Holidays on a Homestead – Why You Should Make Handmade Gifts For Your Holidays

Hello everyone, Valentines Day and the spring holiday season is closing in fast, and the pace is picking up. In case you missed it, the US (and the rest of the world for that matter) is in a little bit of economic recession right now so this spring holiday season could be a lean one for many people.

Here at our homestead we will be making many of our own gifts as we do every year, (I have given my mom a home made gift almost every year since kindergarten) to offset the cost of the holidays. Not only the financial but the environmental costs.

OK, I know what your thinking,”I’m not the crafty type” or “I don’t know how”

It is easier to do than you might think. If you have a wood shop available to you, chances are your already a little mechanically inclined, so making a bird feeder or small table from reclaimed wood is pretty easy to do and is not super time consuming either. No need to get too elaborate (sometimes simple is better)

So,you don’t have a wood shop or work shop at your disposal, (this kind of goes against the grain a little bit), but if you visit your local craft store they sell unpainted simple wooden toys, shelves, bird houses and feeders, etc. for very little money, and you can personalize them with paint and decorations to make them unique. Just going to the craft store could give you literally hundreds of ideas you can make use of. Use your imagination! It is like anything else, the more you practice using it, the better it gets!

Try this: get the family together, so everyone has a part to make, take an old pot lid and remove the handle and attach a 2 foot long piece of 20 lb. test fishing line through the handle hole in the center. About half way down the fishing line attach a large washer on the line, it may take some ingenuity to make it hang in a horizontal position, (I ended up just using 2 nuts and a piece of a drinking straw) but that’s the fun of it. Then cut some used copper water pipe at 4, 6, 8, and 10 inches long for the chime parts. Continue by drilling some holes around the perimeter of the lid for the chimes and letting them hang with fishing line so the washer in the middle hits them when the wind blows. Then the kids can decorate it with little jewels and or figures that could be obtained at a yard sale, laying around the house, or even at the “dollar store” Simple right? Total cost = about 3 dollars worth of glue and decorations.

This is far cheaper than purchasing a ready made copper wind chime. Also, the happiness that not only someone will feel cause she or he has a one-of-a-kind hand made gift, also the childrens happiness knowing they made it all by themselves (OK, with a little help from daddy Houses for sale Homestead FL and/or mommy!) This is worth far more than you could ever pay for something out of a catalog or retail store.

Purchase modeling clay and make a flower po t for someone. If you can knit, crochet, or sew, maybe make someone a scarf or hat. Did you make some pickles, preserves, or other goodies from your organic garden this year? Try this, cut a few Hearts or other Valentine’s day pictures out of a magazine, glue it to the top, put a bow around the jar, and instant holiday gift. Baking some cookies to give as gifts is a time honored tradition and always a great idea.

Hey, it’s a busy world and there are many things in life that constrain our time, this is understandable, but if you substitute the time it takes to actually go shopping, and then stand in line, (not to mention the fuel you will be using), for an item, you could probably work on a home made gift a few hours (or minutes) a day, and the time would work out almost the same.

There is nothing that brings a family closer than working on projects like these together as a team. The benefits are many, usually “greener”, cheaper, learning something new, or better yet, teaching someone, (like your children), something new, and the happiness and good feeling of giving instead of receiving all the time.

Maybe these tips will help, and motivate you to turn your unused study, or even your kitchen table into a “quasi-workshop” this spring holiday season.

 


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