Handmade Christmas Gifts From the Boys

The past few Christmases we've really made an effort during the weeks of Advent to focus gift-wise on what the kids will be giving to other people rather than on what they expect to receive.  They get crazy excited for our celebrations and anticipate those for weeks but there isn't much talk of what they want to get or making of lists for themselves.  I've heard a few things here and there but I'd really love to keep it that the focus is on what we'll be giving rather than getting.

To help that along (as well as to nurture some -ahem- much needed sibling kindness) we brainstormed with each of the boys separately on what they could do or make for their brothers.  I absolutely LOVE what they came up with.  Brian spent a few hours in the work loft with each of them helping them bring their ideas to life in the weeks before Christmas.  (As well as manning the power tools needed.)  My heart just about melted when I saw how ridiculously excited they were to give them to each other on Christmas morning.  Plus, they're actually kind of cool!  They were way more excited to give what they had worked so hard on than to open any gifts themselves.  It was so so great.  These bigger gifts were accompanied by about a trazillion perler bead and cardboard ornaments and nativity scene drawings that were hastily made and wrapped in the last few days before Christmas and stashed about the house, most especially by David.  It was all pretty cute.

Here's what each of them came up with for their bigger gift...

John Paul:

 John Paul made a joint gift to the three middles of a pegboard ball track to go down in the basement.  It's modeled after something he saw in a local children's museum.  They've been absolutely loving it and have been coming up with all different track combinations.

Sorry for the photo harshness.  Florescent basement lighting, y'all.  I tried to make them not blinding to no success.

They bought the pegboard but I believe the rest of those pieces are from scrap and/or pallets.


Michael was crazy excited to give John Paul a rack to hang his sword.  When he told me his idea my suggestion was "can't you just put two nails in the wall?"  

Instead, he and Brian came up with this:
Aragorn's crown.  Which is decidedly much cooler than two nails in the wall.

John Paul clearly agreed.

Brian printed out a color picture of the crown and then they cut the wood exactly to fit and modpodged the printed crown onto it.  And then dowel pieces, I guess.

So now his little corner of the room looks this awesome.

Michael insisted that he had to make David and Luke bunk beds for their doll and bear.
So out of more pallet wood, this happened.
Hey, they're palleted pallets!
Ba dum ching!

They're very large.  


This idea I came up with and David loved it.  He and Brian built a little bean bag toss!  (Corn hole for you midwesterners?  Or is that a southern thing?)

The board is all out of pallets and the bean bags I sewed with scrap fabric.

FYI, I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to sewing so we'll see how long those last before there are beans all over the basement.

The "bean bags are NOT TO BE WHIPPED AT BROTHERS" rule has already been made and enforced. 


Each of the three older brothers got a new groovy piece of marble track from Luke!  Isn't that the best?

They've been doing a ton of track building lately and they genuinely loved the new pieces.  Luke was beaming.  It was so adorable.

Why, yes.  More pallet wood.

My absolute favorite (besides my gift which is pretty awesome, too) is what they all made together for the Ben babe.  It's the cutest thing ever.  But that's for tomorrow because I've got a quiet house, some gingerbread and Irish cream, and some Netflix calling my name.

Merry 6th, friends.


  1. Wow, I love these gifts! What a creative group! The sword holder is so dramatic.

  2. So great. I am impressed with their creativity and skills to follow through. Well done!

  3. I love your family and your traditions!

  4. This is so sweet! What a great way to encourage thoughtfulness for your brothers, I'm going to have to encourage something similar for next year....not that my boys aren't just little angels to each other. Of course their suggestions might include building some sort of three-way wooden room divider/fortress of solitude to keep the Lego stockpiles they have hidden in their beds safe from intruding enemies......

    Also, I think it's only corn hole if you filled those bean bags with corn ;)

    1. Ah, that makes sense! Duh. So this is bean hole, I guess!

      And Lego wars are abundant here as well ;)

  5. Amazing gifts all!!! But that Aragorn crown is so incredible! I love your idea of getting them excited about making gifts for others and not making lists for themselves. Such a fun post. I scrolled through many times!!

  6. I literally sitting here with tears in my eyes. This was so stinkin sweet! You are doing an awesome job, mama, in cultivating good-hearted little men. Happy 2016!

  7. Wow!! and isn't Daddy patient with them teaching them wonderful skills. Totally think Aragorn's crown is pretty spectacular!


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