Thursday, December 22, 2011

For the kids, by the kids

We have something on a Christmas tradition around our house – one I'd like to see the end of, quite frankly. It goes like this: around December 23 or 24, Abigail decides she wants to do some Christmas shopping and buys gifts for her parents and siblings. So Toby takes her out, fighting last minute crowds, to try to find something meaningful and inexpensive. Then, the other kids realize what's going on and they want to go shopping too, but there is no way either of us is willing to head back out into the fray. Therefore, they are somewhat disgruntled.
I had a different idea this year: what if they started making gifts ahead of time? They all liked the idea, so I met with each of them individually to see what they wanted to make. Some of their ideas were pretty off the wall, but with some guidance, they've each come up with some cute gift plans for their siblings that they can do mostly by themselves.
Abigail has made Anna and Ellie each a scarf. Honestly, I don't think it gets much easier than this, folks. We measured a piece of remnant fleece from JoAnn's, cut and fringed. It took us maybe 15 minutes to do both. If you've got any really last minute gifts to give, let it be this!

 Anna's made a dolly scarf for Abi (well, for the doll, really, but you get the point) and some mittens for Ellie. The mittens were basically a matter of borrowing a pair of Ellie's gloves and tracing the pattern onto an old sweater, cutting and sewing. Because Anna's not too experienced with the sewing machine yet, I helped with the stitching. The other thing she made was this little hat for Dan. While again I did the machine work, she cut out the little star and did the hand sewing. This is what takes most of the time, anyway.

I think I'm most excited about Noah's gifts. For Abi and Anna, he's made knitting needles! So cute! Helpfully, the girls do actually knit, and I think they'll really like these. We took some wooden dowels that I had set aside in my craft closet (originally bought at JoAnn's, I believe) and gave them a gentle sanding. Then we rubbed them down with some leather wax. Once Noah chose the buttons he thought the girls would like from my button collection, I used the hot glue gun to stick them on. To be honest, I've seen this done with polymer clay, which would probably work better, but I really wanted to stick with what I had on hand for this one. I'm really happy with how it all turned out!

Clearly, we have more to do, but I'm pleased with the "jump" we got on things, relatively speaking. I'm looking forward to seeing what else their creative juices inspire.
So, how does everyone else handle joy of sibling gifting? Inquiring minds want to know!