A few years ago, I drew a portrait of Lucy for Kim as a Christmas present. She loved it.
I’m not sure I truly thought through the ramifications of that gift. After all, there was no way I could NOT do another one the following year. And now that we’ve had another kid, I just doubled my workload!
If nothing else, this all but assures that we won’t be making a run at the Duggars in terms of family size anytime soon.
So, after running out of space in the kitchen, I hung the newest drawing along with the previous two on a wall in our bedroom. It allows us room to grow — at least for a little while.
On a related note, my 9-year-old niece Kerrigan is a budding artist and big Star Wars fan. After she admired the S’More Trooper piece I did last fall, I surprised her with a similar version as a Christmas gift. I was a little worried that she’d be disappointed, wishing we’d have gotten her some new video game instead. But when she opened the gift, her eyes lit up and I knew it was a hit.
These instances remind me that in this age of mass-production and materialism, handmade things are still the best. Amazon.com and gift card kiosks have made gift-giving easier, but also less meaningful. It takes time to create something the old-fashioned way, and time is the one thing that no one has in abundance. When someone gives you something handmade, you automatically know they think you’re the cat’s pajamas.
Adultitis-Fighting Tip: This week, why not make something for someone who means a lot to you? I know, we just celebrated Christmas, but that’s what will make the gift even more special: it’s not tied to an obligation. And don’t give me the business about how your art skills stink. Perhaps you can bake some cookies, build a birdhouse, knit a scarf, create a flower arrangement, cook a casserole, craft a scrapbook page, fashion a greeting card made with glitter glue, make a paper toy, or steal an idea from Joel.
What’s the coolest thing anybody ever made for you?
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This year I have been gifting handmade things more and more and I see how much different people react to them – definitely in a positive way! I think that people are starting to appreciate much more that handmade gifts really do take a lot of time and are custom made for that person. I have been seeing a “revolution” of sorts of the craft movement – more and more handmade items/gifts for others. I think Pinterest has a lot to do with it! :)
Pinterest is a really neat site. It’s amazing how many resources and ideas are out there to make some cool things. But even still, people realize that it still takes time, which is what makes the handmade stuff so special!
Betsy at Zen Mama says
I made a lot of gifts using my photography – framed prints and cards mostly. People love them! (Or at least they tell me so… :) )
Very cool, Betsy. Even though everybody has a camera, not everyone has the chops to create photos that can be turned into treasured gifts!
The last couple of years I’ve taken pictures taken throughout the year by me and my siblings and made a “year in review” photo book for my mom, complete with comments and notes on who’s in the pictures, dates, etc. She LOVES them and shows them to everyone who stops by. Best part is, since they are made by Shutterfly, the pictures won’t warp or come out.
What a simple but COOL idea!