Thursday, November 18, 2010

Handmade Holidays

If you've been reading my blog through out the years, you will know that handmade holidays is very dear to my heart.

For the last 3 years as it gets close to Christmas, I sit down and plan on making as many gifts as I can for my family and friends. This year I actually started planning in January! (Although I didn't get a lot of making done until more recently!).

There is something special to me about sitting down and trying to find the perfect thing to make for people, locate patterns/directions/etc or create my own, and all during the process thinking about the person it's going to. Some years, I get some hints (like last year when my mom told my children to tell me she really wanted some hand knit socks for Christmas!).

Now, I haven't successfully figured out how to make something for every single person we give to - and I do know it's special to go out and pick out the most perfect gift, and yet, it is different when you are making it. That isn't mean to lessen the giving of store bought gifts at all - they are just as special, but it's just different. (and since we are on the topic of buying, I do try hard to buy items that have also been handmade, even if not by me! Thanks to craft shows, ebay, etsy and artfire, it's not only fun to see all the wonderful things other are creating but easy to purchase things!)

The first year I made a large portion of my gifts, I admit I was nervous. All crafters have learned that not everyone is not, well, as excited to receive handmade gifts as others. And while no one makes gifts in order to have thanks and praise and compliments lavished upon them, no one makes (or for that matter buys) a gift where the person receiving it kind of gives you "really, that's all" look or worse yet "what in the world is this and why did you give it to me" look. But my fears have been (so far) unfounded. I've learned most of my family and friends not only enjoy getting something handmade but love it. {That said, there are some people who have said things in the past that make me think they won't appreciate it and to save all of us, I have not ever attempted to make them something. Because I genuinely want people to like what we gift them and I don't have enough time to do it all myself!) And in the case of my mom, when they haven't yet receive something handmade, they let me know they would like to!

And that's all lovely and I'm glad that everyone likes getting handmade, but still, I have doubts - are they saying it to be nice. Did they really like it, etc, etc. But this year, this year, all my doubts have been erased. Because not that long ago my 11 year old, in conversation that actually wasn't about the holidays or handmade gifts specifically, said that although she gets lots of great things every year from people, but her favorite gifts are the ones I make for her. And to add to that, both my girls (11 and 8) are planning on making a lot of their gifts this year. Now, I've never made them make things. And have offered to help when they talk about making something here or there, but this is the first year they have tried to do a handmade holiday themselves. And I can't tell you how much that warms my heart. =)

This post is being entered in the Artfire: Win a Canon Rebel XS Digital SLR Camera contest. If you have handmade holiday story or plan to share, I encourage you to go over and enter too - but be quick, the contest ends tomorrow!

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