09 December 2013

Against DIY Gifts

You're un/under-employed, so you're cutting costs for the holidays. Cue the avalanche of Pinterest-flavored posts on jar-based gifts.
Lucky Charms marshmallows? Another take on granola? Pepper vodka? Spare me.
Why am I so Grinchy about handmade gifts? I love hand-knit beanie and scarf presents....
It's the lack of thought as to real cost. Yes, you might be able to give a thrifty gift by saving all of your spaghetti sauce jars and mass-producing your family gifts. However, the time that's required to put together all these glass container concoctions (not to mention the cost of materials) may actually be more expensive than seeking out a just-as-sentimental gift from Amazon.

If you're still bent on a whimsical DIY gift, here are a few more personalized suggestions:

  • Note cards that feature your (good) photography. A useful yet creative gift.
  • Handcrafts exclusive to you. If you're a champion knitter, by all means, knit something spiffy. If someone knit me a sock monkey, I'd set that thing up on my desk and incorporate it into staff meetings. Ballin'.
  • Scrapbooks from times together. If you're going DIY, go the whole hog. The recipient will be so jazzed you took the time and put thought into such a unique gift. The same can't be said for granola.

1 comment:

  1. I agree - if I'm doing homemade gifts for someone who means a lot to me it's not only because I don't have the money to spend but because I WANT to spend some time on their gift. This year I'm making my first-ever quilt, albeit a tiny 15"x15" wall-hanging quilt, for a friend's new baby. If I wanted I could have gone and found one on Etsy but I wanted it to be really special. The fact that it's also going to cost me less to make (because I had all of the sewing necessities on hand) is irrelevant to the sentiment of the gift in this case.

    Even if homemade gifts are cheaper, there's a limit to what you can make at home if you aren't talented or don't craft regularly, and that means 80% or more of 'handmade!' gifts are the same six pinterest crafts re-hashed by different people. This year at work I sold 4x4 tiles to 3 separate families so their teenage girls could make photo coaster sets. Pinterest seems to be winning.

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