A friend came a-visitin' today (not "visiting," mind you, but "a-visitin'," which is much less formal and more friend-like), and she mentioned someone who "Can't give the kids Christmas this year" because of finances, and I mentioned something like, "Posh and whatnot," because you can too give the kids Christmas this year, if you simply use your hands a little bit.
You can create things from nature for free, like grapevine wreaths, or a Horton-worthy nest of clay, or, if you have a spare quarter in your pocket to buy embroidery thread and you can find a bit of cloth, it's quite easy to embroider a child's drawing.
Or, you can make a puzzle!
Our 13yo asked if he could learn to use the scroll saw the other day. Why not? After laying out a few rules and making him quote them to me at least five times, he made puzzles for his sisters and brother. This is the one he made for his brother:
Step One: Draw a picture outline on thick cardboard or thin wood (this cardboard was from the back of an old dresser, but any cardboard or thin wood would do, if you don't have an old dresser to tear apart)
Step Two: Paint the picture. The entire surface should be covered in paint. We chose acrylic paints — those that you find in the little bottles at the craft store.
Step Three: Cut that picture into puzzle pieces (note to his Nana, my mom: you might not want to see the next photos of his hands so close to that saw blade. But we don't need to worry. He said the rules at least five times, remember.)
If you don't have a scroll saw, or if you're afraid of one (mom), you could use a utility knife. Or possibly scissors, or a rotary blade.
Step Four: See if you can put the puzzle back together again!
If you're working on projects, too, leave a link so we can see what you're doing!