut wood slices and a live-edge board from the craft store.

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Don't Forget Your Furry Friend

If your kitty goes gonzo for catnip (half of all cats do), treat them with a small, handmade toy to hold their stash. Scientists agree that smelling, rather than eating, catnip garners the biggest response but they still aren't sure what neurological reaction catnip triggers for sensitive cats. It's thought that it stimulates receptors in their brains that makes them feel initially energetic, playful and happy, then mellow and relaxed.

Make a Custom Cutting Board

Foodies will appreciate this custom-made wood cutting board. This project requires basic woodworking skills and materials to create a chef-worthy gift that is far from ordinary.

Easily Craft a Pretty Trinket Box

Turn inexpensive fence-post caps, from the hardware store, into a pretty jewelry or gift box. By itself, the box makes a thoughtful birthday, Mother's Day or holiday gift. Fill it with sweet treats or a small trinket for a handmade gift they won't soon forget.

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Homemade Lavender Bath Fizzies

Give the gift of a luxurious home spa day with these homemade lavender bath fizzies. Package the sweet-scented bath bombs in a vintage glass jar with a custom tag for a pretty presentation sure to make the gift even more special.

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Monogrammed Doormat

Turn an inexpensive coir doormat into a personalized greeting for a friend's front door. An old cardboard box, utility knife, spray paint and a little creativity will make a $10 doormat look like a pricey catalog find.

Delight Your Favorite Foodie

Upcycle pretty tins into a magnetic kitchen garden that will ensure fresh herbs are always handy. Pot your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Delight the Hostess With the Mostest

Whip up an inexpensive wood conditioner and sealant to turn a hardwood board into a foodsafe surface they can use to make entertaining easy. Learn how to turn hardware-store staples into a pro-grade charcuterie board.

Custom Smart Phone or Tablet Covers

A new tablet or smart phone top most people's most-wanted-gift list this year. If springy for a pricey tech gift isn't in your budget, get crafty to surprise them with a custom-made felt cover to protect their new gadget. Download our free patterns and learn how to sew one up with our step-by-step instructions.

Monogrammed Serving Tray

Surprise your favorite hostess-with-the-mostest with a chic serving tray hand-painted with a trendy trellis pattern and the recipient's monogram.

Make the Container Part of the Gift

This vintage copper bundt pan is proof that practical can be pretty. Too pretty, in fact, to hide away in a box. Filled with spices, tea towels, wooden spoons and other kitchen essentials, this collection will put a smile on any foodie's face.

Upcycle Old Sweaters Into a Stocking

Don't toss that old sweater. Instead, repurpose it as a custom stocking for someone special on your gift list, then stuff their stocking with a few small wrapped surprises. This project requires no sewing machine or knitting needles and can easily be completed in an afternoon.

Cozy Up Their Cocoa or Coffee

Nothing feels better in ice cold hands than a piping hot cup of cocoa, tea or coffee — but, sometimes, a hot cup can be a bit too hot. The solution: our easy-to-craft felt cozies that are made by simply cutting felt into simple shapes then attaching them to felt bands that are a little longer than a standard paper coffee cup (7 to 9 inches long). Add self-adhesive Velcro strips to the felt's edges so the cozy will stay securely wrapped around the cup.

Upcycle a Frame Into a Cute Tray

Form meets function in this trendy tray made from an old frame, a pair of handles and colorful paint and wrapping paper. See more crafty transformations from our friends at HGTV Magazine.

Photo By: Lara Robby/Studio D

Handmade Woodland Necklace

Woodland-inspired accessories are all the rage. Create this trendy (and downright cute!) necklace with a branch from the backyard and a few inexpensive materials.

Make a Pet Feeding Station

Make mealtime a little easier on large or older dogs by turning an old stool, box or crate into a raised feeding station where food and water are within easy reach. This is also a great gift for anyone who treasures their pet.

Note: Some vets caution that giant breeds or dogs prone to bloat shouldn't eat from a raised feeder. If in doubt, please first check with your vet.

