Today I was looking through the photos of our boys this Christmas. Surrounded by upended boxes and scraps of wrapping paper, my three year old is beaming over one toy or the other in every picture. As is always the case, he got more than he needed – but oh was he happy! The majority of his gifts were store-bought. The one exception being a fire hose, which I made for him to go along with his new fireman suit (we LOVE fire trucks and firemen at our house). I used scraps that I had on hand, so there was no cost. It turned out to be one of his favorite toys of the day, so I definitely feel that it was worth the time spent to put it together.
I personally adore hand-made gifts. My family has been exchanging them for years (for as long as I can remember really), and those little things made with love stand out as my favorites. Did I love the store-bought dolls and other toys? Of course. But with the exception of my beloved Mandy and Jenny, I don’t have any of them now. The hand-made items though…those are ones I kept. They each hold a special place in my heart and always will. I hope my children will always appreciate things made for them with love, and never close themselves off to the idea that price doesn’t have to have anything to do with value.
The fire hose is made from a long piece of heavy-duty black fabric (which in a prior life was part of a conveyer belt), a plastic drinking cup, lots of duct tape and some blue yarn.
Above is a picture of Little Guy in full-out fireman mode. I found the hat at a garage sale for 50cents, the jacket on eBay for $5.00, and the boots at a children’s consignment store for $6.00. I also bought a ‘fireman accessory pack’ at our local dollar store for $1. It included pretend versions of: an axe, a walkie talkie, a badge, and a mini fire extinguisher.
He loves his fireman gear, but of course as soon as he’d put it all on – he asked where the fire hydrant was? I told him we didn’t have one, so he promptly grinned at me and said, “You can make it for me Mom.”.
Guess what’s on the craft agenda for this week? haha I guess, that at least for now, my Little Guy is just as big a fan of home-made gifts as I am.