4 Homemade Holiday Gifts to Teach Kids About Generosity
BY BAILEY VAN TASSEL
I know you can feel it too. As the holidays approach, we are inundated with shopping for presents and giving presents and opening presents and storing presents, and the list goes on. By December 22nd we’re already worried about sending the wrong message to our kids and Santa hasn’t even shimmied down the chimney.
It may take time (and having your own babes) to really revel in the magic of the holidays, but there are fun traditions to get the little ones into more of a giving spirit. It’s fun to see kids light up when they realize they’ve made a positive impact on someone.
Here are 4 homemade gifts you can make and give, that will help teach your kids about generosity.
1. Homegrown Herbs : Most of the herbs that you can grow year-round are extra prevalent during the holidays. We always have rosemary, thyme, and mint growing, which are great holiday meal add-ons. It’s fun to pluck some herbs from the garden and attached a recipe to hand out to neighbors for an easy, fresh, and thoughtful gift.
2. Homemade Cider Mix : Hot cider is such a wintery treat, and creates instant nostalgia merely with its smell. Grab some small mason jars and throw this spice mix together to create a homemade cider mix. Simply add apple juice (and maybe a few cinnamon sticks) and enjoy!
4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons ground cinnamon
½ tablespoon ground nutmeg
½ tablespoon ground cloves
Mix all ingredients, and add hot apple juice to enjoy!
3. Spreading Cheer Cards : It’s crazy what crayons and paper can do to your mood. Get the little ones to hand-draw cards that make them feel cheerful, and put those in neighbor mailboxes, or under doormats. Who can resist smiling at children’s artwork? No one.
4. Gingerbread Mini Houses : Making huge gingerbread houses was always a highlight for me as a kid. I loved the kits with all the candy and an excuse to play with food. As a neighborly twist on an old classic, try making gingerbread and using a cookie cutter to cut out house shapes. You can still decorate the fronts to make cute designs, and spread around some holiday house love.
Telling stories to the kiddos about why it’s fun and important to share with neighbors is a great way to turn these DIYs into a teachable moment that doesn’t feel like a lesson. Having more than enough to share is our greatest gift, and helping our littles to see that too is one way to expand the spirit of the season. Happy gifting!
Bailey Van Tassel is a writer and urban farmer, raising babies and veggies in Orange County, CA with her husband and mini golden doodle. You can follow along with her at baileyvantassel.com.
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10 Winter Traditions To Try This Year
I never quite realized the gravity of experiencing a tradition until I lost someone I loved. At first, having a baby made the traditions around the holidays much better and more exciting. I decided that we would be a decorate-for-Christmas-the-day-after-Thanksgiving family and that the kids would get Christmas p.j.s and that I’d always participate in my girlfriends’ cookie competition. These fun little nuances are a way to bookmark chapters in my life – to slow down the racing speed of my calendar and to give me something fun to look forward to.