I recently took my kids out shopping for a couple of birthday presents, and I got a preview of what holiday shopping might be like this year. In a word, it looks expensive. Even a simple knit stocking cap was priced at about $15. I knew that the price of gas and groceries had skyrocketed over the last year, but I really hadn’t realized how much more expensive the gifts that are typically in my kids’ price range might be. In order to help them give more and better presents, I have decided to take a look at some handmade options.
Long scarves are still right on trend this year, and bright colors are filling the stores. Your child may be able to knit a scarf, hat or socks on their own for a loved one using custom colors and a round loom like the Knifty Knitter, available at many craft and hobby stores. My own daughter learned to use this tool a few years ago, and she loves her warm, custom scarves. You can often find soft, luxurious yarn on sale in a wide variety of colors, too, so your child can make someone a scarf unlike anyone else’s for less than the mass-produced department store selections.
If your child enjoys art, they might enjoy creating original works for the people they love. Whether they prefer to sculpt little figures out of clay, design their own jewelry or paint their own images on small canvases, you can find many of the supplies they need on sale at hobby stores. My kids like decorating ornaments for their family each year, and although they may not be perfect, they are cherished one-of-a-kind keepsakes.
With a little help, your kids can create many different gifts from wooden kits or raw supplies. A couple of years ago my husband helped my kids make bat houses for my mom. It took them a little while to finish, but the end result would have easily cost a couple hundred dollars to buy already made. And better yet, my mom knew that they were a labor of love.
As Christmas approaches, so do the deals online. I wrote in an earlier article that one of my favorite places to shop for gifts is Shutterfly, because you can use your own photos to design everything from calendars and scrapbooks to mugs and charms. My kids love taking pictures, so this is a fun gift we can make together and purchase for family members using the seasonal coupons we’re sure to see arriving soon.
Perhaps the best way to stretch your dollars and still give your kids the joy of giving is to help them make some homemade treats right in the kitchen. Choose family favorites or delicious new recipes full of ingredients your loved ones are sure to enjoy. Then spend time with your kids, whipping up the delicious goodies, packaging them in festive wraps and delivering them to the people you care about.
Help your kids make any of these handmade gifts this Christmas and you’ll be receiving bundles of priceless holiday memories to go along with the presents you dole out. And all while saving money and avoiding the crowds at the mall. You can’t beat that.
More by Tavia:
Thanksgiving tips for picky eaters
Avoid Overspending on Your Kids This Christmas
Getting Ready to Shutterfly