So, Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are dwindling down. Time to look towards the next major holiday (one we actually celebrate in the UK) that’s eyeing our wallets/purses… Christmas! No, in all seriousness, Christmas is my favourite holiday. To the point where I pretty much started listening to Christmas music on the DL shortly after Halloween… #noshame.
What’s not to love about Christmas?! First of all, any holiday involving food is legit, you get to lounge around watching cheesy movies (it’s expected, ok?!) And the piece de resistance? Gifts, gifts, GIFTS!! (PSA: I know Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus but, like all holidays, its core reason is mainly forgotten so it can be capitalised on for major corporations to make some serious bank. However, I know our homeboy Jesus is really what it’s all about, but for now… GIFTS!!)
Now, you probably have a list (if not, come on guys. Organising Christmas gifts requires military precision! Get to it!) You may now be deciding what to get and it. Is. Hard. Firstly, do you have a budget for each person? Do you go joke or sentimental? Also, do you get gifts for people you’re not sure will get you one back… Yes, we’ve all thought it! Don’t judge, I know it’s the season of giving! That’s why I want people to GIVE to me (wow… do I even deserve Christmas?!… I’ll try and redeem myself now.)
Going to throw a (little) curveball at you guys now. Have you ever thought about making your gifts… yourself? *Gasp* I know, revolutionary! Like all things, it has its pros and cons. So, without further ado, here are 5 pros and cons to making your Christmas gifts, then you can decide if it’s for you…
Pro: It’s more personal
Sure, it’s easy to just get your dad another pair of socks. Of course, you can get your boyfriend a new shirt. Sure, your girlfriend will like a new Kylie lip kit and your bestie loves… well, whatever you guys have in common (let’s say here that it’s Doc Martins.) However, what if your gift took a little more thought (and physical work) on your part? Maybe your dad always wants a way to properly display the pictures you took at your graduation, make him a frame for it. When it’s homemade, it automatically says ‘made with love’.
A pro within a pro, even if it doesn’t turn out right, it really is the thought that counts. It’ll be memorable. It gives the gift story and character that can’t be store bought. You can try your hand at any number of DIY tasks. Knit that scarf (start simple before you head for the Christmas jumpers) find a class and go make that vase. The great thing about the time we live in? The internet is one of our greatest teachers. Along with Pinterest and YouTube, you’ll be able to figure out how to make anything your heart desires. If you decide to do a group gift for someone, you can get some friends or family involved in the making. Whether this proves to be a pro too will only be known later…
Con: It can be time consuming
If you’re new to the art of making, well then strap in. Some people will find that they’re a natural. Also, this is probably the time to tell you that mastering one craft does not mean you’ve mastered them all. A great painter is not necessarily a great carpenter. If you’re on a time crunch or even if you’ve planned ahead, you may not be ready for how much time homemaking will need. You also may not have the patience needed. If you think trying to beat Christmas crowds is a struggle, try soothing your hands after you’ve obliterated them with paper cuts from attempting paper art!
With arts and crafts, it can be difficult to say for sure how long a project will take, especially if you have no experience. It’s best to take on a few practice runs and start small. Don’t go straight for the most complex project. If you know your strengths, play to them. Don’t let what should be a fun time become saturated in stress. Be realistic!
Pro: It saves money
You know that all adage about how it’s cheaper to buy ingredients and cook for yourself rather than go out for dinner every night? Yeah, same thing here folks! If you get all the materials for your gift making project, you might end up saving some serious cash. Who doesn’t love saving?! This depends on how complex your idea is, of course! Christmas (originally) wasn’t about how much money one could spend. It was quality over cost. Why not bring it back to that humble level?
You may also be able to find some great deals for your materials, if you know where to look. Or, better yet, if you have a mate who’s into arts and craft, they may be able to lend you some of the essentials. Plus, if they’re truly a good mate, they’ll give you some helpful tips too 🙂
Con: You don’t know how it’ll turn out
Like all new undertakings, there is (more or less) a 50/50 chance that it’ll turn out well. That’s if this your first time with arts and crafts at least! It all comes down to a) what you decide to make b) your skill level and c) your capacity to pick up new skills. This could be the best or the worst choice you make this year. (Not counting New Year’s choices… yet.)
With the time crunch that Christmas puts us all in, you more likely to want to do something with less risk. However, risk can bring great reward… such as our next pro on the list.
Pro: You learn new skills
One of the great things about trying something new is that you can expand your horizons. True, you won’t know till you try, but what if the one thing holding you back from being great at arts and crafts is actually trying your hand at it? You can think of this as a gift to someone else AND to you! Win-win. Who knows, maybe this new skill will take you the distance in life?
Maybe making lights for someone is going to lead you to an Etsy shop and then your very own business will be taking off! Another pro within a pro, you might just end loving it! Let’s be honest, is there any better feeling than when you put in all the time and all the effort to make something, and it actually pays off?! Gives you a warm glow inside, just like the Christmas season in general 😉
Look, if you decide to make your own Christmas gifts, we applaud you! Even if you only go for handmade Christmas cards, that still adds a little something extra. If you’re stuck on ideas of what to make, let us leave you with this helpful list of ideas below;
- Picture Frames, for all the memories you want to transfer from phone to IRL.
- A Bookmark for the book lover in your life.
- Bath Bombs, because nothing says happiness like a relaxing bath.
- Homemade food, we’re talking Gingerbread cookies you iced yourself, jams, you name it.
- Mugs, teapots, vases, tile coasters. Anything you can get transferable pictures on. Or you can add patterns, or just write a little message.
- Simple jewellery, because everyone loves jewellery with a story and bespoke too!
- Personalised games, because we all play games at Christmas.
- Lights (once you get the bulbs, anything can become the cover for them.)
- Keyrings, because they’re essential.
- Personalised tote bags, their potential are limitless!
- For the cook in your life, personalised aprons, spice jars and any kitchen utensil you can think of.
The options are endless, but the most important thing is that it’s a gift truly made for an individual. No one else will have exactly the same because YOU made it. That, in and of itself, is the greatest gift you could give this Christmas. So, get your glue guns ready! 😉