One thing our team does at Christmas-time is a handmade gift exchange. You can read all about (and see pictures of) our first one here on Teague's blog.
This year, Stephen made a Christmas tea towel for Jordan. Green handprints made the tree, and Alex followed with red thumbprints for the ornaments. I don't have a picture of the finished product, but these are pictures Rusty took while we were making it:
Alex made (with help) some jar cookie mixes and jar hot chocolate mix for Nathan. He also made chocolate-dipped plastic spoons for stirring the hot chocolate -- yummy! There are lots of great websites with ideas for gifts in a jar. Here is one of my favorites.
Rusty made an adorable train puzzle for Biruk. He cut the pieces with a scroll saw, sanded them all, and painted them himself. The puzzle has the alphabet painted on one side, and numbers up to 25 on the other side. Super cute and educational too!
I made a visual journal using magazine scraps for Katie. Again, I don't have pictures of the one I made, but there are lots of ideas and inspiration here on one of my favorite blogs.
Other projects have included making little jars of "Snowman Soup," a.k.a. hot chocolate. Alex helped a lot with this, and had a great time! I saved all my baby food jars for several weeks because they are the perfect size for packaging individual servings of hot chocolate mix, but I've also seen people use zip-lock baggies. We gave these out to all the staff at Hillsboro, and some will probably find their way into stockings on Christmas morning, too. They would also make great teacher/mailman/garbage man/paper boy gifts!
"When the weather outside is frightful,
Snowman Soup can be delightful.
Add hot water and sip it slow.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow."
Okay, readers... it's time for you to chime in. Share some of your favorite homemade holiday projects and traditions! I'm always looking for new ideas, so you might find me adopting some of them in years to come.
Merry Christmas, everyone!!!