Kids' Craft: Birdseed Ornaments

Bird watchers and naturalists on your list will love this thoughtful handmade gift that allows them to get a closer peek at winter's colorful birds. Bonus: This easy project is a great one to make with even the littlest crafters.

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Rolling Storage Crate

Fill this cute crate with books or toys as a fun gift for kids or with newborn necessities as a thoughtful gift for a mom-to-be. To create, shop antique stores or online sites for an old produce, wine or shipping crate. Thoroughly clean the crate, removing any loose staples and lightly sanding the wood to remove splinters. Purchase casters at your local hardware store and thoroughly coat them in a kicky spray-paint color. Once the paint has dried, attach them to the crate's bottom slats with wood screws.

Colorful Stocking Stuffers

Turn kids' broken crayons into the ultimate stocking stuffer for budding artists. Get our tips for making the colorful disks without trashing your pan.

Spread Holiday Cheer With a Wine Elf

Seriously, how cute are these little guys? I wouldn't mind seeing a whole band of them spreading cheer at one of my holiday get-togethers. To dress up a bottle of wine as a holiday hostess gift, cut felt into an 8x10 rectangle and faux fur into a triangle roughly 2 inches wide by 4 inches long. Wrap felt rectangle into a cone shape, securing the edges with fabric glue as you wrap. Glue the faux fur "beard" to the inside of the felt "hat" and finish with a small pom-pom "nose."

Craft a Cute Canister

Got a baker on your gift list? They'll love receiving a vintage-style glass canister complete with a DIY chalkboard label that'll make storing kitchen necessities a snap. Learn how to add the chalkboard label with our step-by-step instructions.

Photo By: Marian Parsons

Playful Preserve Their Memories

Just 1 of 6 easy-to-craft handmade gift ideas from our friends at HGTV Magazine, these clever photos printed onto fabric then embellished with yarn, beads or glitter are sure to brighten up anyone's walls.

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Tasty Dog Treats

Don't forget your furry friend! Whip up a batch of carob-dipped peanut butter bones using ingredients you probably already have on hand. A wet kiss and wagging tail will be all the thanks you need.

Make a Cat Spinner Wand

When planning your holiday gift list, don't forget your favorite kitty. Turn basic craft materials into a Christmas-themed spinner wand that will encourage hours of playtime.

Superhero Cape

Tell your little hero that you think they're super by stitching up the perfect gift. Personalized with their initial or name, this action-ready cape guarantees hours of imaginative playtime. Our step-by-step instructions will help you whip one up for every super kid on your gift list.

Recycled Sweater Scarf

Favorite sweaters past their prime are given new purpose as a cozy, oversized scarf. The ends can be stitched together to create a hip, continuous design or left loose for a traditional-style wrap.

Kids' Craft: Ruffled Rose Headband

With just a little help from a crafty adult, kids can turn a plain elastic headband into a sweet hair accessory, perfect for girls big or small. Inexpensive materials and easy steps ensure girls can make enough of these to hand out to all their friends.

Make It Easy for Them to Stash Their Stuff

Anyone with kids will tell you that they could always use more toy storage — especially if its stylish enough to blend in with the "adult" furniture. Well, they'd be thrilled to receive this spacious chest with an upholstered top so it can also be used as a bench or coffee table. Put your wood-working skills and our step-by-step instructions to work to make one as a surprise for the parents on your gift list.

Stitch Up a Custom Pet Collar

If you're handy with a sewing machine, you can whip up pet collars to comfortably fit all the furry friends on your gift list. Get sewing with our step-by-step instructions.

Whip Up an Easy-to-Sew Tote Bag

Even novice sewers will be able to tackle this straightforward project. Customize the fabrics to suit the gift recipient's style and give the tote alone as the gift or fill with a few small surprises to really make their holiday.

Craft a Fashion-Forward Keychain

These trendy leather tassels are popular with fashionistas both as keychains and purse fobs. The real leather versions are pricey -- making them instead out of faux leather is much more affordable and you'll be surprised how easy these little fashion accessories are to DIY. Follow these instructions from our friends at HGTV Magazine to craft them up in all the colors of the rainbow.

