I am eagerly awaiting my eldest daughter’s Christmas package, which should come in this week or next. She mentioned handmade gifts, which really mean a lot more to me than anything you can find in a store.
Take my Little Wooden Boxes post on The Deadly Nightshade for example. I had a lot of fun designing that box. I’m going to get Emily in on the act and she could give them to her friends, filled with candy or gumballs or little figurines if she wanted.
I introduced the idea of handmade presents to Emily this year, although we have done crafts and given them as gifts in years past (mainly when she was a baby – handprints on Daddy’s Father’s Day t-shirt comes to mind). We were in Michael’s Crafts and I noticed a plain cardboard frame. “Hey Emily, would you like to decorate this frame and give it to Daddy for Christmas?”
Her eyes lit up and we added it to the cart. When we got home, we pulled out some paints and got to work. Here is her masterpiece…
She insisted on decorating the middle, although the photo will cover it up. I told her that Daddy can take it to work and put it on his desk. This made her grin and I know Dave will appreciate her hard work for a long time to come!
Making it handmade sends a couple of messages that are very important to me to impress upon Emily…
- Gift giving is not about spending money, it is about giving love
- Spending the time to craft something is worth far more in the long run
Think about how many ways your kids can make their own presents, even at a young age, that will not only be thoughtful gifts, but build the gift-giver’s self-esteem. Foster that “I can do it!” mentality as often as possible.
I still have many of my eldest daughter’s gifts from kindergarten and beyond. The ones I value the most are the ones she made me.
Here are just a few crafty areas to consider:
- Art projects
- Stories, letters or poems
- Fiber crafts
- Hand-crafted books
- Silk-screened or painted items
- Bath salts and body products
- Baked foods, homemade candies, or ‘crafty jars’ with ready-to-make foods
And so much more!
Post some of your thoughts or suggestions over in the forum!