Every year, we try and make as many of our gifts with our own hands. It goes beyond economical for us, though truth be told, that is great incentive..Also, in my opinion, making our own gifts imbues them with so much more meaning and love than anything storebought might provide. I admit that we do purchase some of our presents, but the majority are handcrafted.
As long as I've been a mama, I've made Christmas Eve jammies. Such a fun tradition, and I notice this year, there was so much excitement, that our staircase photo is blurry...but no redos were allowed! I usually just make matching flannel pants, but this year, without being able to spend much money, I looked in my dwindling stash and pieced together jammies from bits here and there. I also made a nightgown for Sunshine. It is obvious I didn't use a pattern, and you can tell by the gaping armholes and neckline. Ah well, it ought to fit for a few years, I reckon.
For the grandparents and aunty, I made a few copies of our favourite recipes. We have quite a restricted diet (on account of Type 1 Diabetes in the family), so suggesting baked goods and meals goes a long way for all of us. And, oh, this was such fun to make! I ordered a custom made binder on-line and printed off recipes on card stock. With the stiffer paper, you can remove a recipe for your counter top without lugging around the whole binder. Also, it is easy to add more recipes as I come across them. I liked how this came out so much I made one for our family, too!
Another great gift were pillowcases for the boys. I've never made pillowcases before, but I'm addicted. We have birthday parties to go to next week, and guess what the gifts will be? They come together so swiftly, and matching fabrics is fun! Forrest is crazy for Star Wars and was over the moon when he saw what our local fabric shop brought in just before the holidays. Huckley is just as crazy for anything pirates, and I just happened to have some flannel in my stash for him.
Finally, the very best gift I made was a simple paper/fabric dolly kit for Sunshine. I drew a girl (not my best!) and stuffed the box with scraps of fabric, notions, ribbons, glue and scissors. She absolutely loves it! I've been meaning to do this for the last few years, and never sat down to make it happen. It came together quite easily and I had fun choosing fabrics to include. Again, I think these would make great birthday gifts.
My kids also got in the spirit of making with carefully constructed pictures, wooden stars, felted ornaments, and sewn costumes for dolls...Perhaps one of the things I want to hold onto the most from our holidays is that feeling of purpose and generosity in making these handmade gifts. They may not always look the way we want, they may not always work out the way we want, but they always, always, come from a place of inspiration and love. And that is just about the best kind of present there is.
*I'll post the knitted handmades next week!