I finally did. I have been wanting to have a handmade Christmas for a long time, but didn’t think it would really work for the children. The adults in my family have enjoyed it for several years now with each of us trying to come up with something special to make for the others. For example this year I made salted caramel sauce and truffles for my sister and she made us homemade root beer and birch beer. I should say that I am so blessed that I come from a family where handmade is normal. My grandfather loved working with wood and my grandmother started a line of women who sew, knit, crochet, embroider, can, cook from scratch and bake and really anything else they decide to try.
So I was getting a little fed up with the story of Santa Claus. My children were becoming completely focused on what they were getting and as you can imagine the requests were getting more elaborate including this year a pony and an Xbox. I had been telling the children “don’t ask Santa for that because I will tell him no you can’t have it.” Finally we watched a VeggieTales about Saint Nicholas together and I explained the truth. I also told they children I wanted them to focus on giving rather then getting so I looked for projects we could work on together for the children. I found so many options out there that with the exception of legos (one toy I don’t mind splurging on) and a video game we could play together the majority of our Christmas presents were handmade. And the children loved it. They were even excited to see their siblings open their gifts. That is what I want to see. Here are some of our favorites from this year.
I saw these blocks on pinterest and thought they were so cute. I followed the instructions and had them printed on sticker paper about our local print shop. I think these were definitely a favorite for Mavis and Avril to make. I also made the carrying bag.
I saw this dinosaur tail pattern and thought of my little paleontologist. She loves rocks and dinosaurs and her favorite toy is her “Mommy t-rexy.” Obviously it was a hit.
I saw instructions for making magnetic paper dolls and put my own spin on them. I used these dolls but they were not colored so I had lots of fun coloring them with my husband’s art set. I did have difficulty finding the right size tin so I ended up order a tin CD case from etsy. I then had to print the dolls a bit smaller to fit the tin. I think I printed at 65%. I used mode modge to attach a colorful backing paper and then glued the doll parts directly to the tin. I used a roll of magnet I got at Michaels for the clothes. The magnetic canvas had a sticky side so I put the clothes on the sticky side and cut them out. Now I need to make another set so they can play together.
For my littlest man I finally made the “quick change trousers” from Handmade Beginnings. So much fun I made 2.
Other projects were cutting down Cambodian sarongs to fit the girls and a pair of pants for Two.
We also wanted gifts to spark creativity. So Avril got a face painting set and book. She painted Mavis’ face then Proeun did the rest of them. What a fun evening.
For extended family we asked for clothes, books or games. My sister is the queen of games so she helped extend our family game night by giving the kids some of her favorites. So all in all it went pretty well. We still were able to give fun gifts, we didn’t fill our house with things that will break easily and the children were actually excited about their gifts and what was even better for me, they were excited to give each other gifts. Yes we had a very blessed Christmas.