The best Christmas memories are made by hand.
And if that is true, then perhaps the worst Christmas memories are those made when we spend the majority of the holiday season in department stores without our children, trying to purchase toys that will be played with for a few days and then forgotten.
I love gifts, and giving them is important to me, but often the gift that our children most long for is the gift of our undistracted time.
On the other hand, many of us envision making things by hand as just another distraction from our children. When these gifts are difficult projects that must be done solo, we are again forced to choose between time with our children, or time doing something for them, but not with them.
Last Christmas, I did spend a few hours away from my children. We had a theme of "used or homemade" for Christmas gifts which meant that I would take a few children at a time to hit up thrift stores, or I was sewing simple gifts for them such as capes and doll blankets.
This year, we are forgoing elaborate (or thrifted) gifts that our children will open in favor of an ultimate field trip. We are heading to Africa at the first of the year to do ministry to children and families, with a stop in Ireland on our way to celebrate Christmas with a beloved aunt and uncle.
However, we still want to have a few gifts on hand for grandparents and friends, and since this year we are on a tight budget we chose to make a few of these gifts.
These are a few of the simple gifts that we made;
Rolled Beeswax Candles
- Carefully cut your beeswax sheets in half lengthwise.
- Cut your candle wick to fit.
- Place wick at the edge of the beeswax and carefully fold over the first roll.
- Finish rolling tightly.
Our two sheets of beeswax made 4 thick candles. You could also cut the beeswax in thirds for thinner candles or cut in quarters for short candles.
Essential Oil Bath Salts
Soaking in bath salts is a great way to supplement your body with magnesium and get better sleep.
Christmas fabric and ribbon
- Pour your epsom salt into a large bowl. You could also add himalayan pink salt, dead sea salt, or other mineral rich salts.
- Add about 15 drops lavender essential oil.
- Stir well to combine.
- Use a scoop to pour bath salts into jars.
- Cut circles from your holiday fabric that are slightly larger than your jar lid. We used a gallon size jar lid as a template.
- Place fabric over lid and then screw on jar ring.
- Tie ribbon around jar ring and add a gift tag if desired.
There are loads of other possibilities for homemade gifts, bean soup in a jar, cloth doll, a simple cape, or even potted plants such as geraniums that you start from a cutting.
We can turn the tide on Christmas expectations, and create a holiday celebration that is defined by precious moments spent with our loved ones.
Do you want more alternatives to shopping this Christmas (or online shopping alternatives)? Check out this post
If you are struggling to figure out how you can pay for Christmas, please check out my new course, Bountiful Homeschooling. When you use code, "Budget" the course is only $18 and all proceeds go to a project we are doing in Tanzania, Africa this January. Not only do you get inexpensive help with your budget, but your purchase goes towards helping others.
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