It's at least a couple of days after Halloween, so it's safe to say we're in holiday season. It happens every year for me: there's a quick acknowledgement that the days of gift giving and merriment are coming, followed by a quick forgetting as I get busy with day-to-day matters. Lo and behold, it's a week before Christmas and Kwanzaa and I'm panicking over what to give that's both awesome and thoughtful and affordable. I've long been a proponent of handmade gifts, and it seems the idea gets more popular each year, but again, my timing for handmade gifts tends to be a little behind. Case in point: Christmas, circa 2009. I had learned how to knit and decided to make every single member of my family hand knitted scarves. I think I may have given myself two weeks. I got the scarves done in those two weeks -- I was determined -- it just took a few extra days for my hands to stop feeling like they were constantly on fire. So hence this friendly suggestion from me to you to start early if you want to make something from the heart this holiday season, or at the very least, show off that newly acquired crafty skill of yours.
A few suggestions:
- Make sure you're taking the receiver's interests into account. That way, you can avoid spending time making something that will rarely/never be used. (What could be more useful than a scarf?!? Sure, it's 10 feet long, but I MADE it!!!)
- Not all gifts have to be massive undertakings. Some of the sweetest gifts are the most simple because the meaning is greater than the object itself. And sometimes it truly is the thought that counts!
- Not crafty, but want to try anyway? Check out your local shops, museums and boutiques to see if they offer classes. Your community parks & recreation services may also have craft classes available around the holidays. And you can always check the online compendium of all things how-to, YouTube, or Pinterest for great tutorials.
- Really not crafty, but still want to give handmade gifts? Then shop handmade! Craft fairs and art festivals will be as abundant as pumpkin spice everything from now until a few days before Christmas, and they're way more fun to go to than the mall. Plus, you'll be supporting small businesses and that's a gift that keeps on giving! To find out where tula in bloom will be, make sure to check out our events page (give it up for the shameless plug!).
Whatever you decide to do, have fun with it! It's a joyful time after all, and the goodwill and positivity generated benefits the giver as well as the receiver. Make sure it does by giving from the heart and giving yourself enough time to keep from stressing out.
Start now, and enjoy!
Find what makes you bloom.
Here are some local gift-friendly classes and events happening this week to get you started!
Bay Area: BG Craft Fest (Live demos scheduled!)
San Francisco: Urban Epicurean
Los Angeles: Eastside Handmade