I'm sure somewhere in your childhood you remember making all sorts of crafts in school. My first--one my mom kept forever--was a tiny hand print in plaster from kindergarten. Then there were the special cards for mother's day and father's day, the Easter basket made of construction paper with shredded crepe for grass, the turkey with colorful feathers--mine had an abnormally shaped beak--and of course the Christmas ornaments, using glitter and glue, crayons and markers, bright paper colors of red, blue, green, and many others.
It's nice that tradition has carried on through generations. My children made plenty of those school crafts, and like my mom, I've kept quite a few of them. Of course, projects have become a bit more sophisticated. Ceramic pottery replaced paper constructions in many cases. But those ornaments for the tree, those were the best. Some had their photos attached, along with the year--a chronology of their lives of sorts. Ornaments made in various shapes, globe shapes, candy cane shapes, tree shapes, all kinds of shapes! But the best part were the proud smiles on their faces as they rushed off the bus, how they jumped up and down, squealing with excitement, while they pulled their treasures out their book bags and hung them on the tree.
It's probably overdone, said too often, but it's true. These homemade trinkets are the most precious sentiment one can give and receive. They bring the holiday spirit closer to what it should be. So, lose the commercial fanfare, the insane, over-the-top frenzy and greed of who can out-spend, out-decorate everyone else.
Remember those sweet smiles, the sheer joy on their faces, the spirit in their eyes and those precious homemade gifts. Those are the best.