A Conversation for Home-made Christmas Presents

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 1

Martin Harper

... In my experience people appreciate these gifts less than stuff bought in the shop.

Most people don't make stuff, and haven't made stuff since childhood. Hence they don't realise how much time it can take to create something that's quite small. Neither do they realise how difficult it can be to get an accuracy anywhere near that of large factories and workers who do the same thing all day. When most people think handmade, they think of the sort of hand-made that is produced by professionals and sells for stupid amounts. Unless you're a professional - you won't reach that standard without spending a heck of a lot of time and effort that will simply be ignored by the recipient.
People appreciate money spent on gifts. They don't appreciate time spent on gifts. It's too abstract. They just think that they could get them, minus personalisation, in a pound shop.
People may not like the personalisations - and may take offence to them. "Why's there a picture of a beer on this T-shirt. Does he think I'm a drunkard?". Alternatively, the gift may be more functional minus personalisation. "dang - another glass that I can't put through the dishwasher - grrr". Sentiment comes a cheap second to utility these days.

It's a sad, sad world.

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 2


no, no, no, my mummy and grandma and other female relatives love it when I sew them silly little useless things. I think my mom would rather I give her something silly that I put lots of time and love into than any consumer-type junk, even that which might be useful junk. I also much more appreciate hand made gifts, like my friend who painted me a cup and saucer set instead of just picking out a smally candle or something stupid like that.

I especially value anything useful that is handmade, like a sweater or mittens, over any that I could buy in a mall from "designer" stores.

I guess probably my daddy and male friends don't value hand made stuff as much...i don't know...

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 3

Administrator-General (5+0+9)*3+0

I'm actually giving a couple of homemade gifts this year. They're going to people who stopped giving *me* gifts years ago. smiley - sadface So, I don't especially care *what* they think.

Still, if they don't like their hand-carved walking sticks, I can probably find someone who will.

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 4

Andy in Bath

Well, we've been making Christmas presents for relatives over the last few years... and I know they would ssay they like them... but they do seem to.
It has to be special. I saw a book called "Food as Presents" which had a chapter on Bread! For god's sake. Make it something high quality. Better than you can buy.
This is easiest if you stick to food. And package it right. Cassis is good, and there are loads of yummy preserves etc. Its not rocket science.
Anyone who apreciates money over time spent should neveer get Christmas presents anyway.

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 5

Princess Bride

I made a picture for my sister in art class with her name on it and a fancy illustration and she absolutely loved it. I think she loved it more than anything else I could have gotten for her.

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 6


i think it's a bit sad that someone has friends and aquaintances who appreciate only money spent on gifts.
in my family we have a long tradition of hand-made gifts, we're all happy with it. when i knitted my younger sister a hat (and it was an early attempt at knitting, so it certainly wasnt professional quality!) my brother was livid that i didnt make one for him as well. so much so that he stole it, and she begged me to make her another one. the next year, when i made myself a hat with ear-flaps, both of them demanded hats with ear-flaps for christmas.
it works outside of the family too, for me anyway. my former mother-in-law swore that she loved the home-made and nicely packaged cranberry sauce i gave her... and i believe it, since the next year she was disappointed not to get more.
and when i went travelling abroad and asked a colleague what he would like for a souvenier, he said, "one of your photos" (i'm a photographer, so i guess it's a bit different from handycrafts, but it's still not some commercial postcard!)

i agree with one of the above postings: if people appreciate gifts only for their monetary value, and not for the thought and effort of the giver, why are they getting presents at all?

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 7

Martin Harper

Why are they getting presents at all? Because I don't expect perfection in my friends, relatives, and the folks I give presents to. Judge not, and all that.

Still, points to ponder for this year.

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 8


That seems odd to me, as you think your friends expect perfection from you when it comes to Christmas presents.

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 9

Martin Harper

Just because something comes from a store, doesn't make it a perfect gift.

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 10


smiley - smiley first go at this chat stuff so forgive any mistakes! Sounded like there may be a recipe for apple brandy out there which is what I came on site looking for. Any joy?

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 11


yes it's a sad sad world because there's people like you who make it so!
How can you say people don't appreciate the time and thought of the gift, and appreciate the money spent on them more!!
I feel sorry for you, your friends and your wallets, really I do.
Have a good Christmas.smiley - cheers

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 12


I cant believe what ive just read smiley - sadface?!?!?!!? My son plants hyasinths before we go on holiday in Oct. By the begining of Dec they are ready to sell at our local craft fair, saving some for family, friends and teachers for pressies. He has been doing it since he was 7 and he is now 12. If he stopped this, there would be a lot of dissapointed people out theresmiley - sadface. My daughter whos now 18 collected pine cones and rosehips, dried them and sprayed the hips gold. She then got citrus fruits and dried them. Adding a little essential oils, she has made some very special pot pouuri, if I dont recieve some at christmas, I will be quite dissapointed. Im absolutly gob smaked by the comment of shop bought over home made, may I suggest you change your friends ?!? By the way, im just off to make some of Delias prunes in armangac for my Dad and Uncles, lucky old mesmiley - smiley, I have friends and family who appreciate quality over mass produced, chemical laden, over priced tack from the shops !!!! Merry Christmas !!

It's a nice idea, but...

Post 13

Martin Harper

Presents from young children are an exception, because home-made gifts are the only thing they can genuinely give. Anything store-bought is actually a present from the parent/guardian/whoever who gave them the pocket money. Plus, children don't have enough money to buy nice store-bought gifts.

When your daughter is olding, and earning £20/hour, come back and tell me you'd rather have some home-made pot pourri that she spent a week making herself, rather than a shop-bought present worth over £500 that she spent a day selecting, wrapping, and addressing. Those are equivalent investments of resources.

Home-made presents are appreciated. Of course they are. They're not appreciated in line with the value of the time that goes into them.

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