A chat about gift-giving
The holidays are super-busy and stressful. All that shopping! All that traveling!
And a lot of us crafters feel the added pressure of making handmade gifts for those that we love.
I know this is going to be a controversial post… but I’m going to encourage you to think twice before making handmade gifts for friends and family. Think about whether the person will actually want and appreciate the gift. Otherwise, you’re spending a lot of your time on a gift that just doesn’t work… trust me, I’ve been there!
My mom is over-the-moon excited that she’s going to have a granddaughter. Seriously. I think if she won a million dollar lottery, she’d be only 10% as excited as she is right now.
And she’s a keen shopper and bargain hunter. The trouble is that she’s purchased a number of items that are either just plain impractical for our tiny home. (for example, we don’t have space in our living room for a stand-alone bassinet… it’s already a room that doubles as my office and shipping room!)
I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I’m going to tell you a truth about gift-giving: the best gift is one that the recipient actually wants or needs.
Otherwise, your gift becomes a burden for the recipient to manage instead of the bundle of joy you intended it to be.
You see, we often give gifts that we want to give instead of giving gifts that others want to receive. Keep reading… and I’ll tell you why this insight has saved me oodles of time this holiday season!
Let’s get honest about handmade gifts
A few years ago, I used to make handmade gifts for everyone on my list. Knitted hats, sewn stuffed animals, you name it. I spent weeks making gifts for everyone on my list.
I often made presents that I secretly wanted for myself, but I poured all of my energy into making them for other people.
And then I learned that not everyone wants a handmade present. (You’ll want to read this blog post about the lesson I learned!)
I was so hurt! How dare they not appreciate the valuable gift I was lovingly making!
But then I realized… I was actually being selfish by foisting my desires onto them! I love making presents, and it was what I thought showed the most love. But in reality, I was ignoring what people actually wanted.
Now, I only make presents for a very few special people who appreciate and want a handmade gift.
What’s the lesson?
It’s good news: you don’t have to kill yourself this holiday season making gifts for everyone on your list! If someone didn’t appreciate your hand knit gift in the past, take the opportunity to reconsider. Maybe they really would rather get a gift certificate to a book store.
And take all that extra time you save and make something lovely for yourself! You deserve it!