Our parent’s always said, “The best gifts are homemade”.
While we know they are right, sometimes it is difficult to muster the energy to oversee your child working on a homemade gift. Here are some ideas that vary in level of difficulty but are guaranteed to be gifts that you or a lucky grandparents will want to save:
For Young Children:
- Suggest they write about or draw a picture of the three favorite things they enjoy doing with the person for whom they are making the gift. (You may need to annotate an illustration done by a very young child.) When you provide supplies, consider how this item will be stored. If you have two or three children then you might want to provide paper that will fit in a notebook or scrapbook–easy to add as well as store over the years.
- If you’re up to more active supervision, a “handprint” apron is definitely a keeper. Purchase plain white aprons and tempra paint, and set aside a couple of hours for a very messy project! My daughters and I made them for the grandmothers, and one for me, too, and I have to say it’s one of my favorite things in the world!
- Let them tell their own story. What is their favorite family memory? They could document it in writing, in a scrapbook, or via video. In any form, the gift will be a priceless “keeper”.
- Encourage them to prepare a Family History, and it can be a one gift for all. The child who is into video can tape family members’ memories; the writer can interview relatives and write it up. To make the project more do-able think of one specific subject as a focus. This year it could be “Tell me about your favorite Christmas.” Another year it could be “What was school like when you were little?”
- If they still want to do more, encourage them to give the gift of time. Let them provide a family member with certificates for “1 hour of yard work” or “1 hour of babysitting” or 5 days of helping with dinner.
- As a family, participate in something that helps others in your community. Whether it’s buying or donating gifts for a toy drive or volunteering to work as a family to help serve a community meal at a church or soup kitchen, this type of activity offers an ideal opportunity to talk with them about the real meaning of Christmas.