Do you make or buy your Christmas gifts?
Buy. Once in a while I'll make some desert and gift it to my sister or aunt or someone. But I have no skills in arts and crafts. At. All.
Buy. Amazon, one order, done and done.
I'm lazy. I buy.
Both. One year I made everybody a scarf and hat or mittens. My mom and sister loved it, but the rest of my family was less than thrilled that I spent time and money on "homemade shit". Even though their scarves and hats were made with imported, expensive ass nice yarn and not Red Heart. Last year I got them $10 gift cards to WalMart. They can go fuck themselves.
I'll get my mother and sister and her husband something nice and make/buy gifts for my friends.
I like to give something personal – a framed picture or a photo book of time I've spent together with the recipient. Those photo books are great, and very easy and inexpensive to produce online these days.
I also like to give experiences: concert tickets, or an invitation to a meal at a restaurant the recipient has been eager to try out, my treat.
Buy. I make Christmas cookies, but hardly ever give them as gifts, mainly because Mr. Green Mountain eats most of them within a week.
Both. I like to knit a blanket for someone, which is fun to do while watching t.v. in the fall/winter. Plus my fam's actually gotten really mellow on the gift giving, we keep things small and emphasize gifts for the kids more than adults.
Greenmountain, my mother makes some AMAZING bar cookies every Christmas. I'll see if I can get you the recipe. They are seriously good and surprisingly healthy.
First off, I don't give Christmas gifts. I give Hanukkah gifts, and love that there is far less pressure on adult gifting. I tend to buy experiences – a membership in something interesting, or tickets, or a magazine subscription that can be enjoyed all year long.
Both – I made the two youngest afghans this year for their own digs, but I buy everything else. My kids grew up with me sewing and doing yarn work.
Vicki – I hear ya' about the yarn cost and time. I only make stuff for people I know will appreciate it. It's gotten to the point where everyone expects a baby blanket for their grandkid/kid.
Buy. I am not crafty, nor can I bake. I cook, because I can't follow directions!
I paint greeting cards for my older relatives because they already have everything. I buy for younger family members.
Buy, I used to bake and make jam but don't have the time now…
Both, which is easy because I'm an artist.
@Vicki, I've seen your creations and would love to own them! Screw your relatives!
Both, though I'm behind in the homemade gifts this year. I did plan ahead and make homemade vanilla for the most special of recipients.
Buy. I wish I had the patience to make things, though!
Long time lurker here, I occasionally post…and this is kind of off topic but looking for some good CDANers advice. If you celebrate Christmas, do you do the Santa thing with your kids? My husband doesn't want to lie to the kids. I don't remember losing trust in my folks after they spilled the beans…just looking for some insight
I buy because I lack any crafting skills. I am buying earrings my friend makes for my SiL. Personally, I'd love it if some hand made me a hat and scarf! My mom crochets blankets but is famous for starting one and never finishing them.
Em, thanks. I almost kept the scarf and mittens I made for my sister. Her husband got a hat/scarf combo made of super expensive French wool yarn and I loved everything about them. I totally learned my lesson.
You should see the scarf I'm working on. I can't wait to finish it.
Rejectedcarebear, inbox me your address and favorite color on Facebook and I'll see what I can do.
Does your friend sell the earrings on Etsy?
Both, but I'm on the Vicki train – some people do NOT get how much time, money, and effort go into handmade gifts (I sew and embroider), and in the future, those turkeys shall not be on the receiving end of my handmade goodness. I crossed my MIL off the list years ago, after she cut up and "repurposed" an apron I made for her!! Classic MIL schenanigans!
I buy all of my gifts but I make a dessert or snacks for parties and make all my cards.
Frufra, that's horrible! I bet she never made anything in her life. I'm sure my sister and her husband gave their stuff to Goodwill.
My brother even had the nerve to say "Thanks even though I don't wear stuff like that". He tried to pawn his WalMart gift card off on my brother-in-law when he saw how much it was. So now, fuck him. His Christmas gift is that I don't drive a pickax through his skull this year.
Hi Amanda – you never have to ask twice for my opinion, so here goes – we did the Santa thing with our kids, but as soon as they were old enought to ask "the big question", i.e., are you and dad Santa, we fessed up. Our oldest asked, quite accusingly, around seven, and so we came clean with him, but made sure he didn't spill the beans to his younger brother. We NEVER want our kids to think we'd lie to them for any reason, so that's how we handled it.
Neither. Help me I'm poor
Buy, but I don't have many people to buy for and I spend minimal $$. I am ok with kids getting gifts but I think it's ridiculous for adults to receive them.
Both! I make goodies to pass out to my OB and Piper's dr and staff, my husbands coworkers and such. I buy the rest for our family.
