It’s becoming more apparent that Christmas this year might be very different than any we’ve ever experienced. No one is happy about it, but we have to do what we can to protect each other.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t still get in the holiday spirit and make heartfelt gifts to drop off on our loved ones’ doorsteps. Not everything has to come from Walmart or Amazon, and these are easy enough that kids can make them. All of the supplies are available at the dollar store. And best of all? Your bored kids stay busy!
Decorated treat jars
Everyone loves treats. Candy, chocolates, cookies, or even hot chocolate mix. The contents -- and the decoration on the jars -- are only limited by your imagination. Just be prepared for a glittery house afterward, or use our alternative ideas. Here are three variations to get you started:
Jars (get them from a craft store or use empty condiment or baby food jars)
Glitter - Red, white and brown
Red pom pom
Silver foam sheet
Brown pipe cleaner
Instructions: Start out by covering your jar with a layer of decoupage or white glue. Pour glitter all over your jar, fully covering it. Set aside to dry. The directions will then vary just a little for each mason jar craft.
Santa belt mason jar
Once your red glitter is dry, wrap a piece of black ribbon around the jar and hot glue it in place. Cut a square slightly larger than your ribbon and cut out the center of the square to make a belt buckle. Glue that in place and then fill it up with candy! Or omit the glitter and fill the jar with red candy.
Snowman mason jar
Cover your jar with white glitter. Glue two small googly eyes on and then cut a small carrot nose from your orange paper and glue that in place as well. Grab your small black beads and glue them to create a smile. Or, skip the glitter again and use white candy or mini marshmallows to fill the jar.
Reindeer mason jar
Cover in brown glitter. Hot glue two googly eyes in place and add your pom-pom nose. Cut one brown pipe cleaner in half. Snip off another 1-2 inches and wrap them around the other piece to shape it into an antler. Glue this to the lid and you are set! If you omit the glitter, fill with chocolates or hot cocoa mix. You’ll need a larger jar for this, and you can decorate it any way you wish for even more flare.
Hot cocoa in a jar mix
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup miniature marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1-quart mason jar
Instructions: Using a clean quart jar, layer the ingredients starting with the unsweetened cocoa.
Add 1/3 cup of mix to one cup of hot water. Makes 12 servings. Be sure to attach this instruction on a tag or sticker to to your jar. Decorate the jar any way you want to.
Reindeer light bulb ornament
This is a classic and was a favourite around our house for years. It’s very easy and they look super cute on your tree. If you prefer a more coordinated tree with a colour scheme, you can create what we called a “kids tree” in the rec room, and all their holiday crafts went on that one.
Brown pipe cleaner (or other colours)
Red pompom (or other colours)
10mm silver or gold bell (optional)
1/8” wide ribbon in holiday colours (optional)
C7 Christmas bulb or night light bulb
1. Cut a 6” length of thin ribbon as a hanger for your ornament. Holding your light bulb bulb side down, glue the two ends of the ribbon together just below the screw portion of your bulb.
2. Cut an 8” piece of ribbon. Tie it in a bow and glue it on top of the ribbon ends you already glued on.
3. Bend a 6” piece of brown pipe cleaner as pictured, then glue the center of it on top of the ribbon bow and glue a bell on top of that.
4. Finally, glue on the googly eyes and a pompom nose as pictured.
5. For an easier version, omit the ribbon and embellishments.
Option: If you want coloured bulbs but only have clear ones, spray paint the bulbs. Before painting the bulbs, cover the screw portion with masking tape to keep the paint off it. Or leave them clear for a frosty effect. Also, you aren’t limited to these colour choices. If you want an all blue reindeer, or a rainbow effect, go for it!