There are a variety of reasons we make things, rather than going to the store and purchasing them. Perhaps you’re being frugal and are making a conscious effort to reduce the number of things you buy. Maybe you like giving things another life, and so opt to upcycle items into something new and useful. Sometimes it’s because of necessity – your stash (be it fabric or beads or wood, or whatever) is taking up too much space and threatening to turn your life into an episode of Hoarders.
All of these are common reasons for making gifts. The one I haven’t mentioned here, of course, is probably the biggest reason I try to make things for people, rather than just turning to the store. Making an item for someone shows your appreciation of them. You’re giving them something that took time and effort and thought to make, and the gift becomes more personal and meaningful than if you were to hand them a gift card from Target. Not to poo-poo the gift card – those can be awfully nice, too, if its someone who is particularly hard to find a gift for.
The other plus of making Christmas items, for me, is that I have a deadline for making things. This might not seem all that great, but it works for me. A lot of times, I’ll have an idea to make something and it will just sit around in my head, collecting dust, as I put off making it in favor of doing some other thing that needs to be done RIGHT NOW RIGHT NOW! And so, all the little things I want to make for people get put off and put off, and nothing ever gets done. Having Christmas looming on the horizon gives me a time frame and the impetus for getting to work on stuff.
To that end, I have started working on this year’s list for Homemade Christmas. Of course, yet again, I won’t be able to post about a lot of them until after the holiday season. This is problematic, as I naturally want to share about the things I am making. Thankfully, as I mentioned in the previous entry, my work is holding a volunteer appreciation potluck this coming Saturday. I’ve been lucky enough to have an opportunity to craft while at work, in preparation for this. Casey and I have been working on hand-made beaded stitch counters (for our knitters), little felt bluebird handwarmers (shown in the previous post, for Bluebird Volunteers), knitted/sewn mug cozies (for our livestock volunteers), hops bags and seed packets (for the crop masters), and potholders (for the one, remaining Foodways volunteer).
Of course, at the end of making everything for our large volunteer crew, Matt (the manager of the National Colonial Farm) asked if anyone had thought of getting anything for Casey, for her volunteer efforts. I almost smacked myself on the forehead when he brought it up. She’s probably got more volunteer hours than anyone else here, as she was (technically) a volunteer for her first year here. She originally started with us as a part of AmericaCorps, and was hired on when her time with Volunteer Maryland was done. So she’s basically got a years worth of volunteer hours. Matt mentioned that he had a bottle of local wine that he could contribute, and I went home and whipped up a pair of slippers last night. I wish I hadn’t been rushed (and dealing with a headache), but I think they turned out okay. They’re currently tucked away with the wine, in preparation for tomorrow’s event, so I can’t take a picture, but I’m sure I’ll have a chance at work in the coming days…Casey hates wearing shoes, and much prefers wandering the office in slippers.