This is a series I posted back in April on my old blog. As we near to Christmas I thought it was worth revisiting, in case you’re given something handmade this year.
A lot of people keep saying that this year they will be aiming to give handmade gifts whenever possible. That’s what I tried to do in 2009 but I found that my experience wasn’t particularly positive. I found that people didn’t really appreciate what a handmade gift meant. That’s why I’ve started this three part series. So if you’re sending off handmade gifts, maybe send them these links first so that you’re not dissapointed!
In this series we’ll have a look at WHY you should appreciate handmade gifts, HOW you can appreciate handmade gifts, and also what to do if you really DON’T LIKE the handmade gift!! But lets start at the beginning…
You should appreciate handmade gifts because…
1) They take time to make.
People spend approximately 1/2 hour choosing and buying a gift for someone at birthdays and Christmas. On average, a handmade gift takes about 2 to 3 hours to choose, buy supplies and make. That’s 5 times longer! I don’t know anyone who has tons of time to spare, so making a gift yourself is a bit of a sacrifice.
2) They thought about what they thought you would like.
In my experience of both giving and receiving, handmade gifts are far more personal. I can buy an iTunes giftcard for anyone, but in making you something I’ve thought about the colours you like, what would look good in your house, and what I know about you as a person!
3) At the end of the day it was probably more expensive then just buying something.
We like to think that making things ourself is cheap and thrifty. It CAN be those things, but a lot of the time, it’s not. You can get mass produced items so cheaply now-a-days that handmade items are really quite expensive. Remember above how I said it could take over 2 hours to make? Well if somone’s time is worth $25 an hour, your gift already costs $50, and that’s without the cost of the supplies, or their expertise!
Even if you take time cost out of consideration, lots of crafters can’t help but add extra embelishments, buttons, and special fabrics to gifts for friends and family. All those little bits add up!
4) It’s personal.
I started to touch on this in point 2, but let me re-iterate it again. This gift is made expecially for YOU. The person who made it was thinking of you wearing/looking/loving/using this particular item when they made it! That’s a pretty special thing in today’s world!
5) It’s the thought the counts.
Everyone shows their love in different ways. Spending time making something special is this person’s way of saying “I LOVE YOU!”. It might not be the way you receive love, but when it comes to relationships, we’ve got to be flexible and appreciate the person for who they are!
Gary Chappman’s 5 Love Languages are a good place to start if you’re interested in such things.
6) They didn’t just do it ‘because they had to’.
Have you ever felt that becuase you bought Alice a gift, you really should buy Lucy one too? Well handmade gifts are too precious and time consuming for this to be the case (or at the very least it doesn’t spread very far down the friendship line!). Remember that this gift has been given to you because you truely are a special friend or family member. It’s not just something someone picked up from the impulse isle and thought “This’ll do!”.