You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg (and then some) buying gifts for all the people in your life. In fact, people seem to appreciate heartfelt gifts that are homemade and come from the heart. Whether you sit with your kiddos to make fun holiday crafts or choose to do some crafting solo (perhaps with a glass of vino nearby!), there are lots of things you can make for Christmastime, Hannukah and Kwanzaa. —Jennifer Cox
for the kids: ornaments. There are lots of ways you can make Christmas tree ornaments for loved ones. You can paint mini pinecones to look like trees, glue together popsicle sticks to resemble snowflakes that are painted and decorated with glitter, or string beads onto pipe cleaners and bend into the shape of candy canes.
for the grownups: wreaths. A holiday wreath can be a lovely gift to bestow on neighbours, teachers, and others. Start with a simple foam circle (you can find these at a dollar store) and wrap in layers of colourful overlapping ribbon or yarn, glue small glass balls, pinecones and cinnamon sticks all around it, stick on a variety of gift bows, or use festive fake flowers.
for the kids: homemade menorah. There are many different types of homemade menorahs, so find a material your little one loves and go with it. Fashion your menorah candles out of cardboard tubes (paper towel rolls work best), popsicle sticks or even handprints. Make them three-dimensional or works of art on a piece of paper.
for the grownups: homemade menorah: Why not make a grown-up, functioning menorah that you can actually light? Layer coloured wax beads in clear jars and add a wick, or do the same layering with coloured sand and stick in large birthday candles. You can also repurpose thread spools or egg cups by painting them in joyful Hannukah colours and using them as candleholders.
for the kids: paper chains. Get out your red, green, and black construction paper, cut into long strips, and start attaching loop after loop until you have a beautiful paper chain in Kwanzaa’s most festive colours. You can also attach paper flags or paper candles for an added decorative touch.
for the grownups: placemats. Woven placemats are the perfect way to dress up your Kwanzaa holiday tablescape. You will only need a few simple supplies and very basic skills – learn the technique of making woven placemats on YouTube.