Making Holiday Gifts

In our family, I love when the shopping part of the few things to buy is done and we can focus on making some handmade gifts!  Don’t you love that too?

Here is what we are making…..

I am making two wool pictures of Saint Francis for each of my girls’ rooms…Shhhhhh!

The girls and I are painting, polishing and making little felt pockets for a number of different shaped and sized peg people and putting them in a little tin for our toddler.

Today we made beeswax ornaments for the Christmas tree and we made beeswax candles with seashells in mason jars.

We will make Christmas cookies, peppermint bark and raw granola to give as presents.

We are planning to make candy cane salt dough for our small friends.

We will also be making pinecone angel ornaments from Martha Stewart and striped candy cane soap, also from Martha Stewart.

What are you working on?

Many blessings,

Carrie

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29 thoughts on “Making Holiday Gifts

  1. Carrie,
    Love your blogs! Wonderful stories, ideas, energy and inspiration.
    I am a Waldorf teacher in Puerto Rico and have recently found your blog-I’ve passed it on to parents, encouraging them to bring aspects of Waldorf education into the home-as simply as they wish!
    This Christmas season I am making (with the other teachers of our small initiative) felted moon and star ornaments for the children. Last year I made them all stars, so this year I decided moons for returning students, stars for our new little friends. We are also busy with a big Caribbean Winter Festival coming up, and of course Advent Garden.
    Thank so much for your postings, they keep me inspired yet grounded.
    Happy Holidays!
    Maestra Arileña

    • Gracia Maestra Arilena! SO excited you are here! I love festivals in the islands..one side of our family is from St. Croix so we head there when we can…Thank you so much for sharing your plans, they sound lovely!
      Many blessings, wonderful Advent!
      Carrie

    • Maestra Arileña, Hi, I am Puerto Rican and living in San Francisco, CA (well, I wasn’t raised in PR cause I was a military brat) and I love and have been greatly inspired by Carrie’s blog too! I would love to get in contact with a Waldorf teacher or school in Puerto Rico to help find spanish Waldorf resources for my child and to get any tips on bringing a Puerto Rican flavor to it. We’re visiting PR this Christmas. Do you have a website? Perhaps I could be a part of your far away extended community (email list?)? :) My son currently goes to a Waldorf-inspired (Lifeways-trained, not Waldorf teacher-trained) spanish immersion preschool here and I hope to get him into the local Waldorf Kindergarten which is a dream but it will mean that his schooling will be in English so I will grieve when he begins to reject all the spanish songs culture etc. that I’ve worked so hard to cultivate and that he’s been getting at his preschool. So exciting to hear that there is a Waldorf School in PR! I’m dying to know where?

  2. Your list is very similar to mine! I have been knitting up a storm…sweaters and mittens with hats and a pair of socks to come as well as some gnomes. Daddy is a woodworker so he is making a fridge to go with our kitchen set as well as a dagger for one of my sons and breakfast boards for all of my kids. I will be sewing a pair of cozy pants for my toddler and the boys are going to help me dye silks for her as well as make candy cane playdough (!). The boys will also get little ninja peg people. Whew, thats a lot! If I have time, I will also sew up some new dolly clothes. We just finished up our elving for my side of the family…peppermint bark, knitted washcloths with local made soap,a woven bookmark, handmade from scratch picture frames, a handsewn towel, and clay creations.

  3. My 11 y/o is making things (wallets, hairbows) out of duct tape for the family. My 9 y/o is making lip balm. My 6 y/o is making bracelets and necklaces. I’m knitting a sweater for my youngest and recently finished a few hats. If I have time, I’ll make mittens for the older kids.

  4. Whats a breakfast board? I’m thinking of making beeswax candles too and the kids are making bracelets. At Michaelmas, we dyed silks for gifts for family and friends too. Granola is a great idea. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Hi Carrie
    friends of mine shared this blog with me…and it’s wonderful.
    I have a little seven year old girl, and we also love making holiday gifts.
    We live in Puerto Rico and are inspired by the ocean and the beach life.
    Christmas is our favorite time of year, and along with baking up a storm we love creating gifts to share with others.
    We have made so far:
    Sea shell wreaths, Sea Fan Angels, Sea Urchin Snow Men & icicles. And finally Mosaic crosses using tropical Limpet and Cowrie shells.

