I know the holidays are behind us, but gift-giving opportunities — birthdays, anniversaries, etc. — come up throughout the year. But I’m also curious about your thoughts on my approach for the holidays this past year.
As someone who is childless, but with an ever-growing collection of nieces and nephews (six and counting, all of whom I adore), I decided to forego traditional gifts in lieu of something homemade. I have a deep passion for baking, so I opted to put together treat boxes for the kiddos. This included some recipe research for one with certain dietary restrictions. Believe it or not, you can make cookies that have zero sugar added and still taste great. (Seriously, though. I like them so much, I baked a batch for myself a few days later.) Who knew?
My thoughts behind this approach were threefold:
My nieces and nephews want for nothing. That’s not to say they’re spoiled. They are just fortunate enough to have all of their needs (and many of their wants) covered.
It’s much more personal and actually requires a lot more time and effort than, say, dropping a handful of gift cards into my shopping cart.
It saved me a whole lot of money since I always have these supplies on hand. They may be (mostly) little, but those dollar signs start to add up.
So what say you, Community members? Did I make the right move this year? Or am I just a cheapskate? (For the record, I still love and stand by my decision, and I plan to continue doing it moving forward.)
No, I certainly don’t consider homemade gifts a cop-out!
A gift is a gift and its a thoughtful gesture of caring. People may be surprised to receive a small homemade gift if they are used to extravagant gifts from a person, but they can adjust their expectations. A handwritten message on a card is also a very thoughtful gesture. Its just so rare today!
Personalized treat boxes for kids is a great gift! Homemade gifts in general can be among the best kinds of gifts to receive. I have some quilts and afghans my grandmother made and they are among my most cherished gifts/possessions. Not to mention I’ve been using them for years to keep extra warm during the winter.
Of course not - a gift is a gift and it’s the thought that counts. In fact, if you can cook I prefer you give me something to eat. Reason being once I’m done eating, the gift is gone. I don’t really need friends/family giving me watches and a bunch of other stuff that eventually just turns into junk and I’m too shy to say ‘uh yeah no thanks I don’t need another watch/bag/etc’.
But food? It relieves me of the pressure of having to reject anyone because I can just eat it and won’t have to worry about it taking up space in my apartment.
And it tastes good and is more enjoyable than most non-consumables.
Personally, nowadays I just send food as gifts and ship them (I’m not as talented and can’t make food – but I try to think about what the other person would like to eat/drink and then just ship it their way).
Your gifts were thoughtful and you took the time and effort to make and give them.
This year I made gifts that I knitted and/or embroidered. I did purchase some gifts. I like to try and match my gifts to the person’s personality. I like to give something that the person can use. I like to think that the gift is something that the person will cherish.
As someone who has given homemade gifts for many many years, I just add some thoughts from errors I made along the way. As much as a handmade gift should be appreciated, it bears some research as to what the recipients’ tastes are. I started out giving gifts that were fun and of interest for ME to make and that can be the wrong approach. If the recipient never uses the gift, you literally are left with “it’s the thought that counts” and while that may be sweet, it can become wasteful of time, funds and add a little bruised ego in the mix, too.
@mintjulep That’s a really good point! Their tastes definitely need to be considered to make sure they truly enjoy them, too, otherwise it becomes a waste in the end. This year it was a surprise for them; next year I might ask ahead to see if there are specific goodies they like/want — and then surprise them with which ones I follow through with.
I’ve made quite a few gifts for family members. I don’t see anything wrong with it at all! And aren’t the holidays supposed to be about being with our loved ones and not about the amount spent or number of gifts given?