You can’t get a simpler, more useful gift than a decorated pencil. Kids can make these easily. Use unvarnished natural wood pencils – I found these in Paperchase.
Thin masking tape, thin electrical tape or similar
Unpainted, unvarnished natural wood pencils
Spray or paint-on gloss varnish
Blu-Tack or plasticine
Wind the tape around the pencil to form a twisty, candy-stick pattern. Paint the wood that has been left exposed and leave the pencil to dry vertically by placing it in a lump of Blu-Tack or similar.
When the paint is dry, remove the tape. Paint or spray the pencil with gloss varnish to seal.
You can give each person a lovely pencil, or tie a bunch of pencils together with ribbon. Hang them on the Christmas tree like candy sticks, and hand them out to relatives as they visit – they can pick and choose which pencil they’d like.
See our other homemade Christmas gifts – Honeycomb Rolled Candles, Cherry Shortbread Mice and Christmas Star Biscuits.