Handcrafted Holidays!

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6:00 AM
Handcrafted Holidays!

    When my husband and I were first married, we were poor.  We both came from large families and didn't have any extra money to spend on Christmas presents.  We still wanted to give to our families and loved ones, but had to find creative and cost effective ways of gift giving.  This began our tradition of the Handcrafted Holidays.  We've done extensive treasure boxes made entirely of free scrap wood...to simple painted rocks and ornaments.  It's been going 13 years in the making, and I dare say that family members anticipate what we'll come up with for the next year.  Now, even though we could afford more in our budget, we still opt for homemade gifts for the holidays.

    Whether you draw family names, give to everyone in the family, pass out gifts to neighbors and friends, or secretly deliver gifts as a surprise to those in need, handcrafted gifts can be the highlight of the season!  Try having a handcrafted holiday in your home this year.  There are many benefits to a handmade holiday.  Gifts are more personal, there is quality time spent to make the gifts and they can be very eco-friendly and cost effective.   They are also highly treasured, years after electronics break or bikes are outgrown...we can still see those
cherished handmade gifts.

    Here's how we do the holidays at my house:

    I have 3 children now ranging in ages from 6 to 12.  They each wrap a gift for each other for Christmas morning.  The gift is handmade by them.  About this time of year I tell my children to be thinking of what they want to make for their siblings.  This keeps them occupied thinking of ideas for others and not focusing on making lists for themselves. 

    Each child gets a date time/night with mom to make something fun for their siblings.  The projects vary based on the child's skills, ranging in using a sewing machine or power tools to painting a little clay ornament.  While the other children sleep or go to their rooms to read, the highlighted child finishes their project and wraps them up. Taking time out of the holiday bustle to just spend one-on-one time together is the true part of the holidays that children will remember into their adulthood. But the kids are beyond thrilled and can hardly keep it a secret until Christmas morning.  Again, making Christmas more about what they give to others than what they get.

    I asked my 12 year old son what he thought about handmade gifts, his response was "buying something is nice, but when you make something {they} know you put time into it just for them."  Last year for Christmas he used fleece, felt, cotton batting and the sewing machine to make plush toys for everyone.  He was thrilled to show off his handiwork on Christmas morning.

 Super Mario Brother Lumas

 Angry Bird Plushies!

 My daughter completed her first sewing project last year when she made a tool belt for her little brother.  She was so proud of herself for making it, and so excited for him to open it on Christmas morning.  And she has been rewarded all year long every time that little boy put on his tool belt and packed it full of toys to play with.  On the flip side, he's hardly played with the Transformers that Santa brought him.  

Tool Belt!
    Children love to give and just need the tools to give something they are proud of to the people they love for the holidays.   

Take a quick stop down the craft and creative aisles and create the best handcrafted holiday with your family this year, and they will anticipate it for years to come!

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This post published on Doodlecraft first


Price family said…
In the pic of your son with santa how recent was that? my dad is in the military and we live in Korea