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Make Mobile Toy Crates

Make it easier for parents of small kids to corral their clutter with these cute, personalized toy boxes. Furniture casters make it easy to move their favorite toys from room to room while the crate's lid-less design makes playtime clean up a snap.

Easy-to-Create Bottle Cap Necklace

Create a one-of-a-kind necklace for your favorite tween. This is a great craft project for an older child to complete on their own or with a little help from a cool and crafty adult.

Keep Their Gadgets Cozy

A great project for young crafters or those with basic sewing skills, felt and a few beads are all you need to craft a stylish cozy to protect their favorite high-tech devices.

Make This Upcycled Jewelry Box

Old cutlery boxes are easy to find at estate sales or in antique or thrift shops — usually at bottom-dollar prices. With just a little elbow grease, you can turn one of these bargain boxes into a massive jewelry box that any fashionista on your list will be thrilled to receive.

Photo By: H. Camille Smith

Kicky Wallpaper-Lined Trays

The hostess with the mostest on your gift list will appreciate an oversized serving tray lined with trendy wallpaper in her favorite color or pattern.

Photo By: Mary Britton Senseney

Easy Kids' Play Kitchen

Basic woodworking skills are all you need to turn a plain wooden bookshelf into a kid-sized kitchen for your little chef. Learn how to make your own with our step-by-step instructions.

Felted Sweater Vases and Candleholders

Wool sweaters are great — until you toss them in the washer and accidentally shrink them down to doll size. But, don't throw them out. Exposing wool to hot water, soap and a little agitation (all things that happen in the wash) not only causes the wool fibers to shrink, it also felts them, creating a super soft, nubby texture and preventing the knitted threads from fraying when cut. Put your doll-sized mishaps to good use crafting one of-a-kind handmade gifts, like Alicia of Thrifty and Chic who used hers to turn plain glass vases into trendy handmade gifts.

Easy-to-Create Dog Stocking

Santa's coming; don't forget your best friend when hanging the stockings by the chimney with care. Whip up this festive felt stocking to stash your pup's Christmas morning treats and toys.

Kids' Adventure-Ready Backpack

Kids are natural explorers. Outfit their outdoor adventures with a sturdy backpack filled with a handmade nature press, bug jars, sifter and more. Learn how to sew the backpack and make its crafty contents with our step-by-step instructions.

Capture Their Silhouette

A framed silhouette is a classic keepsake and makes a thoughtful Christmas, birthday or Mother's Day gift. A digital camera, computer and printer make this centuries-old craft a snap.

Turn an Old Drawer Into a Chic Jewelry Organizer

The folks at HGTV Magazine got crafty with a thrifted typset drawer to create this handy hanging jewelry organizer -- a gift that any jewelry fanatic on your list would love.

Photo By: Before: Alison Gootee/Studio D, After: Lara Robby/Studio D

Homemade S'mores Kit

Surprise an outdoorsy friend with everything (except the fire!) necessary for ooey-gooey s'mores. Hand-make the cookies, marshmallows and chocolate squares so they're especially tasty, then package the goodies "hobo-style" for a gift that's ready to travel.

Monogrammed Men's Leather Valet

Does the man on your gift list need somewhere to stash his stuff? Easily turn an old frame and upcycled leather into a personalized tray to stylishly hold his keys, watch, cash — everything he needs to grab before heading out the door.

Kids' Craft: Make an Outdoorsy Frame for Dad

Collected twigs, an inexpensive frame and a favorite camping photo are all you need to thank Dad for amazing outdoor adventures.

Create Custom Coasters or Trivets

A computer and scanner are all you need to turn their favorite collectible (like stamps) into a printable design you can use to turn inexpensive hardware store tiles into useful decorative accessories.

From: HGTV Magazine and HGTV Magazine

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D

Found Object Bottle Stoppers

Give keepsakes new purpose by turning them into conversation-starting bottle stoppers. Wine lovers will appreciate the useful, one-of-a-kind gift.

Rough-and-Tumble Bar Set

Treat the beer lover in your life to customized glassware, funky license-plate coasters and a handy wall-mounted bar tool holder. They'll toast to your thoughtfulness in giving such a personalized gift.

