The holiday season is soon to be upon us so naturally my thoughts turn to the wonder and frustration of holiday gifts and to the age old debate; are homemade gifts treasure or trash? Holiday time and all of the excesses of the season can overshadow the point of the celebration itself, often people find themselves overstressed, overextended and in debt because of the shopping frenzy that seems to accompany every holiday we celebrate. I love my family and friends and I appreciate the opportunity to celebrate them with holiday gifts, but I really struggle with what exactly those gifts should be. According to popular culture, the amount of money we spend on a gift is directly related to the value we place on the recipient.
I believe that the value of a homemade gift far outweighs its monetary value because when you give an expertly produced homemade gift, you are telling the recipient that they are important to you and deserving of your time and skills. I personally would prefer to receive a jar of someone’s delicious homemade jam than yet another candle or bath gel. However, I know that many people who receive homemade gifts feel somehow cheated, as if the giver was too cheap to buy a “real” gift so they just slopped something together in the kitchen. Another issue is that some people tell me that they are squeamish about eating food gifts from other people’s kitchens. Somehow they don’t believe that food products could possibly be sanitary if they are made in a home kitchen instead of a factory.
With these objections in mind, I am trying to figure out what sort of homemade gifts would be well received this year. I have been looking online for ideas and I found a few that I like; bath salts, sugar scrubs, specialty spice blends packaged with appropriate recipe and wooden spoon, and crocheted bath scrubbies packaged with a nice bar of natural soap. I think that any of these ideas would make a nice gift for co-workers, teachers and all of the other people in our lives that we want to give a token of appreciation to. Also, the bath items could be given individually or packaged together to make a nice basket.
For my friends and family who love my food, I will continue to gift them from the bounty of my kitchen secure in the knowledge that they won’t be afraid of catching “kitchen cooties”!
What about you? Do you give homemade gifts? Do you love or hate to receive a homemade gift? I would love to hear from you, please feel free to comment below.
This post is participating in the Patchwork Living Blogging Bee #12 at Attainable Sustainable.