As the holiday season approaches, there’ll be plenty of pressure for girls—and everyone else—to start “working” on that holiday gift list. Gift-giving is great, but this season, consider something new — start a DIY gift tradition. Have the whole family make gifts, or think up gifts that don’t involve craft or construction, such as a certificate for a weekly tea and chat session with Grandma or taking over the dreaded vacuuming for someone once a month.
Girls truly love to give, and a handmade gift or a certificate gives her a chance to explore more deeply the needs and wants of others. Plus, it can be a lot more fun than enduring a hectic, crowded mall crawl. “We’ve always had the ‘home-made only’ tradition, and the girls love it,” says Grant Petersen, dad of two daughters, 17 and 11. Over the years, they’ve made gifts such as a calendar with favorite photos, an origami mobile, and hand-knit scarves and hats. “Instead of us buying the presents and them making the card, they’re much more involved,” Grant notes.
Gifts of time promised by certificates cost nothing, and just Googling “homemade gifts” provides a wealth of free or low-cost ideas. Thanks to a recent boom in creative activities, there’s no shortage of girl-friendly books offering instructions for making fun, easy presents. Get her gifting, and the whole family receives an early gift of relaxed time together.