It’s finally that time of the year again where I crack open my box full of pens and pencils and decorations and start on my Christmas cards for all my friends. However, hand-crafted gifts do have their disadvantages. For example, with deadlines, do we really have the time to sit down and knit sweaters for our grandparents? Hardly.
So, what are the pros and cons of hand-crafted gifts?
On the one hand, when you receive a hand-crafted gift or card, you know that someone is thinking of you. You know that they have put the hard work into making that present with you specifically in mind. It adds value, making it more personal. I know when I get a hand-crafted gift, my heart grows 10 times larger for that person, knowing they have spent their time focused primarily on me.
I am a student with increasing deadlines and already deprived of sleep.
Also, do you think you could have bought a card with a snowman holding a sign with your name on it from the shop? A gift that has your initials placed on it somewhere? When it comes to hand-crafted gifts, you literally have the ability to make whatever you want. I once got a card with a drawing of me in a bookshop, something I know would NEVER be available at Clinton Cards. It is this special touch that makes hand-crafted gifts and cards just that little bit better.
Another amazing thing about hand-made presents is that you as an artist get to showcase your talent. Don’t pretend you don’t love the compliments you get when your friend opens your present. You just don’t get that with your typical action figures or a new laptop.
Yet, there are downsides (sadly). Sometimes, not everyone has the skills to make homemade gifts. Your best friend just might not be a pro at baking cookies like you are or she just CANNOT do the fiddly work necessary for intricate cards. That’s okay. Not everyone is creative and that’s not a bad thing.
If you get something hand-crafted this Christmas, treasure it!
There is also the bizarre notion that handcrafted gifts are cheaper than going out and buying the whole box set of your sisters favourite TV show. THIS IS FALSE. Have you ever been in a shop to get some ribbon or fabric? It costs a bomb. Despite my love for the gifts, I always wonder “how much did it cost making this?” Please, friends, don’t spend that much on me!
Finally, there is the problem of time. I am a student with increasing deadlines and already deprived of sleep. Having to make hand-crafted gifts for all my family AND friends only adds on to that load and sometimes I just don’t have the time. As much as I would love to sit and be artsty for a couple of hours, sometimes life just says no.
If you get something hand-crafted this Christmas, treasure it! They are becoming less and less and as much as I love them, I respect that sometimes, all people have is the shop. And that’s cool, after all: it’s the thought that counts.