My Frugal Holiday: Christmas In a Box

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My grandchildren have plenty of toys, and sometimes, like other children, would rather play with the box the toy comes in than the actual toy itself. As a result, for their Christmas and birthday presents, I have put together craft projects. I gather all the materials and package each project in a ziploc or other appropriately sized container.

I search online and at the library for craft projects. When I find a project I think will suit my grandchildren, I run off a copy of the instructions to include in the ziploc. It is really helpful if there is a picture included.

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I set up a materials list, make several copies and ask friends to help collect the supplies. I have quite a few tubs of craft materials collected in this way. People are willing to save toilet paper rolls, CD disks, buttons, fabric scraps and other "free" supplies.

Most of these projects have recycled materials or super cheap materials. I include glue, colors, tape, etc. so the mothers don't have to get started on a project and discover they have to search for supplies. My grandchildren's mothers appreciate the fact that each project has all the supplies needed to compete it in the ziploc.

The first year I did this, I made up 56 projects for each of my four oldest granddaughters. During the next few months they had great time reaching into the huge box the projects were packed in and pulling out a project that their mothers knew was age appropriate and complete with all the supplies. I have been doing this for three years. This year I am putting together 4-H craft projects for my oldest granddaughter for her Christmas present. For my science minded granddaughter I will gather materials and instructions for science experiments. The mothers and granddaughters love this gift. If I get enough projects put together the gift can last until the next birthday or Christmas.

By Crystal from Pukwana, SD

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October 15, 20100 found this helpful

This is a great idea! I especially like the picture of the little one with her paper dolls, how cute!

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October 16, 20100 found this helpful

You're a good grandma! Love your idea!

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October 23, 20100 found this helpful

Super Grandma! Do you know, when I first became a "single-Mom" and had only a few bucks to spare and too many friends with wee ones' at Christmas, I did the same thing.

I wrapped a shoe-boxes and lids separately, so they could be opened without ripping the papers. Inside I included, bits and pieces of fabrics, bits of trims, ribbons, glue-sticks, glitters, kid scissors, pipe cleaners etc. The kids names were pasted in big letters in bright paper, so each knew what was theirs'

Apparently this was the gift the kids all enjoyed the most! I was so relieved and tickled. They sat at the kitchen tables and such and were creating all sorts of things, being quiet as mice.

So, your idea is perfect. Name any other gift which could open their minds and hearts so well.

Cheers,

Brenda

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