Fun for Kids
Kids love to get involved in making crafts during the holidays. They get swept up in the joy and excitement of the season and want to be able to make cheap holiday gifts they can give out.
Providing craft materials to eager kids and guiding them through the process is not only a fun way to spend time with them, but it's also a great way to develop in them a desire to give from the heart.
Image courtesy of Peter Kaminski on Flickr.
Tasty & Fun Activity
Is there anything more enchanting at the holidays than a decorated gingerbread house with Christmas candy? These houses, which originated in Germany, have now become a staple of Christmas in America.
Image by coolmikeol on Flickr
While baking your own gingerbread house may seem daunting, it's really not that hard. But if you prefer, you can buy kits at craft stores that include everything you need to make a completed house-including the baked holiday cookies. These kits are fun because you don't have to run to the store for things you might have forgotten. The walls come together straight and kids can practically do them all by themselves, although you will want to supervise.
Consider hosting a gingerbread house-making party in your neighborhood. Have everyone bring their own kit and let the kids get together and create some holiday magic. Plan to take your children to a local gingerbread house show or festival if there is one nearby. It will inspire them for next year.
Deck the Halls
The craft stores are now stocking wonderful felt ornaments that kids will find easy to make. Many require no sewing at all (and those that require sewing are simple for an adult). Try making a whole Nativity set out of felt or a set of ornaments in a theme from a felt kit. These are great for around your home, or for giving as neat holiday gifts.
Image by wingingit on Flickr
Many come with sequins and beads that kids can use to embellish their creations. You'll find you will take these ornaments out every year, so mark the date in indelible ink on the backs.
As your kids head off to their own families someday, you can give them a box of ornaments they made as a way to start their own family Christmas holiday decor.
DIY Felt Ornaments
Painted Wooden Ornaments
Take Time & Make Ornaments
Again, visit a favorite craft store and you will find an array of balsa wood ornaments that kids can paint. These are fun because they have simple lines and include everything you need. You can have them painted, dried, and on the tree in one afternoon. Kids like to see a project that they can complete from start to finish in a short amount of time. And you'll have a beautiful collection of their hand-done artwork to showcase year after year.
Image by woodleywonderworks on Flickr
The selection in craft stores has really gotten good. You can now find just about every shape and theme of wooden ornaments you can imagine. Why not do a whole circus menagerie or a scene from The Nutcracker? It's so easy and will look like you spent a long time planning it all out.
The Power of Craft Kits
Don't Feel Guilty - These are Great!
Whatever you decide to make with children, don't feel you have to run around grabbing all the materials and building something from scratch. It doesn't make it any more fun for the kids, and it's really not necessary.
Craft kits are perfect for busy families and they simplify the craft-making process. And with the hundreds of kits to choose from, you never have to make the same thing twice. Look online or at dollar stores for great deals on these.
Image from Amazon.com
More Holiday Ideas
- Cheap Holiday Gifts
Offers cheap holiday gift baskets and inexpensive Christmas gifts priced under $25. You don't need to sacrifice quality for affordability!
More Craft Ideas - Check These Out!
Gifts That Match Your Budget
The holidays hit and suddenly thoughts turn to finances. Will you have enough this year to get everyone something nice? The panic starts to set in as you wearily trudge through the malls searching for anything in your price range.
It doesn't have to be this way. You can purchase or make inexpensive Christmas gifts that your recipients will love. You'll feel better knowing you didn't blow your budget and January isn't going to come along with shocking credit card bills.
Make a List
Check it Twice
Start by making a list of everyone you want to give Christmas gifts to. You may decide to get your children what they want from the toy store but then make everyone else's gift.
Once you have your list ready, start thinking of ideas for gifts that will match everyone's personality. If you're stumped, you can always go back when an idea hits you. This list will also keep track of everyone you have to buy for, so you can make sure you don't spend too much on one person and not have enough to buy gifts for everyone else on your list.