@Amanda, I'm having the same problem! When my parents came clean, I remember being upset that I was lied to for so long. I don't know what to do for my kids because of it.
@Frufa, that's a great idea!
Vicki, I'm almost rolling on the floor visualizing you with the pickax. I think you and I have similar strategies for making it through the holiday season :-). Is feeling better by imagining violence wrong? Cause if it is, I don't want to be right.
And my MIL does sew, actually. But she is just so incredibly self-centered that she firmly believes that no one could make something as well or as clever as she could. She turned the apron into a pillow, because "she doesn't wear aprons". She ruins all of her clothes by getting them stained around the house. God forbid, I was trying to help her out. But see, that was about 10 years ago. I've wised up.
And I know of several charitable efforts that would love your scarves. There are a lot of grateful people in the world. Pity there aren't more of them in our own families!
@Amanda – my cousins do not do Santa with their kids, because they don't want Christmas to be about presents – they want it to be about Jesus. I, personally, found out from my neighbor when I was 5, and it was confirmed when I found something I asked for in the basement. It didn't bother me, though. It's a tough call, because I think kids need a little magic in their lives. Especially nowadays when they're growing up way too fast.
I'm so broke this year. I'm only buying for my 2 nieces this year. My nephew is recently engaged and living with his fiancee and her young daughter. I would like to get something for her, but not sure if I can afford it.
I hate when people just shrug off the time and effort that goes into making something…whatever it may be. Classless and clueless; although I'm sure some of it is an intentional *fuck you.* This year I'm making Xmas cards for just a few select friends. I've never been this dead ass broke before, but I'm not stressing on it.
@ Vicki CupperDo you have an Etsy store? I'm a scarf fanatic!
I made mix tapes (I'm old school) and a scarf and some other things, but I also bought a lot.
I'm recently sober. I have time on my hands.
Christmas is so oversaturated with the gift giving because of all the greedy retailers! Children are spoiled rotten because parents think they have to buy every single thing on their list!! Bah humbug!!!!
We're doing donations to charity in each other's names this year. My family doesn't need any more stuff.
Hats off to those making gifts, and to you, Kara. It's either donate or buy from small businesses. I wish I had the time and talent to do that. I also wish I knew someone who could knit. I suppose my new rescue dog is my Christmas present, but the little guy could use a sweater. Off to Etsy…
I try to make as many Christmas presents as I can. I do buy, but the percentage is probably 70% homemade, 30% store-bought. This year, I actually handmade birthday presents for both of my nieces. They LOVED their personalized magnetic makeup boards!I don't see anything wrong with buying, really, but I come from the school of thought that presents mean more when they are carefully handmade, with time and love. That's part of the present, too. I do try to be quite thoughtful about the gifts, but if they don't like it, then oh well. I tried!
@Kara: Congratulations and welcome to sobriety. I'm coming up on 5 years next month. =)
Usually buy, I've also found that most people don't care for homemade stuff
Both. I buy gifts for family and sometimes do crafts for my daughter. She likes when I personalize her clothes with monograms or make jewelry for her.
I bake cakes and cookies for friends, teachers, and coworkers and I try to pack them imaginatively. My daughter's 2nd grade teacher is getting cookies packed in a decorated pencil box. I'm not particularly crafty but I find that a little bit of work is usually greatly appreciated.
Pinterest has a ton of cute ideas for homemade gifts.
making them as I type- dried persimmons and citrus salt….I just hope no one tries to smoke my salts!
I've been doing both the last couple years. This year I decided to do more diy for gifts and one present for the adults. I've made laundry detergent (only because we use it and i want to share the recipe), homemade foot soak for the ladies, big bars of soap for the men and still more to go including some awesome peppermint popcorn I made last year. The joys of pinterest!
C. Malone, nope, but people have told me I should. I just knit patterns I find on Ravelry. I don't design my own stuff so I feel like I shouldn't make money off of someone else's design.
@Amanda, I have two young ones, the oldest is five and I'm doing the Santa thing. I don't feel scarred from my parents lying to me about it so I figure my kids will be ok too. Plus as Amber said, they do need a little magic in their lives.
Also agree with the comments about kids being spoiled nowadays! I just read somewhere about the 4 gift rule which is one gift they want, one gift they need, one gift they can wear and one gift they can read so I'm going to stick to that.
@Vicki…I disagree. Not everyone can design, but if you are making a quality product, why shouldn't you be able to profit? Not everyone can make a quality product. Girl, do it!
The whole idea that "people don't care for homemade stuff" infuriates me. I'm not directing this at you, btw. I just don't understand. Why should a gift matter so much? It's just a gift. If someone wants something badly enough, then why not buy it themselves? Gifts for adults, I mean. You can't buy a homemade present from a loved one, generally. Well, unless they have an etsy store! Sorry that you had a bad experience with homemade gifts. Some people aren't appreciative of what they receive.
