I think it’s really importnat for kids to give gifts at Christmas. They receive so much and it’s so hard for them not to become spoilt by it. If they are part of the gift giving process then they can start to appreciate that it’s just as lovcely to give a present as it is to recive it.
Only my five year old gets pocket money and that is only a pound a week so actually buying something with her own money is a bit hard. Instead we try to make a few things which don’t cost very much and yet they can take pride in making themselves. The main thing we use these gifts for is as presents for their teachers.
It’s hard to give food based things to teachers, you don’t know if they have allergies or a are on a diet and they might not trust your cooking! Instead we plant a special plant every year and it seems to work well. The plants are winter flowering hyacinths – I like these because even if you aren’t green fingered they only have to last until Christmas and you don’t have to keep them up all year!
First we paint the pots. this year we went for a gold theme. The girls painted their pots with shiny gold paint. It didn’t matter too much how well they painted it. I was going to get them to use stencils over the top but it actually looked lovely plain.
Once the paint is dry, the girls filled their pots with soil and planted a hyacinth in each. You are best wearing gloves to touch hyacinth bulbs as they can produce an itchy reaction in some people. I have to be very careful as I get a reaction – the first time I did this I couldn’t work out why my face was so itchy, where I had touched it with my hands – it’s very uncomfortable.
You have to be careful when doing this with little ones. The twins really, really enjoyed the planting stage.
When my back was turned they had planted all the gold bells as well as extra bulbs in each pot. They looked pretty though. We also had one dropped pot which is the problem with having clay post as they will break.
This year we kept the decoration simple. A gold ribbon wrapped around the outside and some curling ribbon to tie on the golden bell. Molly helped with this part and it was good practice tying knots, although she did need a lot of help.
Once finished you need to put somewhere warm and leave for a few weeks so that the plant starts to grow. It’s therefore a good idea to do this now – or in early December so they are ready to give as gifts.
Here are our Santa plant pots from last year. They were a bit more colourful!