DIY Holiday Gifts Promote Creative Free Play and Non-Commercial Holiday Celebrations
The holidays are upon us, and with the approach of a season of light, kindness, and appreciation of one another comes the need for giving – the sharing of gifts of all sizes serving as representation for our love and gratitude for each other. With the holidays comes an onslaught of commercialism, encouraging us to buy gifts rather than create them with love. In order to celebrate a non-commercial holiday season, families can commit to sharing appreciation for others during the holiday season by making handmade items for loved ones. Handmade gifts not only reflect the emotions behind them, but allow young creators to engage in creative free play, and provide an alternative to consumption by creating opportunities for creative reuse of items!
Gift-givers of all ages can find a treasure trove of DIY gift ideas in our archives, covering everything from scented ornaments and cards to planters and terrariums – even giftwrap is included! Archived highlights include:
- Holiday Cinnamon Ornaments
- Christmas Spider Cards
- Hand-bound Journals
- Literrarium Story Terrariums
- Repurposed Paperwhite Planters
- Eco-friendly Gift Wrapping
- Needle-Felting and Bottletop Magnets
- Simple Toys
In addition to engaging in gift-producing creative free play at home, families can take advantage of community-based gift-making resources and upcoming events in order to learn new creative skills and craft new treasures.
Holiday gift-making events taking place during the next few weeks include opportunities to create hand-blown glass ornaments at Snow Farm in Williamsburg on November 27th-29th, 2015. Part of Snow Farm’s annual Seconds Sale, glassblowing takes place between 10am and 5pm, and is open to artists ages 8 and older. Cost is $25 per ornament.
On Saturday, December 5, 2015, from 10am-12pm in Easthampton, children can make up to three nature-oriented gifts — including panpipes, leaf pendants, and gourd birdhouses — at the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. On that same weekend in Amherst, another event promoting handmade gifts is the Eric Carle Museum‘s upcoming Family Snowflake Workshop, where families can engage in open-ended snow-themed art projects that can easily become holiday gifts. Held in the museum’s art studio from 10:30am-12:30pm on Sunday December 6th, 2015, the workshop is $25 per participating adult/child pair.
And on Saturday, December 12th, 2015, from 9am-2pm, people of all ages are invited to the Montague Common Hall‘s Make and Take Craft Day, where you can make beeswax candles, jewelry, spin art, magnets, votives, and more.
To engage in self-directed creative gift-making, families can look to local arts and crafts studios for resources. In Shelburne Falls, The Art Garden offers open studio hours with sliding scale fee, four days a week in a space that is chock-full of hundreds of different creative materials. In Easthampton, Knack: The Clever Art of Reuse offers open studio time for $7/hour during regular business hours, allowing families the opportunity to explore a wide variety of inspirational materials. Those preferring needle and thread to scissors and glue can look to Northampton‘s Beehive Sewing Studio for both open sewing time and guided workshops.