Any parent can tell you that Christmas gets about a bazillion times more exciting when you have kids. You know what makes it a gazillion bazillion times more exciting? Making your gifts. For two years now we've tried to make as many of our Christmas gifts as we can, and this year we brought the kids in on it.
Joanna made snow globes for every one on her list. I helped her with the paint and glue and she did all the rest. For Ethan's gifts we took leaves that we had collected as a family last fall in Logan Canyon and pressed them. Then Ethan mod-podged them to votive candle holders.
In school Joanna made a calender for us,
and Ethan made us an ornament and coupon book for doing extra chores.
I built farm house style doll beds for my girls and nieces Rocky and Daisy. My mom made the quilts and pillows and even the mattress pads for the beds. She put a lot of work into those blankets and they turned out so stinkin' adorable.
For Matt's present I had to learn a new crochet stitch and ended up with a cozy new hat for him.
That book with the cute little bird on the cover was one a several journals Marci hand bound.
Marci put a big chunk of last year into making all sorts of gifts. Besides the journal she printed up a cookbook of recipes she collected from friends and family and bound them by hand in cake mix boxes. (We've made Aynna's flautas just about every week since Christmas). She also collected a bunch of wrappers and folded them and pieced them into awesome little bags.
Marci also made treasure boxes for Joanna and Ethan:
Ethan loves the idea that his is a secret treasure box made out of Treasure Island.
I've mentioned the wonderful books Jill made out of our blogs:
I get a little choked up every time I look through mine.
Aunt Jilly gave the kids hand painted t-shirts which my kids would wear every single day if I let them.
My artist brother Doug gave us a print of one of his best paintings of the year. I love it. There was an empty spot on my wall that it fit perfectly in.
Doug's wife Terresa gave me one of her beautiful hand bound journals, and Doug brought out a pile of sketches he did way back.
This is of me around age 3 or 4. Pretty priceless.
And last of all, I crocheted. A lot. I made afghans for each of my siblings (which I never took pictures of), two plesiosaurus', and one beluga whale for the kiddos.
A lot of people put a lot of time and energy into these wonderful gifts, and all that effort and love is really what makes them so wonderful.