In an effort to reduce our footprint and consider the environment throughout the holidays, our family focuses less on stuff and more on the simple traditions that surround the holiday. The wrapping, the bows, the paper, the bags, the packaging, the plastic, the toys - it all gives me a headache and makes me want to give up the holidays all together.
As a result, we typically adopt a loose model called "Want, Need, Wear, Read". This is where you gift items to family members in each of those categories. Some families only offer one gift per category while others use the categories as more of a guideline. The idea is that you gift something that the person wants, an item that they need (typically underwear or socks in our family), something that they can wear and of course something to read (such as books, magazines, comics).
Most of our gifts are handmade or purchased from local artisans. We will often scout out second hands shops several months in advance looking for the perfect gift. Jamin is handy with wood and is always coming up with clever and fun woodworking gifts for the kids and family members. I on the other hand am not overly skilled in any department but do have basic skills in many areas - sewing, woodburning, soap making, felting, etc.
This year my older children categorized their list and chose according to the categories. For the read category, Ryann has asked for a poem written by mommy....*swoon*. Seriously, this kid gets me every time. She is full of love!
We also offer stockings for our children - they are woollen socks with their initial sewn in at the top (see image below). Each stocking includes a few small handmade items or consumables - such as oranges, homemade candies/caramels, homemade lip balm, bath bombs, dried fruits, etc.
Here are some of the items we will be creating for our children this year to fit in their stocking or go under the tree:
Kohen - Vanilla Pudding (he asked for this!), infinity scarf, underwear
Ryann - Poem, Lip gloss, snow globe, cross stitch of our family, infinity scarf
Scarlett - Horse on a stick, lip balm, infinity scarf, leggings
Sadie - Firetruck, harem pants, lip balm
The children will also receive a dollhouse and a large sled for our utility vehicle as a family gift.
Next year we are going to try our hands at a regifting Christmas. A friend of mine shared this lovely tradition they have and I immediately knew it was the perfect fit for our family. We are going to focus on choosing items from our own home and sharing them with family members and friends who we know would appreciate the items.