    • Elke!
      So glad you looked up the blog. I knew you would enjoy it, you and your daughter are so wonderfully artistic and creative. We missed your tropical Christmas ornaments at the festival this year!
      Keep in touch…
      ¡Felicidades!
      Arileña

  6. This is such a great list!!! We had a Barter Day for holiday crafts with our homeschooling group yesterday. My guys made wet felted ornaments together. Then my little guy made drawings and my big guy made little felt button pouches. For gifting this year we’re making more wet felted ornaments, wooden ornaments, window stars, drawings (that we’ll put in purchased frames) and now I’ll be making that beautiful candy cane play dough for every child I know!!! The boys also have some sort of top secret building project going on with Daddy – I hope it’s a coffee table :-)

  7. Oh… I love this topic! Right now I am working on leg warmers and fingerless mitts for my mom (Ellie, nearly 11 is helping me with the knitting). I have some little knights to make for Super Sam with wooden bendy bodies so they will ride on the horses I have hidden :) My almost 15yo wants some ugly babies knitted (from an etsy pattern I bought)… I made the baby a quiet book for church… hoping to finish a shawl for Ellie… Jacob needs something but I haven’t figured him out just yet… he’s 12 and a bit picky, lol… maybe some cotton socks.

    I love holiday crafting!! I love handwork in general, lol.

  8. I’ve been making little holly leaf sleeping bag like beds from wool felt for sleeping baby gnomes (needle felted). They are so precious. The children can take the babies in and out of the bed and keep them on their nature table or wherever. I’m also thinking of making some felt faeries or angles with little open pouches for a needle felted sleeping baby. I thought this might be a nice gift for a child I know who needs to feel a bit more embraced in love. I’ve also been knitting some gnomes from the wee folk pattern and a birthday sweater for my Christmas baby.

  9. Hi, Carrie.

    Can I take a moment and tell you what a God-send I find your site? We are a Waldorf family and it is so nice to have a safe place to get information to make our lives more centered, peaceful, and joyful. Thank you!

    As for us, our daughter is 6 this year and loves crafting. This year we are making nativity figurines out of salt clay (the kind that hardens when you bake it) and then painting them with our traditional wet-on-wet paints. For a background to the nativity, we have been making Bethlehem-inspired silhouette tansparencies from thick painting paper (similar to this tutorial: http://ancienthearth2.blogspot.com/2009/12/advent-week-3-gifts-silhouette.html). To illuminate them we are making our own beeswax votives. I love how much thought and effort goes into these gifts (our daughter is making hers for grandma and I made one alongside to “model” for her that will be given to MY grandma) but not much expense. We are also going to frame several nativity scenes that our daughter has drawn with crayons and chalk to give. For St. Nicholas’ day we make our own St. Nicholases that we collect and display each year, and then peppermint bark which we share with our neighbors. We do an Advent tree based on the activities in Seasons of Joy Advent e-book that you mentioned and add new ornaments each week (this week is salt clay stars, next week is felted poinsettias, the third week is needle-felted sheep, and the last week are acorn baby Jesuses in a walnut manger). We also craft each week a new item for our own nativity. The first week is making a stone path from Nazareth to Bethlehem; the second week we plant birdseed “hay” for the animals in the stable; the third week we model and paint salt clay animals for Bethlehem; and the fourth week, which is very busy for us since it is both our daughter’s birthday as well as Christmas, we pull out our Mary and Joseph wooden figurines and watch them each day move closer to the stable. Advent through Epiphany is such a rich time of year for us as Christians, and Waldorf has allowed us to explore this season with more mindfulness, creativity, and depth.

    Blessings and peace to all!

  10. My sister and I have decided that instead of any big presents we will fill our advent calendar with little gifties of treats and activities together. She’s got the even dates and I’ve got the odd dates and I’ve already stuffed most of them with candies, packets of spices, IOUs for making paper snowflakes and gingerbread cookies as well as a lovely little flashlight I found at a store that I happened to be at recently. That doesn’t fit in the calendar, but I found a lovely quote to write on a small piece of paper and then the flashlight will “appear” that day for her :) Not all of it is exactly “homemade”, but it is pleasantly simple and frugal… and full of love rather than just a gimme gimme present situation.

