Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Christmas ideas

Learn fun and easy gift-giving ideas you can make!

My family decided to scale back Christmas this year. It seems to be getting out of hand and we really don't need more *stuff*. Most importantly, we wanted to make sure the true meaning of Christmas was vividly apparent during our celebration, not the commercialism that is so abundant. So in our quest to change things up a bit, we decided that we're going to try to include more handmade gifts under our tree.

At first we got a few wrinkled noses from the kids, but within minutes they were all very excited and making lists of what they could make each family member. Personally I wish my children were getting more handmade items from us, but when we decided this it was already mid November and being the planner I am, I already had several things purchased. What is really excited (at least to me), is my in-laws are participating too and we're only exchanging handmade things with each other.

Thankfully my husband has great mechanical and woodworking skills, so it won't be just me in my little sweatshop cranking out gifts - yep he's helping too, yeah! We'll also be making some things in the kitchen and the kids are excited about that (best to start them in the kitchen early, I hope their spouses thank me for that someday! LOL).

With all that, I wanted to share with you a blog that has lots of great, simple ideas for handmade gifts. If you're venturing down this road, you'll want to check it out ~ You Can Make This Blog. There are even short video clips too! Another blog with lots of ideas is Sew Mama Sew Blog in the handmade holidays section.

So what am I making you might wonder. I have pajamas all cut out for the kids for their Christmas Eve gift plus everyone is getting a few new sets under the tree. I also will be making them pillows, which I'll share with when I'm done. I made one for a baby gift and it turned out so cute. I have other ideas churning in my head and will share things as they are completed.

So are you making any Christmas gifts? Do you limit the number of gifts you give your children or do you have a set dollar amount? Share with me. The whole theory of scaling back is harder when the kids are bigger. They have expectations, but quite frankly I'm tired of this nonsense and so is my husband. We keep reminding them so hopefully there won't be any long faces on Christmas morning. I would like to think this is the beginning of a new season at our home, hopefully one we will continue to carry on for years to come (sounds like the ending of a Hallmark movie, huh?).


Edris said...

I love it! I plan to make my kids some items too. How much plastic items do they really need. I plan to get them one or two "special" store bought gifts and beyond that handmade. I love the gift ideas at Sew Mama Sew as well. Good luck and enjoy your holidays.

Amanda said...

My kids are still young (3 and 2) and I was just having a similar conversation with myself, trying to decide if I'd gotten them "enough". I did make them several of their gifts, and was wondering to myself if the homemade gifts "counted".

I finally decided that now is the time to keep things small. Not that I'm saying I'm a Scrooge or anything, but rather, I shouldn't out-do myself now, b/c I'm setting the standard for future years. I can always go bigger in future years, but it would be much more difficult to scale back after the precident was set.

But I'm still trying to decide if my homemade gifts "count", lol.

katherine h said...

We just had our bookclub Christmas meeting. This year we decided to re-gift a present or item or book that we no longer had a need for, rather than purchase a new present. Then we play a game where we haggle over which gift everyone ends up with. It is a lot of fun and we found that people ended up with presents that they liked better than the years we rush to the shops to get something at the last minute. We donated the money we saved on presents to a charity. Handmade is good, but sometimes the time factor involved to make all the presents can become stressful. Obviously you can't regift a horrible vase back to a favourite Aunt that gave it to you...but it is something your children could do for each other, especially if it is turned into a game.

kr said...

Every year we give to the Shoe Box ministries. They collect the boxes the week before thanksgiving so that's when our christmas holiday seems to start. I take the boys to the store and we go through out list trying to find the right toy, shirt, personal items, and candy to pack into a shoebox.

Every year we also make hundreds of dozens of cookies, package them up nicely in tins or christmas bags, don our santa hats and bells, and we go from house to house on our street ringing the bells and wishing our neighbors merry christmas as we hand them a small cookie tin gift. We also deliver to the post office. My boys are 12 and 14 and will still do this even though it's "oh moooom!!" when it's time for the hats.

This year we decided to forego some of our christmas gifts so that we could give money to some families that are really struggling this year.

We feel that doing for others during the holiday season makes us think of others.

For ourselves, we don't decorate elaborately...just a few of our favorites. We also have favorite stories that we read at this time of year. One of the books is entitled something like "If You're Missing Baby Jesus". I always get the title wrong. And Treasures of the Snow.

For gifts, it's the newest Jonathan Park cd and a large (but not too large, or rather expensive) lego set.

Amanda said...

Katherine H, that sounds a bit similar to what my extended family does for Christmas. We used to exchange names, but there's so many of us, that that became impractical. Now, those of us who want to, make a homemade gift. Those gifts are wrapped and thrown in the center of the room. We draw to see who "picks" first. Swapping ensues from there. It's a game, and a lot of fun.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

My family is too large to exchange gifts. Those who are together have a holiday meal which is nice. And we do exchange home-made items like jelly, jam, cookies. We draw names for 1 child (I have many nieces & nephews) and buy 1 $25 gift for that child. My husbands family - they exchange gifts, big time! My son is 6 and he knows I always buy him some clothes - it isn't all about gifts. And we like to make cookies. But, yes - Legos are on the list this year. He gets his new snow suit usually after Christmas when they go on sale, and he knows that. Good luck with your new plan. Cheers! Evelyn

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Anonymous said...

Hi Melissa. I try to make something for all the kids in my family and friends circle. This year, I just had no time so I ended up buying. Just PJs and I will be making them CDs like I did last year. My girls get 3 gifts each. Clothes from me, a wish list item from me and a wish list item from Santa. I don't have a price limit but buy within what I feel is reasonable for the time and child. For me, it's more about them not expecting A LOT of gifts and being satisfied with what they do get. We talk about kids who don't have and go without and participate in a toy drive. Try explaining THAT to Santa believers!

Nishant said...

I love the gift ideas at Sew Mama Sew as well. Good luck and enjoy your holidays.

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