I love giving gifts to people. There are a lot of people in my family and over the years there have been times when we’ve not been able to spend a lot of money so we’ve gotten creative. I have searched Pinterest for hours looking for the perfect gifts for people.
Some people think that a homemade gift means giver was being cheap. Some people think they went the easy way and avoided going out and buying a gift. However, these two assumptions are far from the truth.
My pastor shared a story a few weeks ago — I’m sure it came from the national “I’m a pastor and I need a good object lesson story” website — and it really captured the essence of homemade gift giving.
He said there was a little boy who lived on an island. He wanted to get his teacher a gift for Christmas so he walked several miles to a far away beach and found a beautiful seashell for her. The boy went to the teacher’s home and gave her the shell. She said she’d never seen a shell like it and asked where he’d found it. When he told her, she immediately told him that she couldn’t take the shell because he’d walked so far to get it. He replied, “The journey is a part of the gift.”
A homemade gift often takes a lot of time and effort. And unless the person happens to have all of the supplies needed on hand, it still cost money. Like I said before, I spend a lot of time searching for the perfect DIY gift. Instead of waiting until the second week of December to start Christmas shopping, I often start planning in September to make sure I have enough time.
The great thing about DIY gifts is that the sky is the limit.
Here’s a few things that I’ve gifted in the past (or even this year):
I have baked pies and breads and other desserts for people for Christmas. My step-dad loves pecan pie. So every few years I bake him a homemade pecan pie. It eliminates the question, “What do I get a man that buys what he wants when he sees it?” Giving a dessert is very personal because it means you know what they like. I’ve made homemade sugar free desserts for diabetic friends and family. Desserts are great because not every has the time, desire, or skill to make an awesome scratch dessert, but most people will eat it if they have it. It’s also a space-saver because the recipient doesn’t have to figure out where to put the new gift.
I love to paint. It’s been a passion of mine since high school and I love coming up with a
reason to paint something. The great thing about a painting is that you have to know the person well enough to know their likes and dislikes and know what they’d love to have hanging on their wall. It takes hours to put together a great painting. A lot of heart and soul goes into a piece of artwork. When I give one of my paintings away it says that I’m giving a piece of myself — my time, my talent, and my vision. If you have an artistic talent, use it! I’ve painted many paintings for my friends and family over the years — pretty much everyone close to me has at least one piece of my artwork. It is the best feeling to see something you created being cherished by another person.
Something you can buy, but make instead
There’s lots of things at Walmart that I look at and say, “I could make this!” And a lot of times I do. Some require a little bit of craftiness and some require no talent at all. For my boys last year I made peg-figure sets for them. Josiah got a set of Power Rangers and Samuel got a set of characters from Jake and the Neverland Pirates. I’ve made heating pads, blankets, and even stuffed animals.
This is probably one of my favorite. If I can find a way to give you a gift that is centered around us spending time together — it’s a win-win. In 10 years the person may not remember what new fad you bought for them, but they’ll remember the time you spent together. Last year, my Mom bought all of us tickets to go see Toby Mac. Yes, it did cost money, but we all got to go together to see our favorite artist. A few years ago I took my Dad to see Fleetwood Mac for Christmas/birthday. My sister has been wanting to dye her hair red (bold red), so I bought all of the supplies (we used chemical-free, vegan dye). I spent last weekend coloring her hair and then her coloring mine (mine is purple although you can’t see it well in the pic). We had a ton of fun together. It didn’t cost me much at all, but we’ll remember it for a very long time.
A homemade gift says, “I was thinking about you when I did this.” So if you get a few homemade gifts on Christmas Day, just remember that someone loved you so much that they decided to put time, effort, talent, and probably a little bit of money into giving you something that was made just for you.