Leather Christmas Stockings

Give any mantel a high-fashion makeover with stockings creatively recycled from old leather or vinyl coats. The finished stockings can be embellished with rivets, colorful stitching or stamped with the recipient's name or initials.

Seed-Starting Kit

The green thumbs on your list will appreciate this handy caddy filled with potting soil, pots, an assortment of seeds and other necessities for getting a head start on spring planting. Make a gift to nurture their green thumbs with our step-by-step instructions.

Faux Leather-Lined Tray

Craft a fashion-forward tray to help them corral jewelry and spare change on the dresser or as a handy catchall for keys and mail near the front door. These instructions from HGTV Magazine show you how.

Photo By: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

Embellished Hair Combs

Turn plain hair combs into one-of-a-kind accessories with an assortment of vintage buttons. Shop estate sales, thrift stores and flea markets to pick up beautiful buttons on a budget then attach them to the combs with fine-gauge wire.

Silhouette Art

Put a playful spin on classic game taxidermy with silhouette pop art. Paint the surface of the cardboard backing in a picture frame, then trace the silhouette of a buck head to the backing with a pencil. Cover the traced silhouette with colorful buttons, fastening them in place with hot glue.

Photo By: Brian Patrick Flynn

Geek-Chic Belt Buckle

Broken computer components can find new life as a hip fashion accessory. If a belt's not your thing, the defunct components can also be turned into funky jewelry, framed as art or made into drawer pulls.

Coffee Bag Gift Tote

Turn empty coffee sacks into a trendy, rustic tote that can not only hold a wrapped gift but is part of the gift itself. These sturdy burlap totes can be created in a variety of sizes and are great for carrying books and groceries or for use as an everyday purse.

Canvas Photo Art

Turn treasured photos into ready-to-hang artwork by printing the images onto canvas photo paper then stretching the fabric over a wooden frame.

Decoupage Tin

Don't discard an empty tin. Instead, embellish it with photos and favorite quotes. Fill the decorated tin with tasty treats, art supplies or a blooming plant for a uniquely personalized handmade gift.

Flavor-Infused Spirits

Infused Liquor Party Favors

Infused Liquor Party Favors

As easy as mixing together a few common kitchen ingredients with standard liquors, these three festive flavors make delicious holiday cocktails and party favors.

These DIY flavored liquors are great conversation starters and make much more unique gifts than the standard bottle of wine or whiskey. Tip: Check that the family has no religious or moral objections before gifting liquor. You definitely don't want to offend!


Vintage Hostess Gifts

Silver Ice Bucket

Silver Ice Bucket

Silver-plate pieces can generally be found for around $20, especially at yard sales. Pick up an ice bucket or champagne chiller, fill with a bottle of bubbly and tie on a bow to create the perfect hostess gift that can be enjoyed at holiday parties for years to come.

Go on the hunt for a sweet vintage piece you can fill with inexpensive treasures for the host or hostess. A silver-plate champagne bucket can usually be found for around $20 at most antique stores or yard sales and is the perfect vessel for unique glassware, whiskey stones and, of course, champagne! No need to wrap, just tie with a bow and seasonal greenery for a pretty presentation.

15 Vintage Holiday Gift Ideas

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Sugar Jars

What's more fitting than to fill a vintage sugar jar with sweets? Fill a small jar with classic holiday candy for a simple gift. You can find a great deal on jars with missing lids, ones that are orphaned from a set or those with small chips or cracks.

Wooden Crates

Be on the lookout for vintage wooden crates with original paint or unique typography when flea market season is in full swing. Fill crates with shredded paper and seasonal fruit, such as citrus and pomegranate. The crate can become functional storage afterward.

Canning Jars

Vintage canning jars can be picked up at flea markets or antique stores for just a few dollars, and they make great containers for small, simple gifts. Fill a jar halfway with Epsom salt to represent snow, and drop a pretty ornament inside.

