My children have never been the best at waiting, and their gift-giving style is no exception. Christmas is coming, but not soon enough. My youngest came home the other day with a wonderful gift he made in his afternoon art class, a classic woven potholder, most likely created on one of the plastic looms of my youth, though he swears he and a friend did it with just their hands. "It's easy!" However he made it, I love that potholder, as useful as it is sweet.

(Image credit: Anne Wolfe Postic)

You see, there is already a stack of them in my kitchen drawer, at least one of them a gift to my mom from my oldest son. When she died, you know I took that potholder, because there's a lot of love, history and food there.

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These potholders don't die. In fact, they get better with every turn in the washer and dryer, the loops meshing together in a tighter weave. They are the only potholders I reach for, and I use them every day. They also make great trivets.

And they are easy to make! If your kid gets bored, you can finish them yourself. Personal Confession: After the birth of our third child, I was down in the dumps, unable to finish anything. I even had trouble finishing a cup of coffee. One day, during the painfully brief respite of baby nap time, I was too tired even to pick up a book to read. I collapsed on the sofa, eying an abandoned loom within arm's reach. One of my older kids had completed exactly one row. That's one loop, y'all.

I finished the potholder — the green and yellow one shown above — in record time, and managed to watch a Law and Order re-run while I did it. And, goshdarnit, I felt pretty good about myself. A completed project is a successful one, no matter how mindless, especially for an exhausted new parent. And, seven years later, I still have the potholder!

What other handmade gifts with staying power do you know of that can be made by children?