If you’re like most people, every month there is at least one occasion that calls for a gift. It may be a birthday, an anniversary, or one of the many “official” holidays – such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, or Christmas – when gifts are expected and given. In a year’s time, you and your family members most likely give several dozen gifts. It’s not a stretch to think that, after awhile, gift giving puts a strain on both your imagination and your pocketbook.
Honestly, after you’ve given personal electronics, DVDs, video games, small appliances, and other types of gifts, you well of ideas may run dry. Then you might move on to gift certificates, which will get you through several more rounds of gift-giving occasions. But after that, where do you turn?
It may be time to go back to basics and to think about creating your own gifts. Homemade gifts come from the heart, and your recipient will appreciate the time you’ve spent planning and creating a unique gift. Homemade gifts do take time, but they often cost less than gifts purchased from a store – particularly if you are able to buy the components at wholesale prices.
Even though I’m not particularly talented in the realm of arts and crafts, I’ve managed to create – or orchestrate the creation of – several types of homemade gifts. Of the “homemade” gifts I’ve given, I think my sisters have most treasured the photographs of our parents. I searched through old family albums, and selected meaningful photos of our parents. I’ve then gone to the local drugstore and had the photos digitally imaged and printed. From there, it was simply to purchase frames and insert the photos.
Working from the same theme, I’ve also given photos to my children. Instead of spending lots of money on frames, though, I’ve bought frames at wholesale prices and decorated them using my glue gun and craft supplies. I thought of the frame as though it was a scrapbook page, and attached small items that are related to the photo. One wall of my son’s room is filled with photos of the people and places that are meaningful to him, all in frames that are decorated. On his birthday, he always looks forward to the framed photo that he knows awaits him.
Homemade gifts are also great for kids to make. Painted glass, for example, is easy to do and will be treasured by grandma for years to come. All it takes to make a painted glass vase, for example, is some tempera paint mixed with glue, and clear glaze to seal the paint once it’s dry. Homemade jewelry is also a great gift, particularly when you can buy beads and other supplies wholesale. Likewise, it’s easy to make or personalize toys – particularly those made from wood.
As my son always says, gifts made with love are unique treasures.