Years ago, I got it in my head that homemade gifts were a great addition to our traditional Christmas gifts. We had one kid at the time and it was peace of cake. Add another two kids and suddenly my gifts had to be simplified. I couldn’t expect to make elaborate gifts for every child and Steve. So this year I scaled back just a bit and went easier on myself.

I love homemade gifts. If my talents were endless I would prefer every gift to be homemade. I understand the kids (at least the two younger ones) could care less and probably have no idea I even made the gifts. But making the gifts is really more for me. For starters – it’s a creative outlet that I truly enjoy. But in addition, it changes my mindset of the season. Sometimes we get in “buy” mode and we spend and spend until our bank account hurts.

And for what? Its not as if the kids are any better off. But it seems to pacify us as parents that we’re “good” for giving a great Christmas. I hate that idea. I suppose that’s why I enjoy a homemade gift. They’re never perfect or expensive. But I really spend a great deal of time thinking through what each gift should be and then attempt to execute it the best I can. More than anything, it’s a gift of time. Time that my children may not appreciate now, but it’s so satisfying on my part. I hope as our family grows and life becomes more chaotic in years to come I’ll be able to manage at least one gift of my time. I’m realistic to know that may not be the case!

I present 2012 Homemade Gifts!

Bennett (Almost 2 years old): I pinned these on pinterest several months ago and I copied exactly what I found. Absolutely no originality on my part. I did spray them with a clear gloss spray paint to endure a crazy toddler!

Hunter (4 years): I made him a large magnet board (5ft x 3ft) for his bedroom so he can hang all his artwork from preschool. He has a few magnetic toys as well that he can attach to the board. Now we just need to make some fun magnets.

Hallie (7 years): She is loving her time in the kitchen these days and she wants to help with every meal. I made a ruffle apron with fabrics from Hobby Lobby – no pattern, just kind of went with it as I sewed!

Sibling gift: We had Steve’s younger sister for Christmas. As adults, it’s often hard to find a good gift to share and we often resort to gift cards because we know they’re always appreciated. But I decided this summer I wanted to create this gift. Steve’s grandmother had a journal/memory book that I had flipped through at a family reunion. It is beautiful and priceless and I asked to borrow it. I digitized it and created a book from blurb with it. In addition to giving it as a gift we now have all the files that would allow us to print it for whoever may want a copy. The gift that keeps on giving!!

Check out previous years (at least what we have pictures for) here, here and here.

Tomorrow I will share the gifts that Steve and I exchanged.