DC

Simple Christmas decorations made by kids

A while ago I worked as child carer in my own home. Leading up to Christmas, I wanted to do some Christmas activities with the kids, as you do!

I was also on a budget but I found this activity worked really well – it cost nothing as I had stuff lying around, the kids were amused for hours and got creative (and developed fine motor skills of course), and by their nature, parents had somewhere to display their work (there are only so many paintings that fit on a fridge!)

Cardboard Christmas Tree decorations

As I was working with two year olds, I did a lot of the preparation work and divide the instructions for an adult and kids. If you have older kids, they may be able to do some of the earlier steps as well.

instructions for the adult

Cut out Christmas shapes from cardboard (cereal boxes work but washing powder boxes are thicker cardboard so are better). Stars, stockings and bells are easy, but get as creative as you want!

Punch a hole near one edge (poke the hole with scissors if you don’t have a hole punch).

instructions for the kids

Decorate the shapes! Glue on bits of coloured paper, tinsel and cotton wool balls, add stickers, glitter and paints.

Let it dry.

Thread gift ribbon (or string) through the hole and tie into a loop.

Hang the loop on the Christmas tree (or a door handle).

Stand back and admire your beautiful work 🙂

Love Santa says – send us photos of your creations, too!

Simple gifts

Like many people, we’re trying to keep Christmas under control this year, financially speaking. I’d love to say money isn’t important, but we have a limited supply of it so we have to limit our gift giving accordingly. Our choice is to be as creative as we can so we still give gifts to please our loved ones.

Anyway, here’s a couple of our gift ideas in case they help others who are struggling with what to give this year:

  • buy cheap items and let the kids decorate them for grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. For example, cheap photo frames, plant pots, candles and storage jars make unique and special gifts with some time and little money
  • buy a few bits and pieces and put them in a nice bag – it tends to be cheaper than buying the pretty hampers you see in big stores
  • buy some beads and elastic and let the kids make necklaces, etc for the girls in your family (and boys if they would like it!)
  • cut, sand and paint some offcuts of wood – an instant set of building blocks any toddler will appreciate knocking over! Put them in a bucket or bag and you’re done – much more environmentally friendly than plastic blocks, too
  • cut some cardboard into gift cards and fold in half. Get the kids or someone artistic to decorate the cards for multiple occasions and you have a set of cards to give as a gift – remember that people pay $15 or more for a few nice cards to store away

Not only are we saving money, we’re also having fun making things and teaching our kids it is the giving with love that counts, not the price tags. I bet we aren’t the only ones being creative and we’d love to hear other people’s ideas, too – please?

Where’s the spirit gone?

For many years now, our family has done a Kris Kringle for the adults – each family still gives something to the kids.

My mother has suddenly decided that this is the last year – from now on we won’t give any presents. When everyone else argued against her decree, she muttered about ‘saving everyone the hassle of choosing a present to give’ – nice to know that’s what we mean to her. Especially as even the KK has shrunk as family members have moved away and can’t join us anyway…

In the end, we overruled her and Kris Kringle lives – and with a higher budget, too (yep, Mum’s idea to reduce it to $20 a few years ago. I mean the idea of introducing KK in our family is to get one decent present instead of many small ones – not so good with a $20 cap!)

But it just made we wonder – where is the spirit of giving? The ‘it is better to give than receive’?

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