My local fiber and textile art group has an annual holiday party in December, with a gift exchange as the highlight of the evening. When I first joined the group more than a decade ago, the rules were to spend about $5 on a gift, supposedly fiber-related in some way, and the gifts were predictably minimal. The worst one I remember was a package of rubber shapes to glue onto your bathtub to minimize slipping -- "fiber-related" because they were called "shower appliques." Appliques, get it?
After a few years I joined the board and one of my early suggestions was that since we were all allegedly fiber artists, we should all be able to come up with a handmade gift for the party. To my surprise, my snarky observation was endorsed by everybody else and we changed the rules. Now you must make a gift, one that would sell in the vicinity of $20-25 retail.
And the holiday party has become a lot more fun! Last week was perhaps the best one I can recall, with a huge variety of gifts. Here are some of the functional ones: