Before you drag your kids off to the mall to buy yet another useless gadget for Uncle Bill or tchotchke for Grandma, ask yourself what you want your kids to remember about gift giving. Do you envision them savoring childhood memories of plodding through the mall in a futile search for something—anything!—to buy for their beloved grandpa-who-has-everything just so they can see his polite smile as he opens yet another tie that he doesn’t need? Or would you rather they remember time spent with loved ones and the satisfaction of giving a gift with real meaning? If you chose the latter, try cooking up this gift together. Not only will your kids learn about the joy of giving gifts straight from the heart, you’ll get the added bonus of some extra family time together.
These treats are so simple, even very young children can help make them (just be sure the chocolate’s not hot enough to burn tender little fingers). You can use any shape or size of pretzel—or a combination. Feel free to substitute dried fruit, fresh fruit, or cookies for the pretzels. And toss on some sprinkles if the mood strikes.