I just ran across an idea for a simple, cheap (recycling), practical gift, that I am definitely going to make for someone for Christmas. Shhhhhh...
These fire starters are easy to light with a match...don't unwrap, just light one end of the wrapper. Then place in your fireplace and toss a little kindling on top. Before you know it, you've got a nice warm fire going.
And these are so easy to make, that it would make a great gift for kids to make and give too.
My interpretation follows:
empty toilet paper or paper towel tubes
'wrapping paper' such as paper grocery bags or craft paper
raffia, jute, or 100% cotton yarn
Start storing empty toilet paper tubes (and paper towel tubes cut to a similar length) in your laundry room. When you clean your lint filter, stuff the lint into the tubes. The lint can be augmented with some loosely crumpled newspaper.
They are usable at this point. But since I'm making them for gifts, I thought I'd dress them up a little bit.
'Wrap' the tubes in paper, leaving the ends long enough to twist, and tie with raffia, jute, or 100% cotton yarn.
I'm using craft paper, because I have lots of it, but you could use paper grocery bags, or the Sunday comics.
(Edited to add: I originally stated that gift wrapping paper could also be used in this step. But my friend the science teacher told me NOT to use Christmas wrapping paper, as the inks used are not safe to burn and breath the fumes.)
(Edited to add: a comment pointed out that lint from synthetic loads is not safe to burn and breathe fumes. I always clean my lint filter after each load dried and always discard the tiny amount of lint that is left by synthetic loads. However, I have a lot of loads that are from 100% cotton jeans, towels, and bed sheets. Those are the loads that produce lots of lint, and that is the lint that is saved at my house. Thank you, commenter, for bringing that to our attention.)
Put the finished fire starters in a bucket or a basket to sit near the recipient's fireplace. Add a bow and a gift tag, and you're done!