I have never understood the fascination that many have of going out shopping the day after Thanksgiving. Yes, there are great sales, but the size of crowds and traffic alone is enough to make me cringe. I have tried it a couple of times, years ago, and hated it. Maybe because I went out alone, or maybe because I didn’t really have a plan to make it fun. Either way, I have found myself thinking now that I am glad that I don’t put myself through that.
What I am doing is making the gifts at home or ordering online. I find it much more satisfying and calming to my spirit to avoid the crowds. I am lucky to have people around me who also enjoy receiving the handmade gifts. Rarely have I had someone be too snooty to accept something handmade. On the rare occasions when that has happened over the years, I just make mental note to never make them anything homemade again. If anything, they will get a little gift card so that they can buy what they want.
One thing that I have been trying to instill in our children is the importance of giving of oneself through your time and talents. With that in mind, I am teaching them to also make their gifts. It is fun to watch them work on a project that takes several days (or longer) to complete. The pride that Little Miss feels when she finishes the item and gives it to the recipient of the gift is a joy to see. Likewise, I am so grateful that the gifts are well received and the children are praised for their efforts.
There are many gift ideas that you can find on Pinterest and other online resources that will give you examples of things kids can make. These are not just the cutesy crafts but you can find meaningful gifts that can be used for a purpose. A project that the kids are working on is to make an ornament for each person they make a gift for. The ornaments that they are making are so cute and easy for them to do. Even Pookie is getting in on it.
The best part of the holiday crafting is that instead of dealing with crowds at stores, we are spending time being creative as a family. That in and of itself is a gift that you cannot replace.