A plate full of cookies always makes a great gift (unless you can’t bake). The issue with handmade gifts is knowing what you can and can’t do. If you aren’t willing to be realistic with your abilities you are likely to have great intentions with a poor execution. But don’t let that scare you away from making wonderful gifts this holiday season. Handmade gifts are wonderful because they are personal, budget friendly, earth friendly and different. To really make gifts that are perfect for giving you need to examine your “gift strengths”. Are you a talented painter, baker or crafter? What can you offer that best shows your natural ability and offers something that the receiver would enjoy?
I’m not a talented crafter or painter. I can bake well but I don’t always have the time. I don’t want to give out dollar store gifts that will be shoved in the closet for next year’s white elephant exchange. So what can I do? I need to dig deep and look at my skills and interests, my available time and my budget. I have a crazy son that makes longer projects hard to accomplish. Large scale baking is out unless I want to have a baker’s assistant (not always the easiest way to go). Most of my friends have kids so I can offer a mom’s holiday shopping night so they can shop kid free for few hours. I am patient with the gift wrapping so I can offer to wrap gifts for friends so they don’t have to go through the “where do I put it before it gets wrapped” dilemma. I love to cook and I have a large collection of recipes already typed up on the computer. I can create a small holiday cookbook for my cooking challenged friends. A “gift certificate” for baby sitting or a homemade meal delivered in January are also great gifts that I could give. Who doesn’t love a night off from cooking or someone else watching the kids for a couple hours?
Truly great gifts come from the heart but also from you and your strengths and not from the store. Just remember the recipient before you get going. Your buddy that diets regularly won’t be thrilled with your fudge and the over protective new mom might not feel comfortable leaving her newborn in your very capable hands.
Now what are you waiting for? Start creating some joy!