Although there are still two more months to Christmas, I think it’s never too early to start planning! Christmas is a wonderful time of joy and celebration with family and friends. But thinking of what to get for everyone you have on your list, and going through the actual process can be a big headache for some of us.
What do they like? Is there anything that they are in need of? Would this be appropriate as a gift? Would they already have something like this? These are some of the questions that i’m sure most of us have in our minds while we’re buying our gifts. Often, we may also feel as if we’ve actually run out of all possible gift ideas, which may result in a desperate search attempt for popular suggestions on Google.
Preparing a gift for someone should be a meaningful gesture of what that person means to you, and not a frustrating task that we simply want to accomplish as soon as possible.
Handmade items make great gifts, especially since there is always something for everyone! By buying something that is handmade, you don’t have to worry about whether the gift recipient already owns the exact same thing since each item is unique.
Amanda Akers gives us a list of great reasons why we should all get handmade gifts this year:
1. You support local artisans, and therefore their local economy and community. Supporting local business has a huge list of benefits all to itself, far too many to list here, but it’s a good thing, trust me.
2. You get high-quality items that are built to last, not all the stuff that has the “How cheap can I produce this?” mentality. It’ll probably fall apart in a year or two, but handmade items have longevity. Artisans have pride in their work, and want it to last. Even the materials are hand-picked by an individual, and what big manufacturing company can say that?
3. Your gifts are the best on the block. Cool, trendy, unique, and usually one-of-a kind, you can find some really awesome handmade stuff that’ll make everyone ask “Where can I get one?”
4. Customization! Since each and every item is made by hand, and you are usually talking directly to the person making it, you can tweak the color or size of something you are interested in, or even get a fully commissioned custom order done. This avoids you having the excuse of “it was all the store had left.” Want a cool case for your new gadget, but maybe you have some weird size the store doesn’t offer? Get is custom made to your exact dimensions! Doggie sweaters from the store never quite fit your beloved pooch? Customization to the rescue! The possibilities are endless really.
5. You’re helping the environment. It’s always a nice feeling to ‘go green’ isn’t it? Handmade items aren’t made in a waste-producing factory and shipped halfway around the world using fuel and energy. Buying handmade (especially really locally) can greatly reduce your carbon footprint on the world.
6. You gain a unique connection with an artisan. You can be in direct contact with the person who made the item with their own hands. For some reason this is just really cool. I mean, think about how awesome it’d be to meet your favorite clothing designer, artist, author, or chef. It’s kinda like that feeling, but on a much smaller and more intimate scale.
7. Let’s not forget the warm fuzzy feeling of knowing you helped support someone very directly. For example, when you purchase something from my shop, you just helped put food on the table for another meal (and I thank you deeply for that). You don’t have to pay the shop’s cashier and the various levels of management and the supplier and the designer and the manufacturer, because just one person is all those things!
Read the rest of Amanda’s guest post at Handmadeology.