In the summer, my family decided to do something different this Christmas. My family consists of myself, my husband, my adult daughter and her family, and my adult son and his girlfriend. My brother usually comes to our place for Christmas also. We all have so much stuff, and it just becomes such a chore to try and find gifts we want and need….that do not cost hundreds of dollars this just seemed to make a lot of sense. Most of us are crafty, and if we aren’t, we are certainly thrifty.
So… we decided that all gifts given will be either made by us, or thrifted or things that we are re-gifting. ( uhhh ohhh….mom is cleaning out the basement again) We also decided to include gifts bought from other homemade businesses.
I mentioned this to a few people…and they looked at me funny and thought it was kind of strange. In actuality it has turned into such an easy way for me ( at least) to get ready for Christmas. It has taken a fair amount of stress out of it for me. I get to concentrate on the fun of finding and making things that everyone will like and appreciate OR that will at least get a laugh. I am not searching the stores looking for the right thing….with 10,000 other cranky people searching for the perfect thing, that we all know will end up in a closet or re-gifted anyway.
My husband and I had some great fun over the summer, finding some very unique and interesting items at garage sales that will be perfect for my brother and son in law! We just started a bag, and as we found things we put them in. Christmas morning is bound to bring some giggles. Of course for them we will probably also give them a DIY kit that they can make themselves. The kit will include some sort of glass or mug from the thrift store, a bottle of pop, a bottle of rye and a bag of ice.
The grandchildren, who are 6&8 are excited, and of course at this age they are so creative! I think it gives them a real sense of family, as they consider what everyone would like, and I like to think it gives them the true meaning of Christmas….which is not racing through Walmart looking for something…anything to give to Grandpa. My granddaughter, Lilli was so excited to sew something for her mom. We picked some fabrics and she really got into how excited her mom would be, and that her mom would probably even cry when she opened it.
When it comes to what I am doing for them, my grandson, KP, awhile ago asked me for a new quilt, because his baby quilt that I made him is way to small. His mom had saved all his cute t-shirts over the years, so I used those shirts along with some Star Wars flannel and I made him a warm and cozy rag quilt. It is big enough for 2 people to snuggle under and I am sure there will be lots of movies watched under it.
I also made them each some cute hoodies. They always like the things I make for them as they like having one of a kind sweaters and hoodies.
Kp’s lion hoodie. It is always harder sewing cool stuff for boys!
I forgot I ordered some fabrics…so Lilli gets 2!
I also plan on getting them books, maybe a video, and art supplies as well.
One trip to Value Village, or watching the Facebook Buy and Sell pages and it’s easy to get great new books, toys or videos for next to nothing prices. Because realistically, things like that are going to end up back on the buy and sell or in Value Village in several months anyway. I also sometimes buy them an experience. Movie tickets, swim passes, or something similar.
I do try and stick to the simple rule when doing Christmas for the kids.
*Something they want
*Something they need
*Something to wear
*Something to read
This may not seem like a lot… but in reality my grandkids, and I am sure yours too have a lot of things, and Christmas can just add to the chaos and clutter that most people’s homes contain. They are just as happy with special gifts they helped work on, or that someone made for them or gifts that allow them to spend more time with their family. If children are not happy with this on Christmas morning, you are truly not doing your job and failing them as a parent. I love how my granddaughter always says ‘ my favorite part of Christmas is having my whole family around me, I don’t even care about presents”.
I am still busy working on some other gifts for my big kids. I have found a few great kitchen items including a beautiful orange Le Creuset cast iron dutch oven for $3.00! One of them is also getting new pillows, since I did spend the night at their house, and its something they need. Used pillows would be just gross, so I did purchase new pillows and will make them some pillow cases. I also still have a quilt to make using fabrics that will suit their personality. Some other ideas are always food, pickles, jams, cookies, or cookies in a jar type of gifts.
For our family…this way of doing of Christmas just makes it a bit more personal, as well as way less expensive! Everyone fully expects that they will be getting some that has been re-gifted or thrifted, or even homemade. I am looking forward to it. The Littles are busy planning their making, and I hear they have some interesting ideas for us.
What about your family… is this something you do or would try? I would love to hear it.