DIY Christmas Gifts - Make Them Yourself This Year
Photographs make wonderful holiday gifts for everyone on the list. Digital cameras have made it easy for everyone to take a decent photo. And you don't have to spend money on film or developing. You can do everything right from your home computer.
Plan to take photos that could work for Aunt Rose as well as a friend from work. Your children and pets can always make for great subjects. But you can also take architectural photos of your neighborhood or flowers or anything that catches your eye. Be creative and step outside of your comfort zone.
More Frugal Ideas
- Cheap Christmas Gifts
Offers cheap holiday gift baskets and inexpensive Christmas gifts priced under $25. You don't need to sacrifice quality for affordability!
Upload, Edit and Print
Upload your photos and see which ones would look great in picture frame favors. Select the same one for everyone or several different ones. Then, print them on the best quality setting onto photo paper.
Photo paper has come way down in price, so you can make a nice bundle of presents for very little cash outlay. Only after you have printed your photos should you begin shopping for frames. You can take the photos with you to the store to see which frames they look best in.
Choose Your Frames
Match Their Decor
If you give baby picture frames, they shouldn't be too large, as a recipient might not have room to display it. Smaller desk sized photos are nice choices as everyone has a mantle or coffee table or desk they can display one more photo on.
Choose a frame that you think would go with the recipient's decor, not necessarily what you would choose for your own home. If your friend has an ultra-modern home, don't show up with an ornate Victorian frame. She won't want to display it because it will clash with her decor. Instead, choose a plain black frame that will go with everything.
Make it Fun & Meaningful
For friends, you can give a photo of a place you went together or one of the two of you together. Relatives love to see how the kids have grown every year.
Try to arrange to get everyone in the photo by having a neighbor take a family shot for you. You can send it off in a nice frame to relatives you won't be seeing over the holidays. The flat dimension of a frame makes it ideal to mail cheaply.
Get your mind in gear for other presents you can make with photos. Have t-shirts made for the kids with the dog on the front or have ceramic mugs with funny pictures of you and your friends made for the book club.
DIY Picture Frame Earring Holder
Welcome To My Holiday Gift Guide!
Children get so excited about Christmas that they're just about ready to burst with joy. Sometimes you need to channel that enthusiasm into something useful so that you all make it through the weeks leading up to Christmas with your sanity intact.
Why not get the kids involved in counting down the days until Christmas? That way they'll be in the know as to just when Santa is coming (and they can stop asking you ten times a day!).
A Surprise a Day Keeps the Frenzy Away
One fun way to involve the kids is to make an advent calendar. These are calendars with doors for each day until Christmas. Little holiday cookies are waiting behind each one.
You can purchase these from stores or online. Choose one that has fun things behind the door that bear each date. Some come with toy trains or vintage animals. Others come with tiny Christmas trees or ornaments. Still others have candy behind each door. This is by far the most popular for children whose anticipation level is already set on frenzy. They have something to enjoy while waiting for December 25th. Remind children that they are not allowed to peek and see what's behind the dates that haven't arrived yet.
Make Your Own Advent Calendar! - See How
25 Good Deeds
Another way you can encourage children to participate in a Christmas day countdown is for all of you to do 25 good deeds for someone else. You can make a calendar with December 1st through 25th on it. Each day every member of the family does something special for someone else.
It could be that dad warms mom's car up in the morning before she leaves for work. Or it could be that your youngest fed the dog. Any deed either inside the home or out can count. Everyone writes their good turn on the calendar for everyone to see. You can also plan weekend deeds as a family such as working at a soup kitchen for the afternoon or visiting a nursing home to sing carols.
The personal involvement your children have in spreading the cheer will keep them diverted from agonizing over how many days they still have to wait for their presents. You may even find that they want to help others more than open a mound of their own presents. Doing good is contagious.
Give to Those Who Help
Say Thank You
Your children will be as excited for the holidays as your home environment allows. You might try to keep the excitement going by baking a different batch of cookie each day and giving them out to police and rescue workers.
Or you can put a new ornament on the tree each day. You can give each other hand made holiday gifts each day or notes to say how special you are to each other.
