Last year I started the tradition of having a craft for the girls to make to give as gifts. This works well for 2 reasons:
1. They feel good about creating a present to give to family, friends, and teachers. I can see how proud they are when they give out their gifts.
2. It makes me feel like we are still giving certain people on our Christmas list gifts without actually having to go out and buy more gifts.
Oriental Trading Company had free shipping on any purchase that ended today. They tend do that fairly often so I wait until they do. I'm not a very crafty person so I like these craft kits.
This year, I purchased a craft kit that makes 12 flower pot recipe card holders. These were on the "less than perfect section" for $2.59. They are less than perfect because they are top heavy and tip over. But, one of the reviewers mentioned they just put a couple pennies in the bottom of the flower pot and that fixed it.
I also purchased two sets of magnet craft kits, each makes 12 magnets: snowflakes and silly gingerbread men. The girls can decorate the snow flakes or the gingerbread men however they want with the self adhesive foam pieces that come in the kits. These kits were $5 each.
I had budgeted $15 for this and only spent $12.59 for 36 homemade gifts which leave me with a $2.41 savings. Not much of a savings but I'll take it. And it helps me save in another way. I have a few aunts and uncles that I never know if I should buy for. Some years we exchange. Some years everyone agrees not to exchange but then the next year I get a gift from them again. So this way, I can put a couple of the girl's gifts together in a gift bag and have the girls hand them out and I won't feel like we are showing up empty handed.
The girls also hand out their gifts to cousins, grandparents, teachers, etc. I let them choose which gift they want to give to each person and help them wrap it.
Plus its also a fun project for us to work on in the fall on those days when the weather isn't nice enough to be out doing anything.