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The little book with BIG resources!

DIY Christmas Gifts for Your Friends and Family!

Finding the perfect gift can be daunting!  Creating something with your own two hands can be much more meaningful.  Take a look at these DIY Christmas Gifts that Liz has compiled for you!

DIY Christmas gifts

DIY Christmas Gifts for Your Friends and Family!

Are you looking for the perfect Christmas gift idea to knock off that Christmas wish for a loved one?  I have some fun ideas for DIY Christmas gifts and present ideas to make your holiday season easier!  DIY or Do It Yourself gifts are fun to do alone, with your kids or as an entire family. These gifts are inexpensive and because they are homemade are filled with heart and thoughtfulness.

diy christmas gifts

DIY Kids Ideas: Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments 

Are you overwhelmed with the thought of homemade Christmas gifts from your kids to grandparents and family? If your parents are like mine they are excited about any Christmas gift that is homemade. Each year I feel a little pressure to find new and creative ideas in DIY gift-giving.  Scrap Ribbon Tree Ornaments are beautifully rustic and simple. They look especially cute dangling from the Christmas tree or from a peppermint cookie in a jar, which you will learn in a bit when you keep scrolling.

Supplies:

  • Straight sticks (6” in length) found outside or use cinnamon sticks
  • Ribbons (cut into 5-6 inch strips) in a variety of Christmas tree greens
  • Hot glue gun
  • Twine
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. After gathering supplies, show your child how to tie the scraps of ribbon down the twig or cinnamon stick. Wide ribbons, tied into single loose knots, give the best coverage down the stick
  2. For best results, bunch the ribbons close together. The ribbons will bend and slightly overlap. Gently tug them into place until you are satisfied with their placement. You will probably use between 13-16 strips of ribbon for each ornament.
  3. Use sharp scissors to trim the ribbon scraps into the shape of a Christmas tree. The little fray of the ribbon gives the ornament a rustic look. Get creative and go beyond ribbon and try using cotton and wool fabric scraps, cinnamon sticks and flannel to create your Christmas tree.
  4. Hot glue or tie a loop of twine to the top of the tree. If desired, top the tree with a wooden star, yellow button, or any embellishment your child chooses.

DIY Christmas Gifts

DIY Gifts for Family: 

Tied up with red and green plaid ribbon, this DIY Christmas breakfast gift basket is very festive. This is a super simple little hostess, neighbor or family gift. You simply take a few breakfast items and place them all in an inexpensive cute box or breakfast. Ideas are pancake mix, a sweet syrup, jelly, tea bags, coffee, red frying pan, whisk, spatula and festive holiday napkins.

I would use a little brown paper bag tied with some pretty red yarn and a simple tag to put in some pre-made pancake mix. You can add a little instruction or recipe card if you wish.

diy stock photos

DIY Small Gift Idea:  Christmas Cookie in a Jar 

These Christmas cookies in a jar gifts are so cute! Such an easy gift to put together and will be so appreciated and loved by friends and neighbor!

Grab a quart size mason jar and begin layering the following ingredients. Kind of tap the bottom of the jar on the counter as you go to get everything to lay down into the jar nice and flat.

Layer the following in this order:

  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 and 1/4 C flour
  • 2/3 C chocolate chips
  • 2/3 C peppermint or mint chocolate chips

This gift is so cute you don’t even need to wrap it! Just tie a big red ribbon around the lid. Finish off by sticking on a cookie label and also baking instructions. You can write out the directions yourself or use the computer and print off on to stickable paper.  Make a front label that says “CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT COOKIES”. 

On your back label: List off the ingredients that are already in the jar.

And then write:

  • Now Add: ½ C (one stick) butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • Mix & Roll into 1 Inch Balls & Bake
  • Cook at 375 for 8-10 minutes

Share with those loved ones who love to bake especially during the Christmas season!

Fun Gift Ideas for Friends and Teachers: Fleece Blanket 

I am so excited to give this cool Christmas gift to my close mom friends this season!  You can find festive and inexpensive fleece throws in every store around the holiday season. Simply find your fleece blanket, wrap in large ribbon and finish it off with a tag that says “ Fleece Navidad.  We want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom of our hearts.” How fun is this gift-idea?!  I know this would also be a great gift for your children’s teachers, neighbors or girlfriends!

Consider jazzing up your gift a bit!  Pair this fleece idea with popcorn, a box of hot chocolate, marshmallows and perhaps a DVD or movie gift card! No matter what DIY gift you choose to give this year, it is sure to be loved by all!  Happy giving and happy holiday season!

From iFamily to Yours,


No-Toy Holiday Gift Ideas Your Kids Will Love

Psssst! Look {Inside} for a FUN GIVEAWAY!

We’re now *officially* less than 75 days away from Christmas 2017 (not that we’re counting or anything!) and our team here at iFamilyKC is excited to share some wonderful ideas, tips, and tricks for your family over the next few months. To kick things off, we’ve got some no-toy holiday gift ideas to keep the magic of the holidays alive even after the New Year. And, BONUS, we’ve got a giveaway RIGHT in this post! Take a look…


holiday gift ideas

No-Toy Holiday Gift Ideas Your Kids Will Love

There was a time in my life when I thought my family might want to explore living in a larger house. Why?! Simply put, we thought we needed more space. Life was feeling a little crowded and it wasn’t until we realized we just have too much stuff that we made the decision that more square footage wasn’t going to solve the problem in the long run – it would just make it worse with time. So we went on a mission (a long road that we’re still on, to be honest) to simplify life and get rid of all the excess stuff. Now that the holidays are approaching, we’re exploring new ideas for holiday gift giving that don’t involve toys.