I just kept telling them that Santa Claus was real, until they were old enough to figure it out for themselves…
My oldest boy did eventually ask if I had lied to him. I said not really, because Saint Nicholas was a real person, and that the idea behind Christmas is unconditional love and giving, which is what Santa Claus is all about.
If they ask why you lied, you could say something like — would you rather I had told you there was no Santa Claus? They will say no.
I hope your husband doesn't tell them, and that he will realize the value in protecting their childhood….
I totally know what you mean, though, it's the same with the Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, etc.
Both! This year, my close friends are getting baskets of either homemade lemon poppyseed scones and lemon curd or homemade spaghetti sauce, a pound of good pasta, a small hunk of imported Parmesan and a "rasp" cheese grater. Family members usually get scarves, hats, mittens, etc.
I still shop for my husband and kids (because I've been canning lemon curd and spaghetti sauce for a while now and they're all sick of the smells. lol)
Honestly, I prefer homemade gifts. I'd rather have a misshapen scarf that one of my teenage daughters crocheted over an expensive designer silk scarf any day. It takes all of about 15 minutes to buy one in a store but making one takes patience, time, and love.
Oh, and I also donate homemade scarves and hats to our church's annual winter "hat/scarf/mitten" tree. It's a great way to use up extra yarn and they go to someone who (hopefully) appreciates them.
Stew, I love your gift basket ideas!
Thanks, Vicki. And I agree with ReesesPeace that just because you didn't design the pattern does NOT mean you can't sell the finished products on Etsy. Go for it!
I do both. I bought my older niece and nephew some clothes and my great-nephew some Legos. Co-workers will get some baked goods. I've also knitted some scarves for certain people and some of my close friends/family will be getting jewelry that I am making special for each one. Oh and my friends that have doggies will be getting a decorated cookie jar of homemade doggy treats.
Meh. The patterns all seem to say "for personal use only" or something like that. I don't want to tempt fate.
Vicki- I'll message you on FB when I get home and I'll send you the link to my friends Etsy site!
Both! But I'm an Etsy girl!I make handmade books, journals & cards!
Funny u bring this up, b/c my almost 10 yr granddaughter just found out no santa, so i was thinking what i told my now 40 yr old children. I told them christmas is a fun time of year when everyone likes to pretend theres a santa. Boom. They never asked me anything again. They say they were and are fine with that. Idk if i wld say that now, but thats what i did then. U hv to find something that works for your family. Mb emphasize spirit of christmas. Mb read dear virginia letter. Whatever u do, have beautiful holidays.
Thanks to everyone for your insight!
@Amber, I'm with you on kids needing a little magic. I remember thinking I saw the lights from Santa's sleigh glaring from my roof while looking out the window as a child oh, to be young again….*sigh*
@Tuxedo, you're totally right – we do need to protect their childhood. My husband seems to have softened to the idea after hearing everyones input. Besides, what a great way to bribe the kids to be 'nice' all year round
My vicki, nit feeling very christmassy this year, are u? Lol. Love the pickax thought!
Repurposed it for what??!! It was already an apron!! That was very rude. I hv aprons people have given from like 30 yrs ago !!
Awesome! Thank you mmmmm cookies!
Liddy, I love Christmas and I love making Christmas gifts. I would just rather strangle members of family with the scarves I made them.
Sorry u broke reese, we all been there. It wont always be like this. Thats why when i hv money, im generous with it, u dont know whats coming up. U hang in there!!
No they dont!! I get annoyed when people blame retailers. Christmas iz what u make it. I hv 5 grandchildren, they dont watch any tv with commercials. And its easy to say no. Again, parents run the show, make the holiday what they want for their family. And parents, its fine to say no if kids bug for commercial item. You wld hv no problem if they asked for beer or cigs, right ? Im trying to be supportive here; they just cant hv everythibg they want, case closed. No one can. But they hv other things equally important- family that loves them, roof over head, food in belly.
Yes kara, good on u!!!!!!!!!!
I'm with Aunt Liddy's last comment there. It is what you make it: if it's in your heart, share it. It used to be that if I couldn't spend loads of money on my nephews and nieces, I would be so upset. It's about the love. <3
Congrats to Kara and Reeses! You are inspirational! High Five to your sobriety!
Excited about all the gift making ideas. I am also broke-as-a-joke this holiday season, but still want to spread the love. Off to Pinterest for some ideas (I never pinterest bc I will get sucked in and never come out again). AND I totally plan on making some of Robin's magical brownies to give away. Thanks @RobintheMadPhotographer!!
