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Discussion Starter #1
Good morning!!

DH and I are really trying to work on simplifying both our lives in general, but more specifically, the holiday season. We have committed to homemade or specifically meaningful gifts this year for everyone as much as possible. There are some things that cost money like a photobook from our travels this summer (something I love to do for the family each year), and obviously the supplies for those homemade gifts, but we are trying to keep our budget in mind. I'm not having trouble coming up with gifts for my mom/dad/sister/or DH. My problem is the kids. The oldest is an 18 year old boy. I'm thinking of making him a new blanket for his bed, but am at a loss for other things. He's getting ready to leave for college (or perhaps the Navy - he hasn't finalized) in June, so maybe something for the real world??

And the other is my 4 year old daughter who doesn't really understand the homemade thing. I plan to make her a My Little Pony blanket with some fabric I found, and maybe some cute personalized shirts with my Silhouette, but not sure what else?

Anyone have some great ideas? I'm making a large batch of homemade vanilla extract to bottle for individuals along with some of those flour sack towels that I am going to personalize with my Silhouette....but I feel like I'm missing something. THANKS!
 

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I'm a big fan of thrift stores and buying things on Craigslist or Facebook groups.

My 4 yo son has gotten an easel for Xmas one year ($5), for his birthday a water/ sand table with umbrella ($10). Kids at that age are so easy to please.

Teenagers are harder!! I have a 16 yo stepson, this year I'm literally giving him cash. But he's easy going too. If I were trying to make something, how about some pj pants or curtains for the bedroom?

This year for family gifts I'm making ornaments with baby jars my friend gave me, and some homemade pickles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I'm a big fan of thrift stores and buying things on Craigslist or Facebook groups.

My 4 yo son has gotten an easel for Xmas one year ($5), for his birthday a water/ sand table with umbrella ($10). Kids at that age are so easy to please.

Teenagers are harder!! I have a 16 yo stepson, this year I'm literally giving him cash. But he's easy going too. If I were trying to make something, how about some pj pants or curtains for the bedroom?

This year for family gifts I'm making ornaments with baby jars my friend gave me, and some homemade pickles.
Oh yes! PJ pants! I give the family PJs every Christmas Eve. I wanted to use my Silhouette (can you tell I'm excited about it??) to make cute matching personalized PJ shirts. I could get some fabric on sale and make pants to go with them. Good idea!
 

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Just howling at the moon
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I try to couple my homemade gifts with me learning something new. So this year I'm learning pottery and ceramics so lots of coffee cups, bowls, and other knick-nacks for people.

To go along with the PJs you could knit slippers. I'm sure the 4yo would like some bunny (choose her favorite animal) themed slippers.

WWW
 

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If your 4 yr old has a favorite doll or stuffed animal you can make them matching outfits. Doll clothing in general goes over well at that age.

If the 18 yr old goes to college he'll need blankets, sheets, towels, and will probably want to have a plate or two, cereal bowl, utensils and a mug. If he goes into the navy he's not going to need that stuff.
 

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I gave my kids each a handmade quilt when they were young teenagers - both still have them and use them, as 20-something adults (my son took his to college and used it there as well). I think blankets are a great idea, and especially for your son, it's something he can use/take with him whether he decides on college or the military - although not to bootcamp, afterward it's nice to have something other than military issue blankets in the barracks :) You're onto something.

An idea for your daughter - when mine was that age we were dirt poor. She was really into Barbies, so I made her an entire Barbie house full of furniture out of foam core and fabric scraps, using hot glue (couches, chairs, beds, even a little kitchen stove, table, chairs and cupboards). If you crochet, you can make doll clothes and little pillows, blankets, and rugs out of crochet thread. If she's into dolls, that is :)
 

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I gave my kids each a handmade quilt when they were young teenagers - both still have them and use them, as 20-something adults (my son took his to college and used it there as well). I think blankets are a great idea, and especially for your son, it's something he can use/take with him whether he decides on college or the military - although not to bootcamp, afterward it's nice to have something other than military issue blankets in the barracks :) You're onto something.

An idea for your daughter - when mine was that age we were dirt poor. She was really into Barbies, so I made her an entire Barbie house full of furniture out of foam core and fabric scraps, using hot glue (couches, chairs, beds, even a little kitchen stove, table, chairs and cupboards). If you crochet, you can make doll clothes and little pillows, blankets, and rugs out of crochet thread. If she's into dolls, that is :)
Mish, just reading this has brought back a wave of memories about the Barbie clothing my mother made for us one year. Yep, money was tight with five children under 10. She bought a "accessories" package from the Sears Christmas catalogue (shoes mostly) and then she made my sister and I at least six outfits each for our Barbies,even knitting fitted pullovers and scarves to match the pants, tops and dresses. We played with those for hours and hours. When I think of the time she must have spent making those clothes....I still have some of them tucked away between tissue in the box Mom packed them in.
 

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Joie de vivre!
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Like Alida, my mother also made clothes for my Barbie doll. I still have the exquisite satin, lace and pearl-studded wedding dress she made for it over fifty years ago.

Gifts given today make fine memories later. It does not have to be fancy, just near and dear to the heart. I still treasure the little acorns that my grandson gave to me when he was little.


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What about gifting them an experience/time. One year when money was so tight, we wrote each other coupons for things. Like: 1 week of doing person's chores, 1 car wash, 1 day weeding the garden, 1 weekend of camping etc. You get the idea. It sounds cheesy but everyone loved them!

Funny thing is, that is one of the Christmas's that they all remember and talk about.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
What is a Silhouette? Besides a black and white depiction of the side of one's face?
It's a cutting machine for vinyl, paper, fabric, etc. It's like a Cricut, just a different brand. It's how all those people on Etsy make those adorable personalized wine glasses ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
What about gifting them an experience/time. One year when money was so tight, we wrote each other coupons for things. Like: 1 week of doing person's chores, 1 car wash, 1 day weeding the garden, 1 weekend of camping etc. You get the idea. It sounds cheesy but everyone loved them!

Funny thing is, that is one of the Christmas's that they all remember and talk about.
I love that!!
 
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