the mothers' group i go to hosted a craft exchange for christmas today, and it was such a great idea! every woman made six of something to give away, like jarred cookie mix, candles, note cards, or candy. one of everything was taken to assemble nice gift bags for all the children's teachers, and the rest of the items were displayed up front. someone called people up based on birthday month, etc., and we took turns picking one thing at a time.
no one had to worry about buying gifts for anyone, and every teacher and mom went home with the beautiful homemade food and crafts she liked best. if my camera weren't still missing (booo), i'd show you the gorgeous flower arrangement or lovely tree ornament i picked made from cinnamon and applesauce(!) with a picture of mary and jesus decoupaged to it. (i know, it sounds ridiculous, but it's awesome, and i'm totally filing the idea away for the future.) i also received homemade applesauce, brownie mix, and fudge:) i think the goodies i went home with put to shame the little magnet-backed picture frames i brought!
find more thrifty green thursday ideas at green baby guide.