This time of year with the high cost of heating your home it is especially nice to be able to shop for gifts that don’t break the bank but are still a pleasure to give. Handmade gifts, even if the gift giver does not make them with their own hand are also more pleasing to receive than something bought in a big-box store. It is comparable to shopping at a hometown boutique as opposed to fighting the crowds at Wal-Mart. As an added bonus you can feel good knowing that you are supporting an independent artisan.
Another advantage to buying directly from the artisan is that the quality is usually much better. We care what our customers think and we want them to come back to us again and again. If something does happen you have someplace (besides China) to go to get your situation resolved.
Think outside the box this year! If you can’t think of a "thing", how about offering your services to that single parent friend of yours for a few hours of babysitting or for the elderly woman next door a few hours of lawn care, snow removal, or cleaning? If you can’t do those things yourself, find a teenager in the neighborhood and pay them to do it! You can make up gift certificates on your home computer. While a lot of people think these things are trivial they mean so much to those who receive them, much more so than that box of chocolates.
That brings me to another idea of gift giving that has seemed to die out. Bake some cookies, make fudge! One of the most cherished memories I have is one year when all my kids were actually able to be together for the Holidays and we baked cookies, biscotti, made fudge. We had a great time with lots of laughs and made a huge mess that we were happy to clean up. This year those same kids are spread out through all corners of the earth, literally.
Kids can get in on this too. They are fabulous at coming up with amazingly appropriate gifts that they have made themselves out of very little.
There are many of us in the designer and crafting world that sell our wares as a hobby, but most of us are trying to support themselves and their families by marketing their goods and/or services. This year why not make a pledge with your family and friends to have a handmade Holiday gift-giving season? If you can’t make it yourself, buy handmade!
There is an idea many people have that buying handmade has to be expensive and that is simply not true. Look at my shop. There are many items that you can give your friend, sister, mother, daughter, aunt, etc…that will cost you under $20.00. Of course if you want to spend more, feel free! Really though, all kidding aside if you look around you will find fabulous gifts appropriate for every member of your family that had the caring, loving touch of an artisan that won’t wreck your holiday budget. It can even be a family outing. Go to your local craft fairs this year. It’s not just a bake sale and granny square afghan kind of affair anymore (although I do love those!). You’ll be amazed at how much talent lives in your area and you’ll probable see someone you know that does beautiful work you have never seen.
In closing, whether you pick out an "Oh I love it, love it love it" gift from Divella Delights or another artisan or crafter, try to buy handmade this year and support a starving artist!
Have a great Holiday!