A Homemade Christmas and our Christmas Elf

Our most magical Christmas was the year we had a homemade Christmas.  My oldest read "Little House in the Big Woods" and had a project to make a homemade rag doll. In the process, we got talking about how people used to make so many more homemade items, including gifts. So it was decided at that point to do homemade gifts as a family. I would recommend it to any of you as it brought a lot of thoughtfulness into our home. Daddy worked hard in his workshop {with my son most of the time} making bunk beds for the girl's dolls and a wooden gun for my oldest son.
What a treasure to have something made by the hand of your dad. I still have many handmade things from my parents.
I made the girls patchwork quilts for their doll beds and matching pillows too. I made my oldest son a bag full of file folder games since he really enjoys those. And I finally got around to painting my other son's frame to hang his picture up on the stairs and let him "join the family". In addition, I made each of the kids a coupon book with 14 coupons to redeem - this was a huge hit. Included were items such as a cousin sleepover, dinner of your choice, family game night, stay up one hour past bedtime, no chores day, free computer time, etc.
My oldest made homemade snowflakes for daddy, a friendship bracelet for me, a secret diary and piano book of her sister's favorite songs , an "I Spy" book with her brother's favorite things and a cardboard remote control for her baby brother since he's always trying to get the real one.
My second daughter made a candy cane ornament and poem for daddy, a snowflake flower for me, a handmade fleece pillow for her big sister, a Lightning McQeen bookmark for one brother, and a cardboard cell phone for her baby brother.
And then there was my oldest son's big surprises! We all got a bundle of board books each - hand wrapped and excessively taped by my son. With the help of the girls, he made a cardboard piano for his baby brother. In addition, he made 3 creations out of legos - a houseboat for one sister, a house for another sister, and a toilet for dad. I was laughing so hard at the toilet.
{The houseboat.. notice the slide off the side...}
{The toilet}

My oldest daughter even made a homemade scarf for our elf, Bernard. Bernard comes to visit us each day of the Christmas season, hiding in a new spot each morning after he's reported to Santa on how we've been. He arrives when the last ornament is placed on the tree and leaves Christmas evening. It is a very fun thing for the kids to look forward to each morning and try to find Bernard. Plus, it's always helpful for them to know they really are being watched!
He was most grateful for the scarf and even wore it all day.
It goes to show you, you don't have to spend a lot of money to have a great Christmas!

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