In the spiritual of the holidays, I plan to use this time with my daughter in making gifts for family members, that aren't cheesy.
Baby's first holiday season is more for the parents than anything else. A baby first holiday ornament is a sweet gift, especially hand made.
I used flat wooden circle cut outs, with a hole drilled through on top. The sleeping babies are made of plaster, shaped by a chocolate mold. I used acrylic paint for both the wood and plaster and sealed with a spray varnish.
This is not the only way to make a baby ornament. However when making the ornament, make sure they are light enough to be put on the tree. With wooden and other light items, you want to add a little weight to avoid the ornament flipping.
People always love sentimental items, but never undermine something practical. If you have some sewing skills, you may want to try making a Washcloth Puppet. Put a bottle of baby bath soap inside the finished product. It adds a nice touch!
Have an old piece of furniture you don't need? Try converting it into a play station for your toddler through most of elementary school child, that could eventually become storage furniture when they become teens. Play stations could be mini kitchens, sensory play with sand, water and other creative textures, pretend stores and restaurants, science lab, etc....
If your play station includes toy food, you could create some toy food, by recycling old food containers that can be used for the set. It will add realistic touch. Please remove anything that could be a choking hazard or other kind of danger. Do not use glass or other material that could be sharp, break down, or other risk. Plastic containers work best. Empty tubs, plastic bottles with the bottle cap glued shut, mini empty cereal boxes, etc... Are all great items for mini kitchens, restaurants, stores, that can add to the imagination of a young mind!
Tip: fill up storage area in the toy with gifts related toys, wrapped up in some way. Children love finding surprises!
The gift of Story!
For those who have an interesting age appropriate story to tell, why give it. You could create a physical book or create story online they can access. The story could be true or not, but keep in mind who you are writing too.
If writing isn't your skill, record yourself reading a book as a gift. Your voice will bring a child comfort and familiarity. This wonderful if you have a long distance relationship with a child. Like parents of divorce, military, out of state, separated for whatever reasons, its a great way for you to connect with that distant child close to your heart!
Musical parents can always share the gift of Song. Do not ever undermine such a precious gift. Having worked in healthcare for over decade, I can tell you what people remember the most of their parents isn't the toys they got, but the little things, like what they smelled like, the touch of their skin and the sound of their voice. They also remember the songs their parents listened to or taught them. Even if the gift isn't as well received right away, its a gift they will love in their golden years. It's a love investment!
If you are not the parent you could encourage a parent into doing this by showing them how to record themselves or simply teach them a song. They don't have to be great, just themselves.
Not all of you have little babies, adventurous preschoolers or ever growing elementary schoolers. Some of you have teenagers and even adult children. Do not fear, there are lots of home made gifts for teenagers to seniors.
|My first attempt of a Yule Log! Yule of 2014!|
Another powerful sense I mentioned before in suggestion to preform music, sense of smell, so keeping the home smelling good. One way you as a parent or well meaning friend can bring is good food! You could make it yourself or create a gift with the ingredients and the recipe! Bake goods are common, but that doesn't mean you are limited to them. Families enjoy dips, soups, beverages, as well as bread's, cookies, cakes, etc... These little treats will have a lasting effect on their young lives!
Have an artist? Why not make them an art kit? Paint can be created in a variety of ways. For younger children, a simple finger paint . For older children and adults you want to try water color paint's or watch the video for metallic paint's, both water color and acrylic.
You could also make an easel or art supply carrier. There is a lot you can give the artist in your life.
Makeup can be worn by either gender, but is a matter of preference. For those who do wear it, most of the stuff from the stores causes premature aging. Making Natural Makeup is a wonderful gift for a young adult and up. You can order brushes and containers cheaper than buying the damaging and expensive over the counter brands.
Many young people walk a lot, backpack's are often vital. Especially when you add secret compartments to hid money. You don't necessarily have to make a backpack, but find creative ways to add hidden compartments. Also teenagers often need basic supplies, like hygiene products, food, supplies for their interest like sports or the arts, clothing like underwear and socks and other items they tend to go through fast. So adding some items to this gift is rather thoughtful.
Theses a great gift to give to those going away to school. I call this the College Gift Bag. It often contains some of the following inside the backpack or other piratical container. I suggest a little of each category.
Shampoo and Conditioner (unless you KNOW the person doesn't use both, always give as a set.)
Toothbrushes (more than one)
Tampons or Pads for ladies ( When putting together your gift, you don't have to make this part of the gift visible right away. Put the box under other items to raise their11 height for display. It will be a nice surprise when the woman you give it too actually goes through it. BTW if you don't know her preferences just give her something else.)
Razors (Men and Women use them!)
First Aide Kit
Water Shoes (Great for public showers)
Dishes (usually single setting)
Mug (regular or travel)
Shot glass for 21 and up
Cereal/Ice Cream Bowl
Avoid* glass and other delicate material.
Clothing (comfort is key)
Underwear (apply the same kind of etiquette as you would giving Tampons or Pads to underwear for both genders)
Sweatshirts and Hoodies
Sweat pants or shorts
Stationary or School Supplies
Crayons (gotta have some fun!)
Food (remember NONPERISHABLE)
Single Serving Cereal
Coffee/Tea/Hot Coco (Pair with mug)
The toppings of an Ice Cream Sunday (Pair with Bowl)
Baked goods (Cookies and brownies work best. Make sure they are securely enclosed inside the gift)
Travel size snacks
Old belongs (teddy bear)
Items that smell like home.
Pocket Knife (Mature only)
Wallet (put at least a gift card or a little cash inside)
Room Decor (Posters, Wall Stickers, Picture Frames)
Sewing needle and thread
Pagan Teen or Young Adult
Avoid* items that burn like candles and incense for those living in dorm rooms.
For older family members like your children grandparents, items involving pictures of your children are always great! Mugs, coasters, calendars, albums, etc.. are usually appreciated. Your kids grow every year. So try a rotating the different craft over the years with new pictures.
Homemade candles are always popular. Just make sure the person knows how to use candles responsibly.
Everyone could use a blanket and there are many easy and inexpensive ways to make them!
Another item that makes a great gift are herbal heating pads and eye mask. These are insanely easy to make, you will never waste money buying one again! Here you can look up aromatherapy options that can help from insomnia to soar muscles.
I hope you enjoy creating something special for your loved one that will be as unique as you are.
Modern Pagan Parents!
***Warning, please caution with anything you create. Make sure anything you create is safe and will not cause injury/death if access to the recommended age, when used appropriately and seek expert advice if you are not sure.