It’s that time of year again when we begin to scramble around in search of the perfect gifts for our loved ones. This year, I vowed to take a page out of my Grandmother’s book and slow down with my kiddos. You see, every year my parents would send us kids off to Grandma’s for a day while they braved big-box stores in search of our gifts. Meanwhile, the kiddos would spend the day crafting and baking with Grandma. As a child, it was so special to put my own little hands to work and create something that would bring my parents and siblings joy. We made something different every year and the practice never lost its luster!
Without fail, I looked forward to seeing Grandma pull into the driveway every year. This year, our family is committing to making mostly homemade gifts in an attempt to lessen the holiday chaos and teach our kiddos the beauty of gift-giving.
In this post, I’m sharing gifts we made with my Grandma that your kids can help you make, and that your friends and family will absolutely love:
Gifts to keep friends and family cozy
Fleece tie blankets
These were my favorites to both make and receive as a kiddo. This DIY is great for all ages (even your littlest ones can help!). Take a trip to your local fabric store and pick out 1.5 yards (for a child’s blanket) or 2 yards (for an adult’s blanket) of 2 different fleece patterns. At home, line up the fabrics and use rotary cutters to cut strips along the edges. Then, let your kiddos help you tie knots along the edge of the blanket and voilá…you have a cozy gift that is sure to bring comfort and joy!
See this video for more detailed instructions:
Gorgeous winter hand warmers
While you’re at the fabric store, you could also pick up some squares of fabric with cute little holiday prints to make these gorgeous winter hand warmers! These are super easy to make and your children will love helping you fill them with rice! Pro tip: add a drop or two of your favorite essential oils to make these smell heavenly when warmed!
Gifts that taste delicious
Classic cookie tins
Every year, we buy blue tins of mouthwatering butter cookies, but this year we are going to try to make our own! For this gift, you can buy tins or even thrift some holiday-themed containers and fill them with your family’s favorite cookies. Here is a recipe that tastes just like those blue tin Danish butter cookies we all know and love!
A bread loaf is always a great option, so pull out your favorite holiday cookbook and bake a delicious loaf to gift to friends and family! Some of our favorites are banana bread, zucchini bread, and coffee cake. You can make this gift extra fun by sprucing up your loaf with beautiful ribbons or twine!
Holiday simple syrups
Earlier this year, I made lavender syrup with my littles to add to London fogs and lattes. I was shocked at how easy it was and my little ones had a great time measuring out lavender and sugar. Here are some holiday syrup recipes for simple syrups that would make a great addition to a coffee-themed gift basket: peppermint, gingerbread, peppermint mocha, and vanilla bean.
Gifts that smell incredible
Stove top potpourri
An easy way to make your house smell like the holidays is to throw some orange peels, cinnamon, and cloves on the stove with some water to simmer. Why not give the gift of beautiful holiday smells to friends and family this year? This gift is easy to assemble; just grab a mason jar and throw in a cinnamon stick, 2 pinches of whole cloves, 2 whole star anise, and the dried peel of 1 large orange. Seal your jar and add festive ribbons to make it pretty. Little ones will love peeling oranges or helping you count your ingredients as you put them in the mason jar!
Whipped body butter
For this recipe, you only need coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, cocoa butter, and an essential oil of your choosing. Your children can help you measure ingredients and mix them together to create this silky body butter. Package it in a small mason jar or make this a little extra fun and head over to your local thrift store to hunt for unique glass jars!