Many years ago, my children and I created almost all of the Christmas presents that we gave. We even created wrapping paper and greeting cards. Much of this decision was because some of our family members were very hard to buy for, but the majority of the decision was to save money.
We wanted to give, but didn’t have the budget to do it on the scale that we wanted to. Don’t misunderstand; even making Christmas items can sometimes be more expensive than purchasing them. Then add shipping charges, and you really can spend a lot of money during the holiday season.
As I got older, wiser, and well, not wealthier, but more comfortable I found that I really enjoyed creating our holiday presents together. The children enjoy it too, even the older ones. My teenage daughter has been asking me for a trip to Hobby Lobby, because the trip to JoAnn fabrics was very disappointing.
I love the opportunity to spend time with my children creating these special and unique gifts. During the course of the year it seems so hard to find time to spend together as a family. Sometimes I think that family near and far take each other for granted or just get so caught up in their everyday lives that they do not have the time to spend with each other or notice the special and unique qualities of each other.
In our case, each of the presents are designed and created for each individual person. For example, my father is diabetic, so we create goodies in a basket that are sugar free or low in sugar so that he can finally have the treats that he goes without for most of the year. Many times he calls me during the New Year holiday and tells me he is watching the football games and enjoying his treats.
All sets of grandparents live far away, so we create a personalized calendar each page being a collage of the children doing whatever throughout the year. Baby’s first steps, eating real food the first time, holidays, and sporting events feature as well as everyday activities. We mark each family member’s birthday on the day of the calendar and include a poem of something unique about that month.
The grandmothers love scented candles and soaps. Some years we create both, others we create just one. We find just those scents that make each grandmother happy. One likes the floral; the other the spices. We create our own stickers with the soap’s information as well as create our own soap wrap from colored saran wrap. Adding these little touches shows thoughtfulness and care in our gifts.
How do you do this with three children you ask? How do you find the time? First, it doesn’t take much time to make the purchases of supplies. Secondly, I think it’s time well spent in the kitchen or at the kitchen table or bar creating these custom designed gifts. After all they could be watching TV or playing video games. We stand a chair up to the table so the two year old can “play.”
The baby sits in a high chair with her pretend items, thinking she is helping, and she is with her entertainment value alone. The teenager and I do the more complicated things, but even the two year old can glue designs down on the cardboard base of the greeting cards. She can color gift bags. She can paint wrapping paper. And both the young ones love playing in the shredded paper from magazines used to create padding for mailings as well as the filler for gift bags. Who needs the filler you throw away?
Some people ask me what is your favorite Christmas memory, and I have to admit I don’t have just one. All of the ones I do have include my children and I baking sugar cookies, creating minted hot cocoa mixes, melting soy candle wax, measuring essential oils, creating the individual greeting cards – no one like the other, and painting the wrapping paper.
Each time we do these things together it creates lasting memories for me, my children and the other family members who we won’t be with over the holiday’s but through our carefully chosen and beautiful presented unique gifts for those we love.
Start small; take the time this year to create just one present for each member of your family. See the value that you can have in spending time with your children as well as making and creating something unique and special to celebrate the unique and special things about those you love. You will gain some wonderful family time together and celebrate the holidays with a true joy of the season.
Don’t have any ideas for what to make? –Read my next article -What Can You Make for Christmas? 15 Unique No Fail Gifts
For more information on how to handle the holidays:
Holiday Lights in Houston , Staten Island, Toledo, Ohio and Mesa Arizona
Six Can’t Miss Activities for your Children during Holiday Social and Family Events
Top Ten Photography Lessons You Should Know this Holiday Season
Recipe for Stress Management during the Holidays
Plan ahead: Recipes for your Leftover Holiday Meal
Holidays are Perfect for Teaching Your Child Courtesy and Manners