One of our family Christmas traditions is making home made gifts for each other. Over the last few years I have seen my kiddos get more and more excited about giving gifts. They get so excited that they can't always keep it a surprise, but we're working on it.
I sometimes have problems coming up with ideas of gifts for my youngest (3 years old) to make. This year I had the sudden inspiration to have him make recycled crayons for his sisters. It worked out great. He loved peeling the papers breaking the big pieces and filling the muffin papers. I did have the oven a little too hot so there was some separating of wax and color, but they still turned out well. His big sisters ooo-ed and awe-ed and he beamed.
My 5 year old decided she wanted to make ornaments this year. I handed her some felt circles, glue, sequins and colored feathers and she went to town. I had to help with the glue because my fabric glue is getting kinda old and hard to squeeze. She had a blast making them and they really sparkle on the tree.
My 7 year old loves to bake her presents. This year she wanted to make ginger bread houses for everyone. Daddy loves to bake too, so he helped her make them with real ginger bread. She was super excited to pull them out for dessert before we opened presents (another tradition we have is opening presents on Christmas Eve).
My oldest (9 years old) wanted to make felt dala horses this year. She has never done any embroidery work before, but really wanted to give it a try. We found some directions for different stitches, and after practicing a few she went to work. She even stitched each siblings name onto one side of their horse. I think they turned out great. Her little brother is even sleeping with his.
I love to watch them get excited about giving, and really appreciating the gifts they get, knowing someone took their time and effort to make it for them. It may be just a little family tradition, but it means something big to us.