When it comes to Christmas, do you prefer to give store-bought, or homemade gifts? I’ll reveal my preference a little later, but, first, I thought I’d go through, what I think, are some of the advantages of each…
Advantages of store-bought:
- time saving
- get exactly what the person wants (there’s no way I’m putting together a homemade LOL Elmo. 😉 )
- doesn’t require very much creativity
- doesn’t require any special tools, or talent
- doesn’t require much planning
- can save you money (especially if you do your shopping the day after Christmas to stock up on next year’s gifts)
Advantages of homemade:
- uniqueness of the gift
- usually highly valued by the recipient
- can make use of items already lying around the house
- can save you money
- satisfaction of gifting something that you, personally, have invested time and effort into
When it comes to giving at Christmas, I really prefer to give homemade gifts. In reality, I probably give about half store-bought and half homemade. This year, with my husband out of work, it’s going to be a 100% homemade Christmas, though — and I’m glad!
There’s just something special about giving a gift that I’ve created all by myself. I enjoy the entire process, from conception to finished product. I think a lot about the person who I am making it for while I am making it, and what the gift will mean to them. I sometimes hesitate, wondering if they are going to like it (especially when it comes to men and children), but, then, that worry comes with store-bought gifts, too.
My homemade gifts are, typically, very simple, and reflect my sense of style, which is rustic, country, shabby chic, and industrial. I typically make items that I would like to receive, myself — which often makes giving them away very difficult (actually, our homestead is full of gifts that I, at one point made for others, but ended up keeping for myself) – don’t worry, though, I still managed to craft another, similar, one for the original recipient!
I’m actually not a very creative person, but I’m a pretty good at copying something that I like. Most of the inspiration for my gifts comes from magazines that I subscribe to and the internet: Pinterest is a dream site for me, and so is Google images.
My favorite homemade gifts to give at Christmas time are baked or canned goods and re-purposed and up-cycled crafts. I like putting together gift baskets full of home-baked cookies, breads, jams, and jellies, and crafting items that people can decorate their homes with.
One of my all-time favorite gifts to give are Christmas ornaments. You just can’t go wrong with these things. They are one of the simplest gifts to make, and they are always so adored! This year, with the help of my husband, I’m crafting some simple, wooden ornaments that are made from eucalyptus trees on our property. I’m hand-painting different Christmas-related words on them, and adding a simple bow and metal hanger – easy peasy!
I also love gifting hand-painted signs. They are so trendy, right now! I am, by no means, a fine artist, but graphics I find quite doable. I like to use wood and canvas for my mediums. I often search second hand stores for existing items that I can simply paint over. I sometimes put my oldest son (a graphic design major) to work on the lettering, and my husband to work, constructing a sign, if I want a particular size or material. I choose Bible verses, or uplifting song lyrics, words, and quotes for my signs. Here is what some of my signs look like…
These signs are really not as difficult to make as they look. Here is the tutorial I used to learn the process.
Finally – and these are the gifts I find the most difficult to give away because they tend to be “one-of-a-kind” items – I just love making and giving crafty-type Christmas gifts that I construct using already existing objects.
Sometimes that means simply giving a piece of furniture a new coat of paint, like this magazine rack, that used to be a dull, outdated-looking wood piece…
Or, re-purposing familiar items into something a bit more functional and useful, like these Christmas cookie tins that I’ve re-purposed into a fancy, little organizer (design instructions found here). As you can see, I’ve already found a place for most of my current crafting supplies (and we all know what that means)…
Or, even taking it a step further and up-cycling old pieces of wooden fence posts, blocks, metal wire, and such into something cute, like these!…
I just love making homemade gifts. I love everything about it!
Well, okay, come to think of it, there is one, little downside… in the end, I must find the strength to give my little precious’s away.
In Acts 20:35, in the Bible, we learn that, “the Lord Jesus himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'”.
Ultimately, I think, that’s why I actually prefer giving homemade gifts over store-bought, though, because when I give a homemade gift, I am blessed to be giving away a little piece of myself.
How about you? What type of gifts do you prefer to give? What homemade gifts have you given in the past? What homemade gifts might you try your hand at making, this year?