It’s that time of year. Christmas is zooming up on us, which often leaves us in a quandry. How can we involve our family in creating gifts with meaning? How can we get gifts that will be treasured without breaking the bank? And how on earth can we get something for those who already have everything they need and most of what they want?
One of the things I love to do with my kids (though I’m a little short on inspiration this year is create gifts that are meaningful. Something that captures where we are at this moment in time. That means lots of handprints and footprints. Lots of paint and glue and fun.
Whether you have lots of money or a little to spend, people love receiving home-made gifts. It can be daunting to get started, but here are a few ideas to help.
1) Get your children involved by using hand prints or foot prints to make a calendar. We’ve done this a couple times. For example, January can be a snowman made from a small foot. February is hearts crafted by painting the fisted hand by the pinky. November is a hand-print turkey. October is a ghost. Do the prints on colored construction paper, then go online and print off the next year’s month-by-month calendar. You paste the calendar to the back of the next month’s artwork. Then take it to a copy shop to be spiral bound. Don’t forget to have the child sign and date their artwork. Grandmas and aunts love these.
2) Bake plates of cookies for neighbors and coworkers. I’ve developed about six recipes that I’ll make double or triple batches of starting Thanksgiving weekend. Most cookies freeze well, and then put an assortment on a Christmas plate, add a card and deliver.
3) If you don’t want to bake a variety, host a Christmas cookie exchange. Then each attendee bakes 8 or so dozen of the same cookie and all participant swap. You can also have people bring 3×5 cards with the recipes on them.
4) Buy plain hot-pads and have the kids use a handprint on one side to make a turkey. On the other side, use fingerprints to create a Christmas tree. Now you have a great seasonal gift.
5) At a family gathering have everybody add their handprints to a canvas. You want to layer the handprints so that they overlap in the shape of a Christmas tree. Then decorate it with paint. This makes a great way to freeze everyone in time and a nice decoration for future Christmases.
Your turn: What are some Christmas gifts that you’re family has made?