We’ve got a few go-to ideas that we typically fall back on but were ready for some fresh concepts for Christmas 2017. So, we took to our brand new Community Group on Facebook (shameless plug– have you joined the iFamilyKC Kansas City parent group yet?!) to ask you for your ideas on no-toy gifts you can give the kiddos (or adults!) in your life this year. Here are some of our favorites:

#1 Books

It’s always a good time for learning and I am a huge fan of gifting books for special occasions (and normally give them for kid’s birthdays, too). Reading provides children with the opportunity to use their imagination and dive deep into other worlds.

“A reader lives a thousand lifetimes…” -George R.R. Martin 

With hundreds of thousands of different titles to select from, the possibilities are virtually endless when it comes to gifting stories for the holidays. If the special person in your life has a Kindle, tablet, or other e-reader, you could give them a gift card to purchase books onto their device. Depending on the age and reading level of your recipient, a book series can provide hours and hours of entertainment.

Some of my suggestions include:

  • Classic Children’s Books (all ages)
  • Llama Llama Red Pajama Books (toddler)
  • Pete The Cat Books (preschool)
  • Ivy & Bean Books (school aged)
  • Judy Moody Books (school aged)
  • Harry Potter Series (preteen)

#2 Experience Gifts {We’ve Got a GIVEAWAY!}

Over the last few years, my family has become really big into giving experiences as gifts (mostly to each other) and, in addition to being incredibly fun for both the giver and the receiver, they also help to bring your family closer together in ways that you might not expect (#FamilyBonding).

Each year for my daughter’s birthday, we gift her a membership to somewhere in the Kansas City area and, because KC is so full of amazing options for families, it’s awarded us with the chance to check out some fun spots across the metro over the years. We’ve done memberships to the zoo, the local botanical gardens, and to Union Station in the past and each has given us the chance to spend time together as a family – it’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Many places that you can get memberships to here in the greater KC area offer tax deductions along with your purchase so you can consider that a little gift to yourself, too.

{Bonus!} Giveaway! 

We want to give YOU a head start on your gift giving this year and have a family four pack of tickets to the newly remodeled Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium ($28 Value!) AND a family four pack of tickets to Science City ($32 Value!) both at Union Station in downtown Kansas City.

Want to get in on the action?!

We’ll randomly select TWO winners (one getting Science City tickets and the other getting Planetarium tickets) on Wednesday, October 25th!

#3 Gift Cards

I’ll admit, until recently, I’d never been big into gift cards for the holidays but, now that my daughter is getting older, I am starting to see the value in all that they provide. Charlotte, who is six, absolutely LOVES shopping at the little boutique jewelry (and hair accessory, hat, makeup, toy, etc) shop in the mall. I’m sure you’re all familiar with the one I’m talking about, it’s been around since most of us were kids. Ever since I took Charlotte to get her ears pierced over the summer, she’s been obsessed with going into the store. I can understand why, it’s every little girl’s dream to have fun costume jewelry and adorable accessories all in one place.

The joy she gets in shopping for earrings, “makeup” (relax, it’s just lip gloss…we’re not there yet), and other little things that the kids enjoy these days is really special. When you give a child a gift card, you’re giving them the freedom to explore, to discover what they really enjoy, and the entertainment of shopping.

Here are a few places I suggest for gift cards:

  • Claires (they often have ‘Buy 3 Get 3 FREE’ sales so your gift card can go further.)
  • Five Below (with everything in the store UNDER $5, a little bit can go a long way.)
  • The bookstore (See #1 for more details)

#4 Subscriptions

One of the moms on our Community Group offered up a suggestion that I hadn’t thought of before. As adults, many of us enjoy subscription boxes that come once a month or once a quarter. Why not give that as a gift for the kids?! There are several great options for subscription services specifically designed with children in mind and many of them give you the flexibility of deciding how frequently you want to send the boxes (read: how much you’re willing to budget for).

We found some options that you might be interested in exploring as gift for this year (please note that we have not used these ourselves and, as such, do not provide our endorsement for any of the following) online:

  • Little Passports
  • Kiwi Crate
  • Doodle Crate
  • SproutKin

#5 A “Yes” Day

I recently read an article that discussed how utterly exhausted (and beyond happy) actress Jennifer Garner was after successfully completing a “yes day” with her kids. It’s a concept I’ve never heard of but is apparently based on the book with the same name by Amy Krouse Rosenthal.

The idea is simple, spend a day with your kids and let them take the reins in planning what they want to do. You set limits (budget, time, etc) and rules for the day and then allow your kids to call the shots. If it sounds as exciting to you as it does to me, check out the book from your local Mid-Continent Public Library branch and consider giving it to your child this Christmas.

We’ll have an in depth listing of resources available to your family this season in our Annual Holiday Guide. You can pick a copy up starting November 1st in any of our 1,000 drop spots across the metro area or access it online. Also, be sure to join the discussion on the iFamilyKC Kansas City Parent Community Group on Facebook!

From iFamily to Yours,

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