So, what do you do for Christmas gifts when your husband leaves his full time, well-paying job to start seminary and work part time? You CRAFT! But it can’t be just any boring craft; it definitely has to be useful, exciting crafts that people actually want as gifts! With 11 nieces and nephews (and two on the way), I had to be extremely creative! In prior years, we always went overboard for our nieces and nephews because well, why not? We only had one kid, and we just loved hearing about how their faces lit up when they opened the gifts we got them. (We were definitely the ones that bought the HUGE, loud, obnoxious, messy gifts because we honestly didn’t know it was annoying! Sorry family!) Last year was no exception; we still wanted our nieces and nephews’ faces to light up when they opened our gifts. Unfortunately, we were on a VERY minimal budget. Oh, and did I mention I had just had a baby two weeks before? Yeah, so that happened. But, I decided I could still do it between the feedings every 2 hours with minimal rest. Hey, I already had a newborn WITH colic, so I was a walking zombie anyway! No biggie..
So with not much to pay and little rest, I searched relentless on the internet for ideas. After all, our nieces and nephews range in ages from six months to twelve years. How do you make all of those sweet faces so excited with crafts? I was so determined to make it happen! After many hours of research and weighing the costs, I decided to go with silly putty, do-it-yourself bracelets, blue jean roads, and a hopscotch mat. Sure it sounds like a lot, but it really wasn’t. The only thing it was a lot of was TIME. I made silly putty for each family, of course, because who doesn’t like silly putty? I mean even my husband still loves it! Do-it-yourself bracelets were for the girls, while the blue jean roads were for the boys. Last but not least, the hop scotch mat was for everyone to enjoy.
Since the big finale was the hop scotch mat, it couldn’t be just ANY hopscotch mat. I found a couple of different suggestions online, but I decided to go with the one that suggested having a Tic-Tac-Toe board and a bulls eye target game on the back. Because how cool is that? I knew this would keep my nieces and nephews occupied for hours. Here is the link to the awesome hopscotch mat that I used. Here is a few pictures of how it turned out:
Fortunately, it was a HUGE success and all of the kids LOVED it! They especially loved the “bombs” as the site calls them to toss on the bulls eye and/or hopscotch mat. Our family loved it because it conveniently rolls up pretty small for storage, and my husband appreciated that I actually made crafts for a lot less than we normally spend for Christmas. 😉 Overall, it was a win for the whole family, and no one was giving us the cold shoulder for our usual ‘obnoxious’ gifts.