Image by craftvisit collective on Flickr
Get everyone involved, even the older children who pretend they're too cool to care. They really do still want to be included even if they act nonchalant.
Interactive Advent Calendar
Pass on Tradition
Your Christmas advent season will be filled with laughter, joy and maybe even cookies if you plan to celebrate each of the days until Christmas. Get out there as a family and do special things for others or just for fun. Your children will have delightful memories of the holidays and may even continue the new traditions with their own families one day.
Because They're Special
It's Christmas morning, and everyone is preparing to open presents. Did you remember to get Fido and Fifi something special this year? Every pet owner wants their little darling to have something innovative and wonderful at Christmastime. Here are some ideas of what you can stuff their stockings with.
Primp Your Pup
There is no shortage of adorable clothes for cats and dogs. You can get your little princess a gown (really!) made especially for pooches that comes in sizes to fit all dogs. You pick up slippers or a raincoat. Or maybe even a pair of flannel pj's. Pet gift baskets enjoy a rather large following.
You can shop for outfits for the little one online and never run out of things to stock her closet with. Get your dog a tuxedo he can wear on New Year's Eve and even a wedding gown for your little tiger.
Gifts for the Pet and the Owner
Nummy in Pet's Tummy
You're in luck if you want to stock up on treats for kitty or puppy. New versions of bones and swat toys come out every year.
Image by Jack Fiallos on Flickr
There are even pet gifts that feature all kinds of great goodies for your pet. Treat kitty to a catnip filled mouse toy or a scratching tower infused with catnip-and designed to keep her claws off your couch. Your favorite dog can enjoy a new bone that is designed to calm his anxiety while he's home alone. Soothing ingredients in the bone make it an all-day treat that will keep him happily occupied until you get home."
A New Bed
Rest Up, Young Pup
Forget about an old blanket and a cardboard box. Today's pet beds are good enough for people to sleep in. You'll find microfiber coverings that are soft as suede, fleece coverlets and mattress foam that is thick and plush, and they come in every shape and color imaginable from the canopy kitty bed to the doggie bed that looks like an actual sofa.
Image by chefranden on Flickr
Make Your Own Pet Gift - Go Green and Save Green
If you've got to carry Fifi to the groomer, she's got to go in style. Check out the extensive line of pet carrying bags online for a unique pet gift. You'll be surprised at how far the industry has come. Gone are the days of plastic and metal cages. Your lap dog is going to arrive at the vet in regal splendor. With bags that look as good as expensive handbags, you'll look for excuses to carry it. And the comfortable padded ride will mean your pet may never want to come out.
Image by Pet Ferry on Flickr
Related Gifts We Sell
- Pet Gift Baskets
Our pet gift baskets and dog basket gifts are filled with all kinds of goodies, including toys and tasty treats - we also sell personalized puppy gifts for the newest addition to the family.
Light Up Their Life
Your lovable cat will go absolutely crazy for the laser pointer cat toys that are now on the market. These red laser lights make for a fun way for kitty to pass the afternoon with the enthusiasm and energy of a kitten again.
Image by Hey Paul on Flickr
You point the laser in different areas and kitty chases it. It's fun that never gets old and it provides your pet the perfect exercise they might need after the holidays.
Laser Pointers and Kung Fu Kittens - See it in Action
A Spa Package
Treat the precious one to a pet gift basket of pampering spa products. High end dog shampoos and conditioners as well as dry shampoo for water-leary cats are appearing in better stores. You can keep your darling looking and smelling pretty with rose or peppermint scented soaps. Brush her delicate fur with an assortment of brushes designed to keep her knots at bay.
Finish up with a handful of gourmet treats and a glass of easily digestible kitty milk (sold in cartons in pet stores) or perhaps a pot of cat grass. A new pig's ear will be delightful for the discerning pooch to chew on. And don't forget the toothbrush and paste designed for kitty or puppy's tastes in flavors like peanut butter and tuna.
Image courtesy of minicooper93402 on Creative Commons