Installment 1: Gift Jars
Do you eat spaghetti sauce out of a jar? How about applesauce, pickles, olives, or peanut butter? You can use the empty jars (washed, of course!) as gift containers for all sorts of tasty homemade things: cookie mix, powdered drinks, granola, candy, Chex Mix or Puppy Chow (chocolate-covered Chex Mix).
[Source: Wise Bread, http://www.wisebread.com/start-stockpiling-now-four-cheap-christmas-gifts-to-make]
This site lists an overwhelming array of mixes you can put in a jar.
This website gives not only recipes, but ideas for decorating the jar. There are even PDFs of tags you can print.
And something less tasty, but still really sweet:
“I spent a few months contacting friends and family members and asked them to send me memories and old pictures of my grandfather. Then I wrote one memory (or printed one picture) on each of 365 business card sized pieces of cardstock. I folded each in half and secured it with a bit of tape, then placed them all in a big jar I decorated. Every morning for the next year, my grandfather would take out a paper, open it, and see what other people cherished in him. He loved it.” [Source: Get Rich Slowly, http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2008/11/13/a-do-it-yourself-christmas-34-great-gifts-you-can-make-yourself/ ]
Finally, a gag gift, for people who say they want "nothing" for their gift.