Bread Board

Vintage wooden bread boards have become more popular over the past few years, but can still be found for a bargain. Pair a wooden board with some homemade bread or an artisan loaf from a bakery. Wrap the loaf in brown paper and tie it with some butcher twine, greenery and a tag.


Teacups can be found by the dozen at yard sales and thrift stores. Pick them up to give as small gifts to those who enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Tuck some favorite flavors or blends inside the cup, tied in a bundle with twine or pretty ribbon.

Wooden Totes and Caddies

Use a vintage wooden tote or caddy to hold a collection of smaller gifts. Wrap the small gifts in coordinating paper, and tuck each into a cubby, making a fun display that can be used for organizing once the gifts are unwrapped.

Silver Champagne or Ice Bucket

Silver-plate pieces can generally be found for around $20, especially at yard sales. Pick up an ice bucket or champagne chiller, fill with a bottle of bubbly and tie on a bow to create the perfect hostess gift that can be enjoyed at holiday parties for years to come.

Casserole Dishes

Pretty ironstone china casserole dishes or soup tureens are great presents on their own, but are better when filled with monogrammed linen napkins, silver napkin rings and some flatware. A collection like this makes a thoughtful gift for a newlywed or someone who loves to entertain.


Vintage buckets can be found in all shapes, sizes, materials and colors. This metal dry-goods bucket makes a great holder for a live rosemary plant to give to the chef or gardener in your life. Buckets can also be filled with miniature Christmas trees or winter flowers like paperwhites. Include tips on caring for the plant on the back of the gift tag.

Trinket Box

Why give a gift in a disposable paper box when a vintage wooden trinket box can often be found for less at thrift stores? Fill it with desk accessories, decks of cards, makeup or accessories. No wrapping is necessary for this gift — simply tie on a pretty ribbon.

Metal Tins

Vintage tins are plentiful and can often be found for less than $1. They make a perfect container for homemade cookies and holiday sweets. Nestle the sweets in vintage linen napkins or brown paper.

Hardback Books

Gift cards have become a popular holiday gift option, especially for those on your list who are difficult to shop for. Instead of purchasing a gift-card case, tuck them into a small, vintage book. It's even better if the book relates to something the recipient enjoys. Books also make a great holder for cash gifts.

Chamber Pots

Thankfully, these pieces that were once necessities have become antiquated due to indoor plumbing. They now make a quirky, tongue-in-cheek holder for homemade soaps and other items that make nice holiday gifts.

Wire File Baskets

Give the aspiring author or poet in your life pretty notebooks or stationery showcased in a vintage wire file basket. These multifunctional pieces would also be great for gifting cookbooks, tea towels and craft supplies.

Bundt Pans and Molds

Assemble spices, tea towels, wooden spoons and other kitchen essentials in a copper Bundt pan or pudding mold. Look for pieces that are clean and rust free, so they can still be practical as well as pretty.

For Coffee Lovers

Coffee Lover's Gift Basket

Coffee Lover's Gift Basket

Create a thoughtful gift basket for your coffee -dependent friends. Place a mug and their favorite coffee inside of a woven or wooden basket. Take the gift to the next level by including a French press.

Photo by: Flynnside Out Productions

Flynnside Out Productions

If you know his parents adore coffee, impress them with a beautifully-packaged woven basket filled with their favorite gourmet brew, mugs, biscotti and a french press.

8 DIY Gift Baskets for Food Lovers

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For the Chef

Kitchen essential gift baskets are a classic choice for homeowners spending their first holiday in a new home. Make the basket as practical as it is stylish by outfitting it with basics every homeowner is sure to need. In addition to tools and gadgets, mix in a few pantry essentials such as spices or gourmet condiments.

For the DIYer

Do you have a friend or family member who's addicted to home renovation? Create a do-it-yourselfer gift basket filled with a mix of vintage-inspired tools and gadgets, along with protein- and carb-filled foods, to keep them motivated through their next project. For a tough, industrial look, choose baskets made of mesh, chicken wire or galvanized metal.

