Sunday, December 7, 2008

Autumn Asks: Do You Make Any of Your Christmas Gifts?

I used to make home-made gifts each Christmas. It was fun. More importantly, it was what we could afford.

Once we could afford a little bit more than rice and beans, I started buying more of our gifts. I always felt like maybe I wasn't giving gifts that are good enough since they weren't store bought. The crazy thing about that is I prefer home-made gifts.When I made a gift, I put my heart and soul into it. I was usually not as happy as I could have been with the end results as the maker can see all flaws. But when I think back on it, almost everyone was really happy with the gifts. I know everyone loved DH's fudge...and even hinted that they sure wouldn't mind getting it again.

And this year, even though I am done shopping, and more than proud of myself for this fact (so much for being humble, right?), I am sad. Besides a few home-made goodies at some gatherings, and a couple of meals for friends, I have made NOTHING this year. I have to admit...I never expected to feel sad about it. But then, I'm a person that loves to do things with her hands.

So, I think I should start planning now for some home-made gifts next year. There is one encouraging event on the horizon that I think will make next year a home-made gift year for sure....but I can't reveal that info until after Christmas. But I will say that I am looking forward to the possibilities. Plus I would LOVE to learn how to make soaps and candles.

Over at Poppy Talk there is an article on 101 Reasons to Buy Handmade. It's a good read if you are interested. Click on over to check out the whole thing. If you aren't up to the whole are some of my favorites:

1. help contribute to establishing a new economic model - I think we all can agree that a new model is needed!!

6. support local community. thus building. -- I am becoming more and more interested in supporting your local communities. Artists/craftsmen and farmers being at the top of the list.

14. Human rights camp; ecological aspects. Buy handmade and you support a true artist. You can be sure that human rights are respected in the making of your gift. Handmade gifts are for many reasons often more ecological than mass produced: indie artists are superb recyclers (and we mustn't forget upcycling, upcycled gifts are a big hit this year!) and of course handmade in most cases outlasts mass produced.

21. Many items are much more environmentally friendly since there is no use of large manufacturing machines, chemicals, labor (some of it probably illegal) and waste. Many Annie and Olive items (for instance) are made from sustainable wool felt that has been naturally dyed, a needle, thread and my two hands.

22. It's fun to see the creativity and excellence of the very, very talented designers out there. It harkens back to the days of old when craftsmanship, creativity and quality were paramount - You are buying items not mass-produced and impersonal but are very personal not only to the buyer, but to the maker.

30. To support the idea that something made from hand from a fellow human is a little more precious than the something which is not.

53. Exclusivity: Each of the handmade things is a unique and a one of a kind. There are not two handmade items that are the same, which makes each item a special object. Crafty hands are behind each object fabrication process, from the design sketches till the wrapping and shipping.

60. Encourage traditions: how many happy hours have I spent learning how to knit with my mom and grandmom? There will never exist a knitting machine that can tell so many interesting stories!

61. You can always meet and talk directly with the designer, craftmaker or artist that made the piece you bought!...and we will be so happy to talk to someone who bought one of our handmade items!

71. Buying handmade shows our children that not everything in this world needs to be mass produced. It teaches them to love and appreciate the unique and the imperfect. And it inspires them to do their own creating as well.
79. Embraces how things are made and where they come from. This keeps everyone more grounded and appreciative of things.

85. Embraces and celebrates the diversity of regional cultures, ideas, and resources from around the world.

100. Because somewhere out there in the world, you are providing additional financial support for stay at home moms, who have chosen to stay home to take care of their kids & provide personalized care & guidance for their children, who in turn will (hopefully) grow up to be better people who will have wonderful memories of their childhood with a parent.

102. ..because handmade is priceless.

I think those last two pretty much say it all!!!

How about you? Do you like to buy (or produce) home-made????


  1. I'm so curious about your post Christmas news :)

    In retrospect, I love that my mom made my dresses when I was little. I wish I knew how to sew...

  2. I love getting handmade items. I too used to make a lot of gifts to give to others, but over the last few years I have slowly started buying them instead. I think I may get out the yarn and crochet hook and whip up a few dishrags at least this year.

  3. I love the handmade also. And, if you start a soapmaking or candlemaking class, let me know- I would love to do that! Sounds fun!

  4. No I don't do any homemade gift-making, but I do think it's a great idea. I'm just not creative or patient enough! And yes, you've made me curious about your news too!