With the holidays just around the corner, it's time to think about some fun Christmas crafts you can enjoy with your kids. Some of these crafts can serve as homemade Christmas gifts for the family, Christmas tree decorations, or just be a fun way to spend a few hours with your children. While there is an infinite number of crafts you and your kids could undertake, here are some popular possibilities:
Homemade Candles and Candle Holders
From the earliest Christmas celebrations, light and candles have been an important symbol for the awaited return of spring. Candles are also important in Hanukkah celebrations. If the kids are a bit older, making candles from scratch with molds or by dipping brings back a taste of simpler times. Candles can be colored or even scented for an added festive air.
For younger children, candle holders provide a more age-friendly craft. Starting with either clear glass candle holders or baby food jars, affix tissue paper, flower petals, or dried leaves to the glass with craft glue and a decoupage technique, painting the glue over the decorative elements. Soak dried leaves or flower petals in water for a short time first to increase pliability. Once the glue has dried, place a votive candle inside the candle holder.
Picture Frames for Family Pictures
Relatives always enjoy getting pictures of the family for Christmas. But instead of just loose photos, how about putting one or two special pictures of the nieces, nephews and grandkids in a homemade frame?
Another simple craft that the younger set can contribute to, picture frames can start with a cardboard backing, then be decorated in any number of ways to express your family's interests and personality. Armed with some glue and imagination, the kids can decorate the frames with everything from buttons to beads to mismatched puzzle pieces, creating a bright, unique setting for those special holiday photos.
Gifts for the Relatives
Grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles would all be more than pleased to receive a handmade gift from the younger family members. Homemade glycerin soaps or colored bath salts make great gifts, and they are simple to make. Glycerin soaps can also be scented or colored, and formed in holiday molds to represent the spirit of the season. Different colored bath salts layered in a large canning jar creates a work of art on its own. If your kids are old enough and like to knit or crochet, pair these with simple hand-made face cloths for a spa-style gift box.
Layering cookie, cake, or even soup ingredients into a decorated glass jar also makes a great gift that's simple for younger fingers to manage. Don't forget to include a recipe. Canned jams, jellies or pie fillings also make a great gift. Enlist the kids' help cleaning and preparing the ingredients, then let them decorate the finished jar.
Using some of these ideas can help make the holiday season that much more special for you and your kids. So give homemade gifts a try, and above all, don't forget to have fun.