Most of last week was spent planning the craft projects that we would do in order to have gifts for everyone that we love and hold dear. This planning was done by myself, my daughter (16), and my nephew (11).
We had done some pre-planning as well, collecting candle and holder cast-offs, as well as flowers to dry and pinecones and acorns. We dried the flowers, dug candle ends from holders, washed the candle holders, bought wicks and saved used soup cans which we also washed out and removed the lids to. My sister and I had also purchased cheap craft kits at A.C. Moore for my nephew, and he is making gifts for people from those.
What were the reasons for such madness?
Lack of funds for purchasing gifts. We are planning to make and bake all of the gifts that we will be giving to people. We have cut down to getting family gifts only, except for the one celebration that has very small children in attendance. Their gifts will also be homemade.
In all honesty, I cannot even afford to purchase gifts for my own daughters, except two gifts costing a total of under $20.00 for Zowie (16). I also acquired a gift that she will really appreciate through Freecycle. The gifts for Skye (19) I worked for by helping a neighbor with numerous tasks. I took these very nice items in trade, and my daughter will love them.
Here I offer up some ideas for your gift-making adventures:
- Recover old pillows/pillow forms with tied fleece.
- Make homemade ornaments from pinecones.
- Make homemade tied fleece blankets for little ones, from old fleece blankets.
- Make homemade sticker albums.
- Bake homemade breads, brownies, cakes and cookies.
- Make homemade scrapbooks. Make homemade jewelry.
Making homemade gifts teaches children and teenagers many things, including frugality and economics when you are discussing why you are making things instead of purchasing them. It also teaches the important values of reduce, reuse and recycle when you create new things from old materials. Children will have a sense of pride that comes from accomplishing something good, and they will learn valuable life skills. For math, you can have them figure out what purchasing gifts for everyone would have cost them, as well as tax, and then by seeing how much they saved by making things. As for environmentalism? Take them to the store so that they can see how much packaging is involved when purchasing new items, explain how much packaging is involved in shipping, and discuss with them how much petroleum is used to ship the products from place to place.
There is a lot that can be learned from making our own gifts, but I am partial to the time spent with the children while we are making the items. Last Sunday, we all spent time making candles together. My nephew also spent most of last week making his own gifts for people. Time spent with children doing these things is a precious resource in-and-of itself.
Spending time creating things together is also a great way to teach children appreciation and caring ways, which are important traits in anyone.
P.S. Do you have any ideas for making holiday gifts? Please share them with us in the comments section. Thank you.
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