  11. I am working on a treasure box for my little nature girl (5). She is always finding beautiful (if messy) bits and pieces of bark, pinecones, leaves, feathers, stones and dirt to bring in. This box is a wood box I got on freecycle that must have held wine or something. I am decorating it and lining the inserts to create a special place for her “treasures”. I am even lining the lid with one of those ribbon criss-cross note boards to hold her feather collection. I will make a little one out of a cigar box for my toddler as well.

    • Noelle,

      I have a little nature girl of my own. I have been thinking about making her a treasure box too. Do you have instructions or link for it?

  12. I have knitted a hat for my husband and made pottery bowls for many family members and friends. For my daughter, I’m sewing felt food and a Waldorf doll and knitting a hat. For my older nephew, I sewed felt food. For my baby niece and nephew, I have sewn felt baby books with Christmas pictures in them. I may make some jewelry for relatives as well, and I’ll make my dad some fudge and some cookies for my grandmother.

  13. Hola MicheledJ! (Michele?)
    Thanks for your interest. I am going to visit San Francisco (San Francisco Waldorf School) in March/April 2012! I would love to keep in contact and get you whatever resources or information you would like. How old is your son? (you said pre-school, 3? 4?=my students ages :) )
    I can email you the verses and songs we use at our Waldorf Initiative, Escuela Micael. We are completely bilingual so I have them all in English and Spanish, which might be a fun way to keep your son in touch with his Puerto Rican roots and Spanish language, while also inspiring his new culture and English language.
    We are the FIRST(!) Waldorf (Initiative) School in Puerto Rico! We are in our third year and currently have a Parent/Child Class, Mixed-Aged Pre-School Class and Waldorf-Inspired After-School Program. We are located on the northwest of the island, Aguadilla. Where will you be visiting when here? Would love for you and your son to come visit! We are extending class until the 21st, hopefully in time for you to visit.
    Please look up our humble and non-up-dated group on facebook:

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/120771922957/

    After School Program: Libertad de Luz:

    http://www.facebook.com/groups/192078577530176/

    Feel free to contact me through here (If that’s ok with Carrie?-Thank you for allowing us to link up through your wonderful blog!), facebook, or email arilenamorgan@gmail.com
    ¡Felíz Navidad!
    Arileña

    • Arilena = I just took out your email and will email Michelle with it privately, okay? So glad to connect you two, and so happy to hear of a Waldorf school intiative in Puerto Rico, home of my favorite little sorority sister from university!
      Sniff.

      Love to you both,
      Carrie

    • Yes, good idea. Thank you, Carrie!
      You are welcome to come visit anytime…I’m sure you fly through here on your way to St. Croix… :)
      Happy Holidays!
      Arileña

    • Maestra Arileña,
      Wow! Awesome! Thank you (and thank you Carrie)! I will email you directly and try to connect through Facebook! Oh my, darn, your school is on the opposite side of the island, hmm?! We’ll be in Guaynabo.
      Michele

  14. Hi Carrie!

    Thank you for sharing this….very helpful and inspiring. I have been thinking though, how do you work all of these projects into your busy days? Do you do them on the weekend? Do you forgo another activity, so you and the kids can work on this? I am just trying to figure out how you manage school, putting fall/thanksgiving decorations away, bringing out the Christmas decorations, following Advent, doing other miscell house and kid duties, and then making all of these crafts??? How do you do it????? ;-)

    You rock, Carrie!

    • Bonnie,
      Some of these the children and I do together for cousins and friends, some of them I can do in front of the children because they are stocking stuffers for a swap (and I had my very best friend come over yesterday and whilst our six children total were outside playing we finished those felt fish!)…Some of them I have to do at night, and I have set up a time on the weekend to work on them when my husband can take my older ones somewhere…

      It is all an act of circus juggling, every year I swear I am going to start early and I never do! And yes, school is much lighter! The decorating we also keep fairly light as well!

      Love,
      Carrie

  15. Hello Carrie,

    I absolutely love your blog!!! I was just introduced to Waldorf this summer and already it has changed my life and of course my daughter’s. I live in Miami thought and the Waldorf community is quite thin. I have, and continue to read books and scour websites. Your blog, however, makes me feel like I am part of Waldorf community. I look forward to learning from you. Thank you.

    I was wondering if you could share the link to the pinecone angels? I can’t seem to find it.

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