When we began our homeschooling journey, my mentor, Barbara Dewey of Waldorf Without Walls, would always say to me, “Don’t plan a main lesson block for December.” And all I could think was “How would I ever get in all of our lessons then?” I had such a hard time allowing myself the space for a pause from the routine. Barbara’s recommendation: make gifts.

It took me a few years of overdoing it in December before I could even try her recommendation. But when I did, I realized “Oh, gift and card making, baking goodies to give away….really the giving is the lesson!

Over the years, we’ve made pot holders, soaps, paper boxes, candles, pin cushions, window stars, truffles, clay bowls, scarves, candied nuts, stamped wrapping paper, dishcloths and more to give away. All manner of handwork projects can make great gifts, too.

Making Handmade Gifts with Children from Art of Homeschooling

Whether you give gifts on Christmas, Winter Solstice, or on New Year’s Day like some friends of ours, or you simply want to send out handmade cards this year, check out some of my favorite books on making handmade gifts.

And whatever holidays you celebrate this time of year, I encourage you to consider taking a break from main lesson work and make gift-making and giving the lesson.

In between the crafting, curl up on the couch and share wonderful stories and books about winter and the holiday season. You can return to your lesson rhythm in January after a nice break.

Here are some ideas for 4 Last Minute Homemade Gifts.

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My Favorite Books for Making Handmade Gifts

Making Things: The Handbook of Creative Discovery by Ann Sayre Wiseman

Things I Can Make by Sabine Lohf

Gifts from the Heart by Cynthia Whitney Ward

Gifts from the Kitchen by Annie Rigg

Papercraft by Angelika Wolk-Gerche

The Quiltmakers Gift by Jeff Brumbreau & Gail Marcken

Do you have some favorite gift-making books? Please share!

If you want more book suggestions, you can see my recommended list of 50+ Wholesome Winter Holiday Books for Children here.

Want to explore pairing books and handwork projects this month? Come join us inside Inspired at Home – a monthly membership you can join anytime – where we have an entire masterclass on Handwork + Stories full of how-to project tutorials paired with wonderful children’s books.

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    1. Well for the life of me, I cannot get December right. I have a post coming out on Tuesday about just this very thing and I will surely link to this one. Such great advice – Jean and Barbara!!

      I was going through a bunch of papers today and found all my stuff from Taproot this summer. So nice to discover in December. August seems so far away.

      Miss you two!!

      1. Took me a long time to figure out December, too! I finally got the rhythm: making gifts and curling up on the couch for family reading time. More joy, less pressure.
        Miss you too!

      1. Sheila writes today about trying to do too much in December! (See Pingback above)

        Yup, it took me years to hear the advice of scaling back in December! How would you say it? Great minds overdo it the same? Sheila, I love your notes from last year: “One project a week is enough!” We need space to find the joy!

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