Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Special Holiday Gifts in an Especially Tough Economy

One of the positive by-products of this difficult economy is that many people are rediscovering basic family values. As the holidays approach, remember that homemade gifts truly are special, most notably when they come from your toddlers.

Now that my kids are grown, I relish their tiny handprint works of art that they gave me when their fingers were so small. I still use the pencil holder my daughter made out of an old can when she was in the fourth grade. I even continue to put out holiday decorations that were my kids’ original creations, and there is no price that can be put on their value.

While abstract art is fabulous, be creative if you want to find something useful for the recipient of the gift. Christmas ornaments and Chanukah menorahs can be displayed and enjoyed year after year. Signing a work of art with handprints and dating it, will allow you to compare the child’s growth along with his artistic development. What’s more fun than paining feet and walking across a giant greeting card?!

I am not a crafty person, but anyone can create a collage. Choose an old shoe box, and help your children cut pictures and sayings from magazines or used wrapping paper that symbolize the person the gift will be for. Glue the pictures all over the shoe box, the more the better. This is a time consuming project and your loved one will not only enjoy reading the words and seeing the pictures meant solely for her, but she can have fun reading the box over and over throughout the years.

As your children get older, they can help you create CD’s with special songs intended for someone they love, and there are lots of websites that help you create personalized calendars very inexpensively.

So this year, take some of the pressure off and enjoy spending time making something meaningful with your children. Happy Holidays!

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