Our Christmas last year was pretty stark…when it comes to gift-giving. César got me nil, I gave César a coupon book that I made (which he still has never used!), and we gave Sofía cozy pajamas and a pink rolling backpack that came with a bear. That’s it. We didn’t even have a tree until my sister-in-law (who was living with us at the time) brought up her 2 1/2 foot tree, and we promptly put it on top of our media storage cabinet. We didn’t want the little terror to become even more of one.
© tashka2000 / Dollar Photo Club
Just because we didn’t get all into gift giving doesn’t mean we didn’t have a great Christmas season. We still went to see Christmas lights, had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner with César’s family, and visited my parents on Christmas Day. We just didn’t place any importance on the gifts, tree, and decorations.
The 4 Gift Rule
This year, I’d like to start a new tradition that I’ve heard of others doing and always wanted to try. It’s called the 4 Gift Rule. Each person gets something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read. It’s really simple and should make Christmas so much more enjoyable.
In that spirit, I also want to make the gifts we give each other. I think it will make our Christmas so much more memorable and meaningful. I have wonderful memories of Christmases growing up, but the ones I remember the most are those with handmade gifts.
Simple Handmade Gifts from My Christmas Past
One Christmas, when I was about 6, I made all of my siblings picture magnets with their favorite animals on them (with my mom’s help, of course). That same Christmas, my older sister made us all sugar cookies, and my older brother made us all really cool name plaques that he put in clear box frames. He’s an awesome artist, so they looked really professional but cost him almost nothing to make. I think I still have mine in one of my “treasure boxes.”
I remember one Christmas when I drew pictures for all my siblings and rolled up and tied each one with ribbon. I remember feeling bad that I couldn’t do more, but my mom assured me that everyone would love their gifts. I was just happy to see their faces when they saw the pictures I drew for them.
Ideas for Handmade Gifts for Young Children
I’ve spent some time thinking of gifts, and searching out examples, that I can easily make for my girls that will be exciting for them and really cheap as well (especially compared to store-bought versions). Since I have girls, most of these gifts are geared towards them, but a lot are great for both girls and boys. Most of these gifts are for kids younger than four years old.
Here’s my list. I hope you can find a great idea for your child as well! (If you want to pin any of the pictures below, please click on it to go directly to the blog post and pin it from there)
- Refrigerator magnets
- DIY Sock Puppets from Babyccino Kids
- DIY Monster Sock Puppet from Cincy Shopper
- Easy Pipe Cleaner Finger Puppets from One Little Project
- DIY Forest Friends Finger Puppets from Handmade Charlotte
- Monsters Inc Finger Puppet Tutorial from Our Pinteresting Family
- Farm Animal Finger Puppets (no sew!) from Mr. Printables
- Printable Puppets from Picklebums
- Musical instruments
- File folder games
- Photo books
- Quiet books from The Quiet Book Blog
- DIY Hand Warmers from My Craftily Ever After
- Play Dough
- 100 Homemade Play Dough Recipes from Kids Activities Blog
- Playdough Mats from Sing a Story
- Snowball Playdough Recipe and Free Printable Gift Tag from Yellow Bliss Road
- Play Mats
- Portable Doll House
- Card games and the like
- Family Photo “Go Fish” Game from The Crafting Chicks
- Christmas Bingo from Crazy Little Projects
- Sea Life Action Cards from Mess for Less
- Toddler Matching or Memory Game from Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home
- A Fishing Matching Game from Frog Prince Paperie
- Pocket Sized Magnetic Fishing Set from Doodlecraft
- Hair accessories
- Busy bags
- Paper dolls
- Home videos on a DVD
- Dress-up clothes
- Art materials
- Kitchen play
- Puffy Paint Window Clings from Club Chica Circle
- Winter accessories (crocheted)
- Cookie cutters (not homemade, but the cookies you will make are 🙂 ) to do some holiday baking on Christmas Day
- Mini Snowman Face Cookies from Tidy Mom
- Perfect Sugar Cookie Cut-Outs from Love Grows Wild
- The Easiest Way to Frost Sugar Cookies from It’s Always Autumn
- How to Make the Best (and Easiest) Sugar Cookie Icing (Glaze) from Cleverly Simple
- Handwritten note from Santa
- Materials for sensory bins and tot trays
- Pom Pom Animals
- Animal Pom-Poms from Mr. Printables
- Pom-Pom Animals from The Star
- Hobby Horse
- Jingle bell bracelets from My Nearest and Dearest
- DIY Pretend Library Card (from Mother’s Niche) along with some nice bookshelves (from The Sweetest Digs)
- Baby and Toddler (Indoor) Swing from A Beautiful Mess
- DIY 3-Sided TeePee from Thrifty and Chic
If you are reading this in December, it might be too late to start scrambling to make any of these, but you always have next year! These ideas will definitely come in handy when I need birthday presents, too.
Have you ever had a handmade Christmas?