That’s it. I had to have it. If I had to go to 10 different stores, line up at 4 AM on “Black Friday” or go online and bid far more than my pocketbook would allow, the hot toy of the season was going to be mine. I pictured my daughter’s face opening it up. It would be the picture-perfect moment when at last she would tear open the toy she had begged for all season. A year has now passed. Now what was that toy? I honestly can’t remember… and I’m sure she can’t either.
Now rewind to that same Christmas. I also made her a pillow with her own name on it. I do remember carefully selecting the fabrics. I remember feeling so “gitty” when I found just the right color choices that would coordinate with her bedroom so perfectly. Everything that made her room hers, I found! I remember the night I put her to bed and ran to my sewing room so excited to get started on my project. I would hope she’d love it as much as I loved making it for her. Watching her elation as she opened that gift was 10 times more enchanting than seeing her set aside the “had-to-have” toy a few short hours later. She was captivated by the pillow, and happy to ask, “Mommy! Mommy! Did you make this for ME?”
The “D-I-Y” phenomenon is here and more and more people are choosing to give handmade gifts to those on their gift-giving lists! So why give handmade this holiday season?
1.Because It’s Cost-Effective
More often than not, you can make something for less. Of course there are exceptions, but this works well when you have a holiday budget to stick to. I recently made some chalk-board mats for my nieces and nephews. Can you believe I was able to make 9 of them out of 1 yard of fabric? Talk about a bargain! Another friend of mine made purses for all of her girlfriends for their gift exchange. I also like to write down my gift-giving list early, and then think of how I can make several of the same gifts for a group of people- such as favorite teachers. In assembly-line fashion, I can purchase all I need at once, lay out my materials, and thrust into the project at hand. Before you know it, I’m finished with something that was not only enjoyable for me to do, but cost very little in relation to purchasing something at a store.
2.Because It Can Be Personalized
When I make a gift for someone, I always keep in mind what is important to them or about them. Whether it’s a name on the gift, remembering their favorite colors, or making something of a sentimental nature, a handmade gift is one way of showing you care. Handmade gifts can be very unique and different. Countless times I’ve been so impressed with those who can create the same project, yet individualize each one to make them special to the one they are giving it to. Whether it’s something that has been knit, sewn, painted, or glued, you can make the right gift for just the right person.
3.Because It Can Become a Treasure
I still have a crocheted blanket my grandmother made for me when I was a child. Seeing this reminds me of her love and dedication to our family. I can imagine the excitement she must have felt while making it. In retrospect, I don’t know if I ever showed my full extent of gratitude when that gift was given. Oftentimes, that may be the case. But looking back, my heart is filled with thanksgiving as I recognize the hours that must have gone into something so extraordinary.
Do I still purchase gifts for family and friends from the stores? Of course I do. But while acknowledging that making handmade gifts does take more time, for me giving a gift that is handmade is very fulfilling to both the giver and receiver.