The Joy of Handmade Gifts

The news keeps blaring the same doomsday message about the shortage of Christmas gifts this year. Yes, the pandemic, and production woes in China, and shipping bottlenecks and lack of enough truck drivers has caused a shortage of somethings. I grant that if you want to buy an electronic made in China you might not find it this year, but is that such a bad thing?

As I think back on my memorable gifts, both those given and received, it is mostly the handmade ones that I truly remember and love. Some are true works of art, like a painting of my mother’s I was gifted rather than having to purchase (which yes, even I have to pay for her paintings.) or a quilt I made for my mother. Those are somewhat priceless gifts, but I’m not really thinking about those special gifts. I am thinking of little things, like this small Christmas Tree banner made by Carter in Pre-school, which I lovingly display every Christmas. Even though it was a school project, wrapped by her teachers so that each child had a gift for their parent’s at the tender age of four, I love it as much today as I did when I opened it nineteen years ago.

Last year Carter and Russ gave me a painted Christmas ball of our house. It was hand made by an artist Carter found on Etsy. It was not made by Russ and Carter, but is was a handmade gift from them that meant the world to me.

This year is the perfect year to make or support an artist to give a special gift that is hand made. You don’t have to worry about the world wide shortage of computer chips if you are going to sew someone a set of placemats. It helps if you are crafty, but if you are not look on Etsy and support a maker who is.

If you can cook or bake make something edible as a gift. A consumable gift is a green thing to give as it won’t take up space forever. The thing about it is you are giving your time instead of just your money to the person you are giving to. I will never forget the year my Aunt Janie Leigh gave us a quart of her homemade pimento cheese for Christmas. That gift was what turned Russ into a pimento Cheese lover. He still talks about it 22 years later.

Loved ones will forget gifts which are things they could have bought for themselves, but will remember the unique ones you create. So forget about the shortages and think about what you might make and give some of yourself instead.

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