Ideas anyone?


I recieved this message from A Kite Rises a bit back

"...hope you do not mind me asking, but have you any ideas on how to make the whole
Christmas experience less commercial and more magical for a teenage lad of 16? I
would be so interested to know what way you keep your family grounded amidst the madness and maelstrom at this time of year"

I have been thinking alot about this and also about christmas with the girls and all of our extended family. I have 5 brothers and sisters, 8 brother and sister-in laws and 15 nieces and nephews (and #16 is on it's way).

In my dream scenario I would make gifts for everyone but not so sure that will happen this year. I am going to try and make as many as we can and we do a lot of picking names and grab bags so as not to overwhelm everyone.

Last year I made little bags for all of my girl nieces (I think I still owe a few of them) and Annie and Maddie chose music for a cd. Annie wrapped each one and handed them all out. The year before we made ornaments for all the cousins. I was so impressed that all of the kids were so excited to receive the little gifts and at how excited the girls were about giving not just receiving.

Santa and his elves are usually very busy making gifts for the girls. See here and here and here.

Some of the ideas floating around are having the girls write books for their grandparents and using snapfish or the like to print them. I would love to sort through all of my grandmas pictures and make a book for her or my mom. That might be a nice project for an older child. I thought maybe that would be a nice present from a teenager, sorting through all the pictures and recording a caption from grandma/grandpa and then publishing it.

For the little ones in our family I was thinking of making a memory game with pictures of the family.

So those are few of my ideas as far as homemade gifts go. I know all of you out there must have some great ideas of your own. So I am opening this up to all of you. Send me an email with any of your ideas on making the holidays special without it being all about the toys. I'll compile them and try to get them up the week of thanksgiving. I think I posted last year about some nice advent calendar ideas and some of my favorite toy stores so I will also link to that.

Have a happy Monday.


Unknown said...

Hi Marytree! Thank you for visiting me and I was totally swept away with this post you have written after my question! Thank you for this! And for the time and effort you put into thinking of a reply. I love the idea of sorting through pictures of grandparents and recording a caption. I may try something linked in with this. It's so very generous and kind of you to open this up for discussion on your blog and I will be checking in for updates. I will also be posting about this dilemma of mine, and with the progress (I hope) I make. Take care and warmest wishes.

Jane said...

i have been pondering and answer to your question Marytree for 24hrs and i haven't really found one. But with our eldest daughter at University this year, the budget is tight! So i have plans to make gifts, i love your idea of home baking for gift bags which i think we will try. But my Mum is diabetic so hers will be sugar free. Sorry this doesn't help but i will keep thinking and i will ask friends at work for ideas.

Anonymous said...

This is something we are struggling with this year. Overall we are trying to focus on the meaning of the holiday vs. the commercial aspect of it. We are reading a lot of books about the spiritual side of the holiday instead of those with Mr. C.

And while James joyfully pointed out every item from any catalog for his list we have successfully narrowed it down to 5 items he can ask for.

As far as ideas for home made gifts. Erin has really been into making books for other. Her stories are kind of funny also. Other ideas are baked goods and possibly a "cookbook" to go along with their favorite recipes. Bookmarks are also easy to make for kids of almost any age and as Erin is reading chapter books she finds them handy. Ornaments are another (I know you did that one already) we are making (I still have the ornament Aunt Mary Ellen made for me). Just some things we are doing.


BC said...

On Christmas Eve, one of my friends has only candles for light in her house. She says that it calms everything down and creates a beautiful atmosphere...