Christmas will soon be here and perhaps you’re wondering exactly how you’re going to find the money to buy all the gifts you need to buy before Christmas. As a parent, I know that it can be difficult to stretch the budget at this time of year.
It is possible to save money if you decide to create your gifts by hand and creating crafts together with your children can be a very rewarding experience. It’s can also be very time consuming! Before you decide to have a crafty Christmas, it’s best to honestly evaluate the amount of time and your crafting abilities. Also be aware that there are people who honestly don’t care for handmade gifts. Yes, for some people, nothing says “love” like an expensive professionally wrapped gift from a high end department store. In order to avoid disappointment for yourself and for your relative or friend, it’s best to not gift this person with a handmade item. There are other people, however, who would absolutely be thrilled to receive a handmade gift!
If you are considering creating handmade gifts, here are some quick and easy ideas for gifts that you can create by hand with your children.
The elderly lady who lived across the street made my girls macramé handbags for Christmas last year. You may have never heard of macramé-it is the art of knotting cords together to make patterns with the cords. It’s not too difficult, but the results are beautiful! My children still use those purses regularly.
Make a Shawl
One of the best Christmas gifts I ever received was from a dear friend who had long hair goats. She’d actually used the goat hair to make her own yarn and then knitted me a shawl from that yarn!
Even if you don’t have your own spinning wheel and can’t make your own yarn, you can still make a shawl from soft mohair yarn as they sell it at most craft stores. This is a great simple, yet elegant gift idea. Although I live 10 hours away from my dear friend now, I think of her each time I put on that shawl!
Make a Potholder
Even young children love to make potholders! My children love to make potholders for their grandmother’s and aunts using colors which complement their kitchen colors. It’s a great idea and also improves fine motor skills. Yes, weaving potholders is a sneaky way to help your children improve their handwriting skills!
Many people really enjoy homemade baked goods or kitchen gifts. You and your children could make pumpkin bread or banana bread in a nice ceramic container and give it to a relative or friend for the holidays. Cookies are always appreciated too!
For many years, we made homemade candy and gave our creations to our neighbors and friends. Some recipes are very simple but taste delicious.
It’s also possible to make great jar mixes to give as gifts. Perhaps you are wondering exactly what a “jar mix” is. A jar mix is a mix (for cookies, hot cocoa, brownies, soup or other baked goods) that is put in a decorative glass jar and given as a gift. You may have seen jar mixes in the gift aisle of some stores, and you can purchase them there. You can also purchase jars and mix ingredients in quantity and make a bunch of jar mix gifts at a very affordable price.
Check out this website for different jar mix recipes!
Every year when I was little, the neighborhood children would exchange Christmas ornaments as gifts. Not only were they fun to make, but they were inexpensive as well. We had so much fun as children exchanging ornaments that I’ve continued the tradition with a twist!
Last year after we’d gone Christmas caroling, we invited the neighborhood children back to our house to make toy soldier ornaments out of clothespins. The kids had a great time and many of them told me that they were going to wrap up their ornaments to give to their parents on Christmas. We’re planning on doing the same thing this year.
I hope that after reading this post, you are encouraged and inspired to consider having a homemade Christmas. Also, I’d love to hear about any great handmade gifts that you’ve given or received!