And Vicki – add me to the list of scarf lovers!!! I collect them everytime I travel. Lordy, I must have more than 50 scarves! I can never have enough and would be so honored if someone made me one. I say double pickaxe to your dumb family members. Don't they know that scarf you made would probably cost $50-100 in a damn store. They can suck it!
I think u must be alotta fun to hang out with!! Love ur posts!!! Pickax is classic!!!!
Vicki, I've had the same reaction to my handknits. Only other knitters get that kind of gift from me.
I make black bean tamales and buy mason jars that are filled with something homemade—soup mix, chex mix or Nutella puppy chow. Happy holidays, goodbye!
Only my daughter and hubby get something purchased and the young kids we know get something nice too but no plastic bullshit. Good quality games, dress up clothes, art supplies.
I buy things but I buy a lot of stuff from etsy because I live things that are handmade and OOAK.This year so far I have bought silver bangles for my best friend, and have commissioned some beautiful personalized bracelets for my neices. I'm an etsy junkie.
I do both. I make jewelry, so my MIL, daughter, two grand-daughters and hairdresser all get something made special for their taste. It's a good workout for me, one likes hand made beads and pearls, another is all chains and crosses and skulls. My hairdresser's daughter uses all her jewelry so I've started putting in something extra for her too.For the adults it's usually a gift card to Amazon, or a particular store I know they really like.I crocheted scarves for my neighbors last year for their daily walks.My MIL now sends me pictures of new outfits, and asks me to make a necklace to compliment same. I lucked out in the MIL department!
Congratulations to Kara and ReesesPeace on your sobriety!!!!
It all depends–I've knitted things for people before, but only hats & scarves, & only for people who I know will appreciate them; currently, though, I've got a sweater of my own that I really ought to work on at some point (it's been sitting neglected on my needles since this summer, alas). My family doesn't really tend to do presents, and none of us have kids, so there's that, but I always seem to end up mailing a bigass care package to my sister in AK w/Bell's Stuffing Mix (apparently only a New England, since she can't get it in Wasilla), prepackaged Indian food, and all kinds of tea, cookies, cheese, etc. from Trader Joe's.
Not really sure what I'm doing for Christmas at all this year, to be honest–for the most part, my friends who celebrate it already have people they're doing it with; taking the bus up to northern NH to see family would be way too much trouble, plus my brother doesn't like driving 50 miles each way to get me at the bus station; and most of my other local friends don't celebrate it at all, and, truth be told, kind of look down on those who do. *sigh* So it's all up in the air right now…
(sung to the tune of fa-la-la-la-la")Buy-buy-buy-buy-buy,buy-buy-buy-buuuuuuuuuuuuuuuy!
I do Santa, even if no one REALLY still believes they pretend because my motto is, "if you don't believe, you don't receive.
I try and get every single thing on their lists. Everything. Maybe it’s just my kids, but this seems to have resulted in their wanting to be generous to others. They enjoy using their money to buy gifts for each other, their friends and a secret Santa here and there when they see a kid at school that needs something.
I should also add that what my kids ask ME for is very different from what you might expect. No electronic stuff on their lists (even though I know they want these things). They understand that as a single mom I have limited funds. I do what I can, and they are appreciative. It’s the only time of the year they ask for anything.
The best give I have ever given was a cheap family tree thing from JC Penney. It had 2 sided slots for photos. I scanned photos of my mother-in-laws parents and siblings for one side, and the other side was her parents, grand-parents, etc.
I swear I found it on clearance for about $5 and put nothing but time in it, but you would have thought I was made of gold.
I did the same for my mom but it came from Hallmark (she has higher standards) because she is impossible to buy for since she buys everything she ever wants. I put photos of the kids, grandkids and her parents and dad's parents. She actually cried when he opened it. Best gift ever.
Old people love this stuff.
Hi Phive Reeses!
A bit of make more buy.
I make syrups like orange cardamom and spiced vanilla to give with bottles of alcohol for certain friends and have a few on hand to bring to parties. I also make 'clean' treats ie: homemade Lara type bars and give this with running socks for my run pals.. And treats, I bake to bring for specific people that request items or where I know it will be appreciated.
I also plan to blow up a few of my daughters favourite images and have them matted and framed for her wall.
This thread really opened my eyes to the fact that homemade gifts can be beautiful and useful. I did not think of it that way, because the things i wod make wld be on a 3rd grade level. No skills or flair in this area., so i erronsously figured others gifts were on similiar level. I hv friends who are artists and crafter, and i wld love to recieve gifts from them, but i think they feel funny about that. Like most people, i have more than enough "stuff", but the homemade things i hv recieved ive always kept and treasured. But I am a buyer. I do get some stuff from etsy- does that count, lol? Just got some american girl doll clothes today i ordered fron etsy, and for $11.99 each, i cant tell u how well made the 2 dresses and 2 pants sets are!! