Christmas Gifts: 20+ Cute and Clever Ideas to Try

Friends and family will adore these handy handmade Christmas gifts -- including dishware, vases, and other home accessories -- that are just as fun (and easy!) to make as they are to give. Start one of these simple Christmas crafts today so you can check everyone off your holiday gift list.

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Three-Step Christmas Centerpieces

Create a striking holiday centerpiece in just three steps. We have a special secret for the step one: How to lay the table runner.

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Creative Christmas Tree Themes

Be creative by decorating your Christmas tree with a favorite theme that suits your decorating style or your family's personality. We were inspired by a local festival of trees and have included tips for bringing the looks inside your own Christmas home. Bonus: We've included lighting tips to make your tree shine.

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Christmas Sugar Cookies

Turn a simple sugar cookie into a masterpiece this Christmas. Whether you like your sugar cookies soft or crisp, simply decorated or frosted with intricate designs, these sugar cookie recipes are sure to sweeten up your holiday season.

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Deck a Christmas Staircase in Two Steps

It's so simple to decorate your staircase for Christmas! Get our damage-free, two-step plan to ensure that the holiday spirit extends from first floor to second.

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Creative Christmas Wreaths

Christmas wreaths don't have to be made from traditional evergreens -- in fact, we encourage you to mix it up with eucalyptus leaves, boxwood, lotus pods, and even items that don't come from nature, such as peppermint candies and pom-poms. These fun-to-make creative designs show you how to make Christmas wreaths with unexpected shapes, dazzling colors, and out-of-the-ordinary materials.

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Genius Christmas Hacks

Get ready for the Christmas season with our clever tricks to simplify the holidays. Including crafty Christmas wrapping ideas, must-try ideas for hosting guests, and why-didn't-I-think-of-that Christmas shortcuts, our tips for the holiday season are guaranteed to make your life easier.

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Popular in Christmas

Top Toys, Ages 4 and Up

Don't hit the stores until you've checked out some of our favorite toys for kids.


    Everything in this slideshow

    • Girl Gourmet Cupcake Maker

      These cake mixes only need 30 seconds in the microwave before they're ready for the froster machine (it helps you create that cool swirl effect) and sprinkles. Jakks Pacific, 8 years+, $30.

      Photo courtesy of

    • Recycling Studio

      Kids get a hands-on lesson on recycling by grinding up old newspapers or magazines into a pulp and then forming them into new, pretty sheets of paper. Use the shape molds and stencil to make custom stationery (might make those thank-you notes actually happen!). Discovery Kids, 8 years+, $25.

      Photo courtesy of Discovery Store

    • Top Pick: Bunny Hop

      The rules of this memory game are simple, and it encourages kids to take turns and be patient. Educational Insights, 4 years+, $28.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

    • Rok Jr. Beginning Builder Play Set

      This awesome playset has an easy-to-use remote-control dump truck and a neat sorter that separates balls by color. Rokenbok, 4 years+, $110.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

    • WordLaunch

      Not only is this TV game interactive and fun, but -- shhh! -- it also helps kids with their basic spelling skills. LeapFrog, 4 years+, $40.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

    • Florina Arranging Game

      A cross between a puzzle and blocks, kids can create a new design every time. Haba, 4 years+, $40.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

    • Skate Park

      Playmobil usually has lots of pieces and can be a bit overwhelming. But this one is a breeze to build, and the fact that it's a half-pipe just adds to the cool factor. Playmobil, 4 years+, $30.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

    • Top Pick: Kidizoom Camera

      With this kiddie cam, shutterbugs can do everything from editing funny hats into digital photos to playing games on the LCD screen. VTech, 5 years+, $60.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

    • Jam Pack Jam

      The idea is to load the trunk with all the items shown on your cards before time's up, which is surprisingly tricky -- but much more fun than packing the trunk of a real car. Cranium, 5 years+, $20.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Make spelling fun! Spin the ball to play word games like Hangman, in English or Spanish. Learning Resources, 6 years+, $45.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Hyper Dash

      Need to burn off energy? This active tag game combines the Memory with a foot race. Wild Planet, 6 years+, $25.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Flippin' Frogs

      This is one Mom and Dad will get into, too. Just try not to get too competitive over who can catapult the most frogs onto the tree. Mattel, 5 years+, $24.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Operation Rescue Kit

      This classic is new and improved with a self-contained, first-aid-like kit that keeps all those little pieces from getting lost. What hasn't changed: the scare you get when that buzzer goes off. Hasbro, 6 years+, $25.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Bump and Chuck RC Bumper Cars

      Try to knock your opponent's car out with these remote-controlled bumper cars. The driver even "ejects" if it's a hard hit. Kid Galaxy, 6 years+, $40.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Top Pick: RoboQuad

      This remote-control robot can see in the dark, walk, make sounds, and do a funky little dance. WowWee, 8 years+, $100.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      This flashy neon set comes with a music player that lets your kid mix beats as the shiny magnetic balls roll, bounce, and slide over the tracks. Mega Brands, 7 years+, $80.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      I Can Play Guitar

      Rock-stars-in-training will have a hard time putting down this guitar, which plugs into the TV and uses games to teach chords. Beware of blisters! Fisher-Price, 7 years+, $100.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Fly Fusion

      A cool electronic pen can do it all -- it's a Spanish translator, calculator, MP3 player, writing tutor, and more. LeapFrog, 8 years+, $80.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Designed By You Fashion Studio

      This crafty kit has everything kids need to sketch and make their own clothing line. Creativity for Kids, 9 years+, $35.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      LEGO Creator Ferris Wheel

      You can build three different structures from each of the Creator sets. For example, the motorized Ferris wheel transforms into a working drawbridge using the same blocks. Lego, 8 to 12 years, $70 each.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Hyper Slide

      After this game gets going, it can be really tricky. You have to slide the right color through when it's called out. To keep it interesting, there are three different versions. Hasbro, 8 years+, $25.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?

      Kids love it when their parents get a question wrong -- and who doesn't love to embarrass themselves by not knowing the answer to a first-grade geography question? Hasbro, 8 years+, $20.

      Photo by Bryan McCay

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      Newton's Apples

      Once kids get the hang of this strategy game, they won't be able to get enough of it. Move the apple crates to get all of your apples to the ground first. Briarpatch, 7 years+, $25.

      Text by the editors of Parents magazine and, photo by Bryan McCay. Originally published in the November 2007 issue of Parents magazine.

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      Next Slideshow Handmade Christmas Gifts

      Handmade Christmas Gifts

      Make the season merrier by crafting a handful of our best homemade Christmas gifts. Including cozy coffee sleeves, ingenius artwork ideas, and personalized home accents, each Christmas gift idea is sure to wow your loved ones.
      Begin Slideshow »



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