By Peggy Tee ©
In these commercial times, it can be easy to lose sight of the true spirit and meaning of Christmas. An easy way to bring the focus back, especially for your children, is to create handmade gifts to give away instead of simply buying off-the-shelf items from the shops. This involves the children in the gift giving and creates an activity that the whole family can partake in. What’s more, a handmade gift is a thoughtful and touching gesture, and will be treasured by its recipient for years to come.
It can be sculpture, painting or even music – bring out your child’s talents to create some personalized gifts for Christmas. Modeling clay can be formed into useful jars, mugs, vases, then baked hard in the oven and decorated with ribbons or paint. If your child likes painting or drawing, encourage him or her to unleash some creativity on canvas or art block paper via crayon, paint or colored pencils. You can make some frames using black cardboard, or pop them into some ready made frames from your local art shop. Lastly if your child plays the piano, the violin or loves singing, create a mix tape by recording their performances on the computer or via a tape recorder and send out copies on CDs to family members as gifts.
Christmas snow globes
You will require some clean, empty glass jars with air tight lids, glitter or confetti, decorative figures, epoxy glue, water and a ribbon for the lid. Secure your figurine to the bottom of the jar. While it dries, encourage your child to decorate the lid of the jar using ribbons, paper or paint. Once the glue is dry, let your child fill the jar with water up to two thirds full, then sprinkle confetti or glitter into snow globe. Brush on some glue on the edge of the lid and screw it onto the jar tightly to prevent spillage. These are wonderful little presents and are bound to bring a smile to friends and family who receive them.
For this present you will need to provide your child with felt material in different colors. Using a template cut out from stiff cardboard, draw Christmas trees, reindeer or gift boxes onto the felt. Cut these shapes out then decorate using marker pens or by gluing on beads, different colored felt or tying on ribbons. Punch a hole at the top of the shape and thread ribbons through. These bookmarks are fun, easy to make and are a practical gift for any book lover.
An easy gift to make and give is treats. Your child will need your help in the kitchen for this project. Bake batches of cookies in season flavors like ginger nut or perennial flavor favorites, chocolate chip. Ice these with Christmas designs then box and tie up with colorful ribbons. Christmas cupcakes are also lovely gifts and your children will enjoy icing these creations. Fruitcake is a traditional gift during the holiday seasons. These edible presents are easy to make and will be welcome by all.