  1. food
  2. beer
  3. tools

For the Baker

Give the gift of fluffy flapjacks by filling a basket with chef-quality ingredients certain to take Sunday morning breakfast to the next level. Place the pancake mix along the bottom of the basket, then use condiments to decorate the top along with spoons and spatulas.

For the Entertainer

Help friends avoid any last-minute entertaining fiascoes with a thoughtful dry goods dessert basket. Gather an assortment of finger food-style desserts, then present them in clear bags and glass containers. Should extra guests show up to holiday gatherings, the recipient will have more than enough dessert options to end the night in good spirits.

For the Film Buff

Create a fun stay-at-home movie night by filling a basket with sweets and snacks to munch on during the flick. A similar idea can be created for a movie night out on the town by filling the basket with gift cards and small, purse-sized snacks.

  1. candy
  2. popcorn
  3. movie

For the Tea Enthusiast

Make waking up much more enjoyable with a tea lover's basket. Add a full set of tea cups (or just one) along with gourmet ingredients and tea bags to a classic basket. For a more polished presentation, showcase the ingredients in Mason jars or small canisters.

For the Creatives

As cupcakes, cake pops and s'mores continue to dominate the dessert world, why not make your own creation with one-of-a-kind ice cream cookies? Create a gourmet basket packed with ice-cream essentials and air-tight jars filled with sprinkles, nuts, caramel and hot fudge. When it's time for your friend to entertain, they can set up a self-serve ice cream cookie station.

For the Wine Connoisseur

Create a festive wine-based gift by outfitting a picnic basket with their favorite wine paired with the appropriate cheeses and crackers.

For Cheese Lovers

A Holiday Culinary Gift Basket

A Holiday Culinary Gift Basket

Photo by: Buff Strickland ©Buff Strickland

Buff Strickland, Buff Strickland

Skip the store-bought baskets and hand-select a delicious blend of artisanal cheeses, chutney, almonds, gourmet crackers, a slate cheese board and spreading knives. And don't forget to include a menu!

Gourmet Gift Ideas and DIY Food Baskets

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Cheese, Nuts and Crackers

For elegant presentation, line a vintage basket with decorative packing material then fill it with a slate cheese board, artisanal cheeses, chutney, almonds, gourmet crackers and spreading knives.

Photo By: Buff Strickland ©Buff Strickland

The Most Important Meal of the Day

Breakfast never looked so good. Help family and friends get the holidays — and their mornings — off to the right start with a pound cake that’s fresh out of the oven, a jar full of seasonal preserves and a bag of savory coffee.

Photo By: Buff Strickland

Infused Simple Syrups

A perfect gift for the mixologist and iced tea or coffee lover. Infused vanilla simple syrup is perfect for the coffee lover, mint is a flawless addition to a glass of iced tea and cranberry syrup takes any cocktail from bland to grand.

Photo By: Buff Strickland ©Buff Strickland

Spice Gift Basket

Sugar and spice for the foodie in your life. A gift of spices will last long after the holidays. Decorate the jars with fun wraparound labels and personalized messages.

Photo By: Buff Strickland ©Buff Strickland

Flavored Popcorn

For an inexpensive yet tasty gift, prepare bulk batches of popcorn then add interesting flavors like Moroccan spice and white chocolate caramel. Scoop them into standard brown lunch sacks and decorate the bags with a sprig of evergreen or ribbon.

Photo By: Buff Strickland ©Buff Strickland

Homemade Breads

Freshly baked quick bread or pound cake is a welcome treat no matter the season. Create a festive presentation with burlap, kitchen twine and mini jingle bells. It's a gift so simple and enjoyable, don't be surprised if you re-create it for every other holiday using a different recipe and changing out the jingle bells for more seasonal options.

Photo By: Buff Strickland ©Buff Strickland


A box of gourmet teas is the perfect present for the friend who has a cabinet full of exotic blends, countless diffusers, and a growing collection of cups and saucers.

Photo By: Buff Strickland ©Buff Strickland


You Can't Go Wrong With Fresh Flowers

Floral Centerpiece With Greenery

Floral Centerpiece With Greenery

Putting together a gorgeous centerpiece may seem intimidating but, really, it's far simpler than you may think. Before shelling out big bucks at your local florist, check out our 7 tips from a floral-arranging pro.

