Posts tagged with: time

Family Gift Making for the Holidays

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.

Shannon

P.S. Do you have any ideas for making holiday gifts? Please share them with us in the comments section. Thank you.

Other Articles of interest:

Children and Boredom

Family Bowling


Planned Thanksgiving Leftovers: A Great Idea for the Single Mom

Planned leftovers can be very helpful to the single mother. The first way in which planning these leftovers is helpful is that they can save you money. You can take your time buying all of the components of your meal, so that you hit all of the sales. Store brands are often great deals as well. If you buy extra, and cook it all up, you can easily and quickly prepare meals for the rest of the week. You can even make your own TV dinners this way.

Planned leftovers are easy for families to prepare together, so even younger children can help.  In turn, this gives you more time to spend with your children. You can all do something that you enjoy, instead of wasting time in the kitchen.

Another benefit of planned leftovers is that they are easy for your teenagers to prepare. They can have dinner prepared for when you get home from work, saving you time and, sometimes, the expense of take-out. Teenagers can be a huge benefit to their families.

Planned leftovers should be put together as much as possible when cleaning up after your Thanksgiving meal. You already have to clean up anyway. Anything that will keep in the refrigerator for a few days can be wrapped as complete meals and stored there. Everything else can be frozen as meals and taken out the day before needed, preferable in the morning for good thawing time.

Happy November!!!

Shannon

P.S. I will soon post some leftover recipes for your enjoyment. If you have any recipes or tips that you would like to share, feel free to post them in the comments section. They will be helpful to others. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

More Thanksgiving Leftover Meals

Thanksgiving Crafts for Teens


Family Bowling

When my daughters, Skye and Zowie, were younger, we used to go bowling. I do not bowl because of a back injury, so I always kept score. They loved playing against each other, and a little friendly competition never hurt anyone.

We would spend time together before and after bowling by walking there and back. They would bowl, and even created their own victory dances. We all had a great time.

Before heading home, we would go to the pizza place for lunch or dinner. This allowed us even more time to connect. Many things were discussed during these times together, and I will cherish the memories together.

Even when they were younger teenagers, they loved this tradition. We would go at the change of every season so that we could all be looking forward to it. As they got older, we began inviting one or more of their friends along with us, which allowed me to catch up with them as well.

Shannon

P.S. What is a family tradition that you and your child(ren) have? Discuss this with us in the comments section. Thank you.

Other Articles of Interest:

Resources for Single Mothers: Raising Teenagers

What Chores can My Children Do?