I'll be honest, the money saving aspect isn't a total stretch from the few years prior. Last year, I shopped mostly at the Dollar Store and 99cent store for their gifts. I bought puzzles, small games, books, and other fun things that cost no more than a dollar. I was able to spend more on food, decorations and
Of course, the first year I went cheap Luciana's dad bought her two of every girl's top gifts. A Barbie Dream house and a new puppy. A PUPPY!
These days, a lot of people are defining the way their families are celebrating holidays, and Christmas seems to be the major one. Some people don't buy any gifts, buy one special gift, or find some other way to focus on the aspect of Christmas that is most important to them. Then again, some people just celebrate in the most traditional way possible and that is how I grew up. We had lots of awesome gifts and stocking stuffers every single Christmas up until, well, now that I think of it, my dad still tries to do it for us. Of course now our "toys" are quite different, so he usually buys us one special thing we want, or something he knows we can use. What makes it like the old traditions we had growing up, is that he still will give us a bag of stocking stuffers. It's usually a mix of our favorite snacks and candy. Having my own family, this is what I have been doing for the last 7 years of being a parent. I think all of the variations of Christmas holiday traditions are great. Whether you make your own changes to instill certain values, make it extra special, or have to make changes and sacrifices out of necessity, creating memories of Christmas traditions will never be forgotten. I love the holidays so much. Not because I get things or because I stuff myself silly, but because the traditions are so familiar and really do bring happiness to my heart.
Tamale making is one of my most favorite family traditions. We start them young.
So, we are doing a radical thing for Christmas this year. We will be giving the kids nothing but homemade Christmas gifts this year. For some of you, this might not be so radical, but for us, it is. One of the reasons we liked buying extremely cheap gifts is because we love to watch the kids open gift after gift and get excited about the amount of gifts that are stuffed under the tree. Yes, we are probably instilling an attitude of entitlement and greed, but hey, what is the Christmas holiday without a few grinches? Of course, I'm joking. Our goal this year is to see the same joy every child gets when they get a present, but to hopefully give them things that can bring them joy on many levels. My mom made this, my dad made this. I should take care of this and keep this forever because it was made especially for me. Now, let's be honest, we are raising kids here, not aesthetic monks. I am sure we will hear at least a few complaints of the but-I-asked-for-this, why-did-she-get-that-and-I-didn't, why- do-you-love-the-baby-more-than-me, type complaints. And for the record I love the baby more because she can't talk back yet, obviously. But you know what? I can handle the complaints. They will end quickly. Soon after, they will be thumbing through the books we made, rearranging the furniture of their dollhouse, and asking for help with learning to the play the new game they got. It will all fall into place.
Talking Dad into it wasn't too bad. His eyebrows kinda moved in a funny direction at first, but then he started to see my point. Or maybe he just saw my determination. Either way, he's down with the plan. Although, he has gotten me to agree to have a few select items purchased still. I think he was thinking a good family board game or perhaps a new game for the Kinect that we have been putting off buying. Then I thought, we could make these our "From Santa" gifts. I mean, we all know elves don't "craft" anymore these days.
So, there it is. Our radical Christmas plans. This week I started the planning and a bit of the shopping for materials. I hope I can push myself through each project and I hope they all turn out nice. I will be sharing my progress and a few of the projects in case anyone else out there is looking for ideas, too. I have been scouring the internet and have found some awesome ideas and I am beyond excited to combine my new found love for crafting with my deep rooted love for bringing joy to my children's hearts. I'm such a lovely person, aren't I? Stay tuned, more to come!
Here are a few questions for you: What are your favorite go-to crafting sites? Do you know any great ideas that you would like to share for a homemade Christmas gift for children?