Sometimes You are Going to Give a Gift Card

I’m sure I speak for many crafty folks out there as well as myself when I say: every year, I vow to make all handmade gifts. I’ve been at this game long enough to know if you even want a prayer of doing it, you have to start in July. I’ve got that part down. But somehow, despite starting early, I never manage to get my handmade gifts done. By the time you are reading this, at best it is two days before Christmas. I want to tell you that it’s OK to just set that glue gun down. Here are some scenarios when its OK to forgo the handmade gifts:


  • When the list gets too long – Way back in July, I planned on making handmade gifts for all of the gals in my knitting group. In July, it seemed like a sterling idea. At the time, there were only 5 people in the group. But by November, the groups ranks had blossomed to over one dozen. Making over a dozen handmade gifts no longer seemed reasonably achievable. You can make 3 or 4 handmade gifts, but once you get into double digits, you have surpassed handmade and entered the territory of mass-production.
  • When the recipients aren’t going to be into it – Crafty people LOVE handmade gifts, and we know and greatly appreciate the level of effort and the expense that goes into making them. But if you are gifting people who are not crafty, they may not appreciate the effort. One year, I had a sister-in-law offer to give me money so that I could “buy good gifts next year”. Do not craft for these people.
  • When it’s going to make you stressed out – If making the handmade gifts is going to require you skipping sleep, staying up late nights, and yelling at your family to leave you the heck alone then you are not going to derive any pleasure from this gift giving effort. You would be better off to scale back your plans, make some popcorn and watch a movie with the kids.

If you find yourself picking up a handful of gift cards tomorrow, do not despair. They don’t have to be the “worst gift ever”. For example, one of the knitters in my knitting club lost her father this year. As a result, she’s just not feeling the big gift-giving spirit. But she found a simple but thoughtful way to come up with gifts for her family and at the same time honor the spirit of her Dad. It turns out, he loved coffee and Lindt chocolates. So, she is giving everyone in her family a little bag with a few Lindt chocolates and a gift card to a local coffee shop. On the cards, she wrote “Have a coffee with Dad”. In doing so, she’s not just giving chocolate and coffee, she’s giving everyone an opportunity to share memories of Dad.

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