Despite the pace, there are ways to meet some of the challenges of the holidays.

It’s not impossible to rise above the commercialised grind of Christmas.

Men don’t have to be Arnold Schwarzenegger in Jingle all the Way, frantically tearing up the town trying to win the approval of his son by chasing down the latest toy fad.

Pushing back against the grind can be as easy as picking up tools, wood and some paint.

Let the joy of woodworking meet the joy of Christmas.

Simple woodworking projects with kids will not only leave kids with a true sense of achievement — they walk away with memories of building something with their dad, uncle or guardian. These are memories that will stick with them forever.

If you’re hesitant, because kids and the man cave are not the safest of combinations, take some advice from Wood by Wright:


For simple projects, the benefits outweigh the cost.

Men get to teach their kids skills that will serve them way into the future, and leave a healthy impression on them for years to come.

Mums can also benefit with some kid-free time, or by participating too.

It’s also good for the environment. A chance to upcycle old timber, or turn a piece of old furniture into something new.

Here are a few of the woodworking ideas that I’ve made with my kids this year, alongside some ideas we plan to make in the future.Christmas woodworking - catapults

  1. Wooden Desktop Catapult

Turn this basic design into a classy Christmas snowball fighting machine that uses marshmallows for snowballs. I used rubber tighteners from Bunnings, and had the kids add their own bling, like “war paint” or “war tattoos.” An important safety tip: remind kids to keep their fingers clear when firing.


  1. Wooden Christmas Trees

I like the look of this design and would like to have a go at making them. They look like a quality idea. Easy for the kids to decorate, they are versatile and good for the environment.

If big isn’t your thing, these smaller wooden trees look like a solid alternative.

  1. Wooden Lolly DChristmas woodworking - lolly dispensersispenser

The wooden lolly dispenser was my second woodworking project this year. There are different versions of this out there — I used the Scouts diagram.

This project can easily become part of the annual Christmas decoration loot. Throw in a shopping trip with the kids to buy some Kool-mints, and Jaffa, or mint leaves and jelly raspberries to pad the Christmas theme. Be sure to use food-safe lacquer. My go-to was Gilly’s Food-Safe Wax.


  1. Wooden Snowman

This is another one of those ideas I’m keen to build. These have creative flexibility, and offer lots of different material, design and build options. Another simple, versatile idea that should look great, and be fun to build.

  1. Wooden RobotChristmas woodworking - robots

The wooden robot project was my introductory woodworking lesson with my kids. It is a favourite for many reasons. Chief among those: the project is not time-intensive.

For a Christmas angle, make them into wooden Nutcrackers. Stick on some black or white fur for hair, paint or build swords to add on. The potential is only limited by willpower and imagination.

With the right length of hemp rope, the Robots are also portable and posable, making Elf-on-the-Shelf look cheap by comparison.

Other standout non-woodworking ideas include:

An important caveat is safety. Remember to provide adequate supervision, use eye-wear, earmuffs and give clear instructions on the use of age-appropriate tools or chemicals.

Christmas is a great time to build with your kids, nephews or nieces.

Woodworking is a back-to-basics reminder of a carpenter and his wife welcoming the arrival of the Christ-child, surrounded by the smell of wood, straw, shepherds and angels.

The joy of woodworking meeting with the Joy of Christmas.

These simple projects are a hands-on, all-in gig, well out of the way of the cathedrals of commerce and their crony corporate Christmas grind.

[Photo by Kampus Production from Pexels]

About the Author: Rod Lampard

Rod, his wife Jonda, and their five kids are homeschooling veterans. Rod spent 12 years in management at Koorong, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Ministry & Theology, and is a writer for the theological, politically edgy news site Caldron Pool. Rod also writes for the Spectator. Find his personal blog here.

One Comment

  1. robyn January 4, 2023 at 5:35 pm - Reply

    Hey dont forget about my spice rack its great

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