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Copyright 2005

Making Christmas Gifts

Christmas can be a stressful time of multiple shopping trips and planning events, and so on. Or you can choose to make Christmas a time of family and giving instead.

One way to make Christmas more personal is to make some gifts yourself.

Why would you want to make the time to make gifts?

  • it is often cheaper to make a small gift than to buy its equivalent
  • it is more rewarding and personal for you and the receiver
  • you can make it a social activity by involving your children or having a craft session with some friends
  • you can make enough that one creative session can solve a number of gift decisions
  • you know that you are presenting a quality item without excessive packaging and (for food gifts) additives
  • it gives you a chance to slow down, avoid crowded shops and enjoy 'getting your hands dirty'

But you doubt your abilities?

  • you don't have to be Picasso or Collette Dinnigan to be able to make some lovely gifts. Use other skills, follow patterns and be creative.
  • when you make something yourself, it will have more character than a factory produced item that is one of millions so don't strive for 'perfection'.
  • gather materials that will require less artistic alibility from you - for instance, use a photo instead of drawing something, glue on some pretty ribbons instead of painting borders or select unusual shaped containers as a feature.
  • get your children or a creative friend to get you started or to do the bits you really don't trust to do yourself.
  • if your skills aren't quite so tangible (eg maybe you are great at giving massages or tending a garden bed), consider making a voucher and offer your skill as a gift.

Worried how your home-made gifts will be perceived?

Think of it like this... You receive two photo frames as Christmas gifts, both suit your taste and decor. One is obviously from a department store that your friend passed on their way to see whereas the other has required hours of another friend's time to create. Which would you save if your house was burning down?

We live in a commercial world where everybody is rushed for time and pressured to spend enough money to buy the 'right' gift. We also live in a time where it is normal to buy what you need rather than make it.

So a home made gift stands out as unusual. Unusual in that it is not a shop-bought repeat of many others and unusual in that someone has put their time and care into making it.

If you are worried that people will see your home made efforts as cheap, try the following:

  • add up the cost of materials and your time and compare it to what you would have spent on them otherwise. Still feel cheap?
  • add a special label to your gifts, saying something like " Hand made with love and care for Mary Love Tash" or "I invested my time and love in making this so that you reap the rewards of knowing you are cherished and deserve pampering".
  • remember that your gift is likely to last whereas cheaper shop bought items may not
  • remember to present your gift beautifully as well - sometimes the only reason a shop bought item looks good is the presentation. I've seen plain mugs sold in shops for $15 or $20 if they have some chocolates and cellophane added!
  • be proud of your efforts when you hand over the gift and expect the recipient to appreciate it. You may be amazed how much difference your attitude can make.

Overall, make the gift giving process enjoyable for you as well as the people you love enough to give gifts.

 

 Need some ideas or recipes to get you started? Read this article for some ideas...



Tash Hughes is a Mum of two in Melbourne. She is also a writer and owner of Word Constructions. Tash is available to write articles and profiles for any business, as well as doing other business documentation projects. You can see her site and services at
www.wordconstructions.com.au

Tash Hughes 2006
 

 

 

 

 

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