I don’t want to brag but… I published a book! That’s right, I’m a published author! (Book signing party TBA.) I’ve printed…. 4 copies! 🙂 OK, OK, it’s a cookbook, but I MADE IT!
My inspiration was to create a one-of-a-kind gift for my family that would last for years.
If you are anything like me, the older I get, finding the perfect Christmas gift is super difficult (though, these gifts are pretty fantastic). I don’t want to buy something for the sake of buying it. My hubby and family members already have most of what they want.
My suggestion for the perfect Christmas gift idea this year? Give your loved ones a family cookbook.
Now I’m not going to lie. Making a family cookbook can be fairly labor-intensive. I personally made a lot of the recipes so that I could photograph the finished products myself (my husband’s office enjoyed a lot of baked goods and extra food that summer), but you can just as easily include photos from the internet to save time.
For printing the book, you can use companies like Shutterfly, Snapfish, Walgreens and Sams Club to print your photobook, or you can create one by hand with a photo album or binder.
What to include?
Think through family favorites. Your family cookbook can be a heartfelt collection of family recipes – from your grandma’s homemade hot cocoa to your dad’s famous pork rub – or it can be your favorite recipes over the years.
If you’re giving the cookbook to your siblings, include the recipes that you all enjoyed as kids. If you’re making the cookbook for your children to have someday, include all of the recipes that you love making for them right now.
Not just for Christmas
A homemade cookbook isn’t just a perfect Christmas gift idea, either. I actually made my own family cookbook in July one year and gave it to my parents and siblings as a present to my family the day before my October wedding.
This would make a great wedding shower gift (bridesmaids contribute their favorite recipes ahead of time and give the book to the bride), it would be perfect for an older child who is heading off to college (you can include all of the recipes that they loved growing up), and you could create a book to match almost any other occasion. The cookbook can be a surprise if you already have the recipes that you want to include, or you can reach out to family ahead of time and ask them to all contribute favorite recipes to the book.
Whether it’s a large undertaking or a small one, a printed book or a hand-written collection of recipe cards in a binder, a family cookbook is a perfect Christmas gift idea because it can be enjoyed for years and years.
If you were to create a cookbook for your own family, what recipes would you include? Share your favorites in the comments below!
Originally written 2018, updated 2021