Christmas is so fun for kids, but it can extremely stressful for us parents. We want to give our kids EVERYTHING, because it’s so fun to see the joy and excitement in their eyes on Christmas morning. But, then again, we have WAY TOO MANY TOYS already! And most of them don’t get played with enough to justify the amount that we spend. Can I get an AMEN! So this year, I thought I’d share some ideas for Christmas that can be done for a fairly small amount or nothing at all! 1- Cardboard Toys- My kids would absolutely love ANY of these awesome cardboard toys, and you could probably find everything you need to make them in your craft closet already! Find these awesome tutorials here on Crafting Connections! These are old crappy pictures from my phone but, as you can see, my kids LOVE it when we build things out of cardboard! The bottom one is a pterodactyl costume, it looks a little freaky, but my Max LOVED it, and it lasted for a really long time! And don’t worry about decorating the card board village if you don’t have time! You could simply build the basic house, and then let your kids decorate it! I know my kids would LOVE that, and it gives them something fun to do over the Christmas break! 2- Play Dough- I also love the idea to make homemade play dough for stocking stuffers. How Does She even has some adorable FREE printable labels to add to the top of old baby food containers. My kids love play dough, and even though it can be messy, it entertains kids for hours and it’s so good for them to make messes every once in a while! Click here for a recipe and printable labels! We also love making Flubber, you can find a recipe here on Live Craft Eat. 3- Toy Swap- I’m sure your friends have a lot of toys that their kids don’t play with anymore, just like you do! Set out the toys that you are ready to send away (while the kids are in school of course), and let your friends come choose ones they like for their kids, in exchange for some of their gently used toys. 4- Go on an Adventure- Instead of giving tons of gifts, you could take your family on an adventure on Christmas day. Pack up the car with hot cocoa and donuts and go sledding or tubing. You could have new gloves or hats wrapped up, along with a “ticket” good for one trip to go sledding. 5- Give Back- Tie a quilt together to take to a homeless shelter. Volunteer to feed the homeless on Christmas. Visit an old folks home on Christmas day and play games with the residents, or better yet, prepare a Christmas program with songs or stories that you could perform at the Rest Home. Just call the Rest Home in advance so they can plan on you. When we serve others we forget our problems, and the memories you make while serving others will far out weight the memories of the gifts your children receive. I hope this gives you a few ideas, let us know what other ideas you have for making Christmas special without breaking the bank! Jessica
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