We decided to give handmade gifts for Christmas again this year. Last year it was a lot of fun choosing items and making them for my nieces and nephews. Our children also joined the party and made things for eachother as well. It was a lot of fun and it was also very rewarding to make gifts that people really loved. Hearing how much they loved their present filled my heart with joy.
So we’ve expanded the handmade gift-giving tree this year, and I’m making gifts for everybody we give gifts to. Monte will also be giving handmade gifts, and the children are once again planning the gifts they will make.
So, why handmade?
Giving handmade makes me feel good
It makes me feel good to give gifts I’ve made. I appreciate handmade things so much, so I value what I’m giving when I give handmade. My favourite present that I’ve EVER received was a box of Barbie doll clothes that my nanna Audrey had handmade. When you give handmade, you’re saying: ‘I love you. I spent some time thinking of you whilst I made this for you.’ I know that with each stitch, each ironed seam, I’m thinking about the recipient of that gift. So in a way it also makes me feel closer to someone who may live far away.
It’s a nicer way to spend my time and money
I don’t like shopping very much anymore. However, I could spend all day in a fabric or yarn or book shop! I like spending money on materials I can craft with, so I prefer to shop for the supplies and patterns, and then create a gift at home. It’s my favourite way to spend my time and money, so it makes sense to me to give gifts that way.
It’s more ethical
I think that we have too much stuff. Our stuff is often made of products and processes that are bad for our environment, for example, my pet hate, plastic. If I make things, I feel like I’m being a bit more ethical, saving someone from working in a sweatshop, or saving something from being tossed in landfill. I’m not entirely certain that all my books and supplies are completely environmentally friendly – for example, cotton uses a lot of water, space and nutrients to grow. However, it sits better with me to give a gift that is a bit more friendly to the world than a chunk of plastic that’s packed in plastic.
Browsing for ideas is fun
I mentioned about how I like to spend my time and money when it comes to shopping. Well, I also have favourite ways of choosing gifts. I prefer to scour Pinterest and my craft books for ideas for presents rather than shopping catalogues or shopping aisles. You see, this year in particular, I’ve spent a lot of time resting from sheer physical and emotional exhaustion. It’s a nice way to spend some quiet time, poring through my books with a cup of tea, making list after list of ideas for people’s gifts.
I enjoy making things
I love to make stuff. Plain and simple. It’s fun for me to make things for others. I love giving handmade gifts. I enjoy every part of the process: choosing the item; purchasing the materials; creating the item and wrapping and giving the item. I decided to make gifts because I enjoy it. I guess in the end it comes down to what I enjoy. Ha ha! I can sit all day and sew or knit or crochet or bake. They’re my favourite things. I’m really quite selfish!
When I give a handmade item, it’s pretty unique. There’s nobody else who receives a gift quite like it. Of course, there are some gifts, like baked items or little items that I’ve made a few of, that are given to several people, but generally, when I give a handmade gift, it’s the only one quite like it.
Ok, so there are some reasons I give handmade gifts. And I’ll tell you now that, with less than 6 weeks until Christmas, I am behind! I’ve got hours of work to do. I can’t fit into my sewing machine right now, so I hope I get time to sew before Christmas! I’ve planned out most of my gifts, and finished making a few of them, but I’ve got a lot to do. It’s very time consuming to make gifts, which is only a disadvantage if you’re like me and leave it for too long! It’s my own fault really. I started planning for Christmas in July, when I knew this baby was due on Christmas Day, and I wanted to be all organised beforehand. Oh well. I’ll do what I can do!
I’ll finish off the post with some pictures of things I have been making over the past month.
Enjoy your christmas preparations!