I made very few gifts this year, compared to years' past, and almost nothing for the kiddos. Instead I've made Etsy my best friend. But I did zip out these travel journals:
It's so hard to find ready-made notebooks that are short enough for a ten-day trip. I bought two 99 cent writing tablets--one lined and one blank--and, alternating lined and blank pages, stacked up 20 sheets of paper, folded part of an old Rocky Mountain National Park map over them for a cover and zig-zagged up the side with the sewing machine to bind them off. I hope to encourage the kids to write and draw something every day of the trip, especially since they're missing several days of school.
I had bought a lot of little toys and things for the road trip that never happened last summer, so I was pretty much all set on stocking stuffers (I did buy socks and undies out of tradition). For the two magnifying glasses I had for E and Z, I made these cozy drawstring bags, lined with fleece to protect the lenses (which are real glass). I did the world's worst job sewing up the bags, but hopefully the boys won't notice (I'll just tell them the elves were really really tired when they made these, which is true).