I recently bought a great book called "Creative Play for your toddler, Steiner Waldorf Expertise and Toy Projects for 2-4's" by Christopher Louder and Janni Nicol. The projects in it are really simple to make, so I brought it out in hopes that my older kids might get inspired to make some Christmas gifts. I love making gifts so much - I really want to pass that on to my kids. It worked :) Mr. K is working on a magnetic fishing set for the girls, and Mr. S is making a felt crown for Big Miss A, with a plan to make a little raft/boat for the bath for Little Miss A after that. Ms. S got all inspired all of her own accord and is stepping back into fairy house mode to make one for the girls. I've been sitting with them undoing tangles in the hand stitching for them and rethreading needles. I do manage to get a little work done on my own projects, but mostly I just am really enjoying the time spent together. My oldest won't be living at home for that much longer - just one more year of high school after this and off she'll go. I'm going to take every moment I have with her and savour it, knowing that it won't be long now until our time together is scarce.
It's so easy to get lost in busy-land during the holidays - especially when trying to make a lot of gifts by hand, but I think that it's possible to really lose something there if one isn't careful. The holidays shouldn't be stressful - they should be a time to connect again and again. For me making gifts *is* about connecting - pouring my love into whatever I'm making and then gifting not just some random object, but something that carries that love along with it. Still I'd hate for that to be lost in the shuffle. So as hard as it can be to let go of that precious quite time in the evening letting the boys stay up with me to craft is a good reminder to slow down and enjoy everyone while they are still young.