Make Christmas Gifts Giving Stress-Free
Now, I love Christmas – always have. But I must admit, as my family grew (I’m so blessed; 4 kids and 5 grand-kids now!) it was becoming stressful to continue to spend the amount of money I was accustomed to spending on each one. Then there’s the stress of, will they like it, did I get the right color . . .the list is as long as the shopping list!
Thank goodness my kids have opted out of the mass-hysteria that surrounds Christmas. They’re playing the whole thing down; limiting the number of gifts, favoring simple hand-made gifts for their children (granted, they’re all under 4 1/2) and organizing get-togethers with their siblings and friends rather than gift exchanges.
This, they feel, will teach the little ones to value what they have – and I must say I agree and have happily leaped onto their bandwagon. For example, gently used books available on Amazon are welcomed – so are hand-made stuffed animals and other toys. Even grandparents are asked to pass on the noisy battery driven toys in favor of the ones that run on a child’s imagination.
Let me tell you, this has certainly taken the pressure off! I’ve cut my Christmas shopping costs in half, and feel very confident the gifts I’ve chosen will be well received.
You can make Christmas gifts simple or elaborate. Coupons for babysitting would be welcomed by any parents, for example. And how about a bath basket for a harried mom? Some bath-salts, soothing music, a scented candle and maybe a gently used book could be just the thing to encourage her to carve out some ‘me time’. Cookie mixes in a jar, pre-made by you, would also be a welcome addition to most households and takes only minutes to prepare.
Stuck for ideas? Ask yourself what you’d want, if you were them. Remember having no time for yourself, or your partner? How great would it be if someone offered to babysit, especially if it was accompanied by a decadent dinner for 2 (made by you).
For the junior set, how about homemade kits, such as a box of craft supplies for the young artist. Or a rainbow of homemade play dough.
You can take this home-spun Christmas even further – I remember making wrapping paper from craft paper with my kids. We carved shapes into 1/2 potatoes, dipped them in ink and stamped the paper with these homemade stencils. The kids loved them!
We also had countless hours of fun with salt bread dough – working them into shapes (like play dough) and baking, then painting them. We pierced them, then were able to hang them from the tree.
The point is, we are not here to be consumers – even thought the media would tend to disagree! Do you want to make memories, or more debt?
So why not give it a try this year – make Christmas gifts giving fun again!
Do you have a favorite homemade Christmas gift idea? Feel free to add it in the comments!
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