A medium-sized bouquet of fresh, seasonal flowers is always a welcome gift. For an extra-special touch, handpick a one-of-a-kind vase that can be used again long after the flowers are gone.

10 Winter Floral Arrangements for Any Occasion

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Hypericum Berries

Dress up your tabletop surface with an arrangement that looks just like mistletoe. Combine branches of hypericum berries with sprigs and branches of pine.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Ranunculus and Juniper

Brighten up your space with bold pops of red and green using a mixture of cut ranunculus stems and branches of juniper and cedar. The slight variation in green hues will add depth to the finished look and texture against the pretty, soft shape of the ranunculus.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Parrot Tulips

White and green parrot tulips are very versatile and can be used to create formal, casual or high design looks. For a classic holiday touch, pair white and green parrot tulips with Dusty Miller. The small touch of dove gray will break up the green and white and also introduce a nice, rich texture.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Birch Branches

Birch branches are great for adding height to an area and creating a more architectural look. For a more rustic approach to holiday decorating, combine birch branches with cedar and pine cuttings in a unique container or ice bucket. Here, a vintage camping container adds a touch of woodsy plaid to the organic arrangement.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Potted Evergreens

Potted evergreens are perfect for year-round use and can be especially effective during winter months for adding a touch of classic holiday charm. Keep the overall look simple by planting evergreens in pots covered in organic materials such as burlap, linen or birch bark. For a more finished look, cover the top of the potting soil with moss.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Red Tulips and Juniper

While pastel-toned tulips are often associated with spring, red tulips are a perfect fit for the holidays. For a bit of texture, mix in juniper sprigs.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions


Alstroemeria is one of the most affordable and widely available flowers. For a more refined look, pick up alstroemeria bunches from the supermarket, then edit them down to a single color (red or white work best). Cut each stem low for use in a short container. Add another layer of visual interest with galax leaves placed around the container's edge.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Snapdragons, Dusty Miller and Pansies

Add a mix of short, tall and low-sitting vases with snapdragons, Dusty Miller and pansies. Use the snapdragons for height, place Dusty Miller around the base of the snapdragons, then bridge the gap between the two with white pansies.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Red Roses and Wax Flower

Red roses are timeless, romantic and available through supermarkets and floral shops year round. For a sweet farmhouse vibe, pair red roses with wax flower, then fill in the extra space with a mix of cedar and pine cuttings.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions


For a wild and free holiday arrangement, pot camellia into medium or tall box planters, then add a layer of rich green around the base with peat moss. The pinkish-red tones of the flowers will add a romantic vibe to your holiday setup.

Photo By: Flynnside Out Productions

Better-Than-Average Candle

Photo by: Anthropologie


As a rule of thumb, choose a candle that's beautifully packaged and costs a little more than your run-of-the-mill glass jar variety. Include a box of designer matches and wrap in cellophane or with a pretty bow for a polished, thoughtful presentation. Tip: Do your research. Ask your significant other what types of scents his family prefers. Florals? Vanillas? Also, soy candles are a great choice as they are non-toxic, burn longer and produce a stronger aroma.

Our Product Pick: Snowflora Balsam & Cedar Soy Candle, Anthropologie, $18

Family-Friendly Games

Photo by: Walmart


Break the ice and get to know the family with the gift of a fun, all-inclusive, after-dinner game. A word of caution: a little friendly competition is fine but try not to trash talk Aunt Martha when the stakes get high.

Our Product Pick: The Game of Things, Walmart, $28

Warm and Cozy Throw

Photo by:

Who doesn't love curling up with a warm blanket on cold winter nights? Wrap this cozy gift in a pretty box with a few jars of rich hazelnut hot cocoa.

Our Product Pick: Faux Fur Throw,, $18

Coffee Table Book

Photo by: Amazon


Pick a book with an enticing cover that also pertains to the recipient's interests. Tip: Thumb through before gifting to make sure there isn't any unsavory content.

Our Product Pick: Humans of New York, Amazon, $17

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