THE ANNUAL CHRISTMAS GIFT BOX & THANKSGIVING CRAFT

I have six beautiful nieces and nephews. Christmas is fun to surprise the kids with gifts. (I feel like Santa Claus) My nephews are typically routine to buy for-games or gift cards or science exploration kits. I guess it’s easier to both for them, but the girls? This is where I get creative and have far more fun making things! I locate an oversized box to begin the fun. I get large Christmas gift bags from the dollar store. I go online to a store like Kohl’s or Target or Walmart to order the girls a matching outfit or pajamas. (This requires a text to my sister in laws for correct sizes)

It has proven challenging in the last few years to locate matching clothing. My oldest niece will be thirteen this week so she is not in a child’s size any longer. I have found “family pajamas” (usually from Kohls.com) is my best bet.

I order the outfits and brainstorm their homemade gift. That’s right-I hand make them something each year. One year it was a cross stitch of their names. This year I am making them scarves via “loop-it” from Michael’s.

My good friend runs a side business making hair bows and ribbons for all ages. I support her each year through the purchase of matching hair attire for the girls. I hit Five Below or the dollar bins at Target or sometimes the dollar store to get pencils, erasers, pencil holders, fun little girlie notebooks, etc. I stuff those little bags right up with whatever I can find to bless them.

The bags fit inside the box and together, they open the box on Christmas Eve at my parents house. My baby girl has been in on this gift the last two years, despite her oblivion to what Christmas is or what the gifts mean yet.

It works perfectly well for me to orchestra a group, matching gift. In my case, we celebrate with my side of the family on Christmas Eve. I greatly appreciate my parents for this, by the way. They appreciate that we want to be in our own homes to watch our kids come down the stairs Christmas morning. They respect our new traditions so they have us all come over on Christmas Eve. Plus, how fun for all of us to celebrate before Christmas? It is the most joyous day of the year!

When the girls open the gift each year, they look forward to whatever I came up with. They expect it now. All the gifts from everyone are genuinely beautiful, mine are no better. It is just one that they know it’s going to be something unique, and they seem to enjoy the camaraderie of it all. I happen to think it’d be difficult to try to price match for the girls too. It wouldn’t seem fair to purchase a $15 game for one niece, a $25 outfit for another niece, and a $30 gift card for the other. It is simple and fun and beautiful to see their eyes light up for the gifts I hand made, and took the time to think through, is special to me.

(My daughter is in on these things and will eventually understand too). I recall years past when I’ve seen a photo of nieces in their matching pajamas and it makes me cry tears of joy, every time. Maybe this means I’m the “coolest aunt?” 🤞

The other tradition I created years ago is the Thanksgiving Craft. I search Pinterest for a holiday craft. Sometimes it is Christmas-related and sometimes Thanksgiving-related. When we celebrate, I come prepared with a step-by-step craft for my three nieces and my son. I spend days cutting special pieces of construction paper into shapes, purchasing glue for each child, using a Zip-Loc bag to bundle it all together. Again, does this make me the “cool aunt?” 😂

The above photo is of my gorgeous nieces in their scarves that I made! They came out pretty good. They’re super, duper soft!

Bottom line? I love my nephews and nieces!! I am the blessed one to have them.

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