A special part of our Christmás celebration is helping our children develop the attribute of generosity. Looking beyond their own wants and needs and thinking about others is a great way to be more like Christ, and do His work during this special time of year.
One way we have always done that is by having our children exchange gifts. In the past, we have helped them purchase small gifts, but for the last couple years, we have had them create homemade gifts for each other. It has been even more special to see them really give of themselves, and work on something for their siblings.
It was important to me to keep things simple this year, so I made sure that they chose things that they could do (mostly) on their own, and that didn’t require a whole lot of materials or make big messes.
For simplicity’s sake, each child made the same thing for all of their sibling, but they each chose something unique, and they turned out so cute! Here are the five handmade gifts that my children are giving each other this year. I hope they inspire your family to get creative and generous toward one another!
My oldest chose to customize pillowcases for each of her siblings. We bought a multi-pack of white pillowcases on Amazon, and she drew a special design on each one with fabric markers. She spent a lot of time designing and executing these, and it was a true labor of love. She’s had them wrapped and labeled for weeks now (I, on the other hand, haven’t started wrapping…) and she can’t wait to share them with her siblings.
My second daughter dreamed these up on her own. Mini monogrammed plaques for each of her siblings to keep in their rooms. We ordered all the supplies online. Wooden plaques, burlap tape, and decorative sea shells. But what I love about this project is that the options are limitless. These could also make really cute ornaments if you used just one plaque and attached a loop of ribbon or twine.
Don’t tell, but this one might be my favorite. How cute are these little snowman socks? My seven-year-old used fabric markers to make several pairs of customized socks for each sibling. I love how thoughtful she was! This project is so easy, and all you need are some plain white socks and a set of fabric markers!
My son was absolutely delighted to work with me to create these sweet treats for his sisters! They are made of Jolly Ranchers, and so SO simple to do! On parchment paper, line up three Jolly Ranchers for each lollipop, making sure to off set each group so you have room to add the sticks later. Bake for 6-8 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit, then pull them out and press 4 inch lollipop sticks into the melted Jolly Ranchers. Twist the sticks a bit to cover them completely with candy, and put them back in the oven for a minute to make sure they get fully covered. Press and twist again if needed, then allow them to cool for 25 minutes at room temperature. We wrapped them in little cellophane bags and added colorful twist ties to finish them off.
Homemade Play Dough
My two-year-old loves to help make play dough, so I thought it would be fun help her make a batch to share with her siblings. Our very favorite recipe for homemade play dough is below:
Best Ever Play Dough
1 C flour
1 C water
1/4 C salt
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp cream of tartar
Stir ingredients in a pot until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until dough forms a ball. Separate into several balls, add a few drops of food coloring to each one, and knead to reach the desired color. Store in airtight containers.
One more thing we do to make this gift exchange extra special is to do it a day or two before Christmas. That way, these sweet handmade gifts aren’t overshadowed by some of the bigger things we give our kids, and it has become a really special night that everyone looks forward to! Happy creating, and happy gifting!