The Homemade Christmas Gift Predicament

29 Dec

Being crafty is a double edged rotary blade.  We don’t create because we have to, but simply because we must.  I can’t explain what compels me to stress myself out at Christmas in order to make a gift.  It’s not as though there is any sound reasoning behind it, it’s just a feeling you have.  It certainly isn’t that making something is more cost effective.  I can assure you, it is not.  Let me give you an example:

My oldest daughter, Capri, has seen commercials for Lalaloopsie, The Rag Doll Come to Life.  “Mom, can you make me one of those for Christmas?!”  She’s a simple rag doll with button eyes, reminiscent of Coraline.  She looked simple enough to make.   I wondered what the dolls looked like in person, after all, they were only $19.95 on the day after Thanksgiving sale.   It turns out the doll isn’t a rag doll at all.  She is made of molded vinyl, including the “button” eyes.  But, she has a cute story and a  little fabric pet.  I was able to replicate a face for this doll out of fabric and buttons, and planned to get back to it to finish for Christmas.  I completed many other projects before I got back to this doll on the night before Christmas.  I had no idea how to finish this doll, all I had was a face. As it happened, many craft bloggers were doing Christmas giveaways, and one of the crafters I have befriend on Facebook won a doll from A Bit of Whimsy.  Her patterns were exactly what I was looking for, and down-loadable!  I was up until 6AM Christmas morning making this doll.  Granted, I hadn’t started until 2AM.

Is this doll more valued than one I could have purchased at a store?  It wasn’t necessarily less expensive to create than it would have been to purchase.  Hell, one click buying, ships right to the house, arrives gift wrapped…maybe I’m crazy for wanting to make things!


I also made the girls pajamas for Christmas.  The doll’s skirt is the fabric Capri chose for her Pajama bottoms.  Not that making pajamas is cost effective either.  The day after Thanksgiving I bought pajamas for $5 at Target.  Tops and bottoms.  I can’t even buy fabric for the pants for that price on sale!

So, I tell myself that I made this doll because it would be treasured, and an heirloom.  But really, who am I kidding?  I still have all of my Cabbage Patch Dolls, Barbies and My Little Ponies.  And they are special to me!  Am I forcing myself to believe that this doll will somehow be more special because I made it?  Does it really matter to anyone but me?

I made my youngest a puppy as well.  It isn’t any more special to her than the Geoffrey Giraffe or Pillow Pet she received.  So, really, what is it that compels me to make stuff?  I think it’s how it makes me feel to give these things.  Every item I create is a piece of me.  It’s my time, effort, patience, frustration and thought.  It may not be conveyed, as I know most people believe a hand made item is somehow more cost effective than store bought (not by a long shot), but I know it gives me satisfaction of giving.  It’s more than the standard Christmas Giving Obligation, but the-thought-that-counts feeling I get from giving my own product.  Here are some of the other Christmas items I made this year:

Capri's Binder Cover

A checkbook cover and pen for my sister

A thread Catcher for my mother

Owld for Selina's kiddos

I know the Parisville bag is loved!

I will never stop making gifts for people I love.  You may ask me for a gift card, but I’m going to make a little pouch to put it in.  Why?  Because I have to!


Happy New Year, everyone!



One Response to “The Homemade Christmas Gift Predicament”

  1. kathleen December 29, 2010 at 3:08 am #

    The beautiful thread catcher is already in use.

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