Tips for Parents
Fun-themed Holiday Gifts - Get the Youngsters Involved
The holidays are a time of giving — of all sorts of gifts. Consider getting your family members, particularly the younger ones, involved in making some creative gifts for your college student this year. It will be a special time for them to share — and a memory that will last a lifetime.
Here are nine creative, low-cost gift ideas:
- Make origami ornaments out of recycled school papers or drawings. Go online to get some origami figure instructions. Craft some frogs, fans or whatever else you like — and use recycled school or art work to do so! Once you're done making the origami figure, poke a tiny hole using a pin and place it on a string loop. To stiffen the paper, water down some Elmer's Glue or buy some Mod Podge and paint the paper with a light coating. Let dry.
- Decorate picture frames. Get some cheap picture frames from the craft store and decorate the edges with meaningful phrases or images. Print off a picture and include it with the frame.
- Write a letter — the old-fashioned way. Get some pretty stationery and a nice pen and write a letter from the heart.
- Bake a loaf of bread. Get a mini loaf pan and set aside some time to bake a mini loaf of bread. Yummy! To make the loaf festive, tie ribbons around the loaf in the student's school colors.
- Offer time. Brainstorm a list of ways your family members can give to one another. Perhaps it's something simple like making breakfast together or visiting a favorite local spot. Or, it's something like helping to organize your room, do a load of laundry or spend 10 minutes making you laugh. Whatever it is, print out a certificate offering the time and talent. What a way to showcase special talents, recognize unique skills and more!
- Buy some candy. Make things easy! Buy some candy and some festive cellophane bags. Wrap up a bunch and place a cute little tag on it. It's a great travel treat!
- Make a set of collegiate-themed notecards. Visit your student's school website or gather old school mailings. Buy a pack of plain white notecards with envelopes and decorate a set for your student by printing out or cutting out words and images from the website and publications. Tie a ribbon around the bunch — voila! A set of college-themed notecards ready to give as thank yous, pick me ups and more!
- Decorate a journal or photo album. Get some notebooks from the dollar store — or even cheap photo albums that have a clear plastic cover overlay that comes on and off — and collage the front and back. Personalize the collage by using images and words that fit the person for whom you are making the project. For the notebook, cut contact paper to fit over the front and back (leaving some extra to fold over the edges to the inside works best). For the photo album, the clear plastic overlay should provide enough protection. Fun!
- Create a slideshow DVD. Gather a bunch of pictures from the year thus far and put together a cool picture slideshow. Add some text (such as memorable quotes or experiences, the date, etc.) and make a DVD copy as a gift.
Just remember the old cliché — it's the thought that counts when it comes to giving gifts. Your student will appreciate your family's thoughtfulness and attention.
Offer these ideas to your student and encourage her to work with a younger sibling to make these gifts together for friends and family. You can help build the excitement for the youngster by encouraging your student to call home to begin the planning process and gathering of supplies ahead of time. Plus, since your student may be strapped for cash, these low-cost ideas will be a help in that regard too!
Prepared for our institution by PaperClip Communications, www.paper-clip.com.
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