Thursday, December 6, 2012

Handmade Gift Giving

I don't have to tell you how commercialized Christmas has become. And it didn't just start recently: it started decades ago. People may say that they believe in the message of Christmas: joy, peace, goodwill to all--but those are the same people that also get in the Christmas spirit by spending, spending, spending. This is the reason why the holiday has become commercialized. Of course retailers LOVE it! And why shouldn't they? They probably make more money this time of year than the rest of the year.

Now you may hear people complaining about cheaply made manufactured items. Their kid opened it on Christmas day and by the next day it broke. Or it never worked in the first place. Well, instead of complaining why don't they just buy handmade. I mean just think about it: handmade items are not assembled in a factory they are made by hand in someone's home one by one. Talk about quality control! I know when I make my items, I don't let ANYTHING go out the door without first making sure it's well made. Do they do that in a factory? yes, but still damaged items slip by. I know there's still a bit of a stigma out there that handmade is "cheap". Well, this is not the 70's anymore and to be honest, handmade is of better quality than the manufactured items people spend tons of money on. 

Or here's another idea: make gifts yourself! Sure, why not? Ever heard of Pinterest? Why there are THOUSANDS of ideas for easy crafting!! And you don't have to be a "crafter" to make them either. To me, handmade just means more. It's been made especially for that person who is receiving it. The giver has actually taken time and effort to make it--and that just means much more than going to the store and buying something. Handmade is so much more personal.

Personally, I have been making things for my family every Christmas (and b-days) for YEARS now. And do you know what---they LOVE the things I make. So much so that one year I ran out of time and bought Christmas presents and my little nieces (I mean LITTLE--like 3-6 yrs old) were so disappointed I didn't make their gifts that they actually made me feel bad about it. I never made THAT mistake again. Even tho I'm usually late getting presents to them on time, they still love that I make them. And that makes me feel good. My time and effort is truly appreciated--apparently more than my time and effort of going to a store and buying something. 

So this year for Christmas--why not try making gifts. Or if you don't have time or just don't know how to craft, buy handmade. There are so many handmade sellers out there now and so many selling venues specifically for buying handmade that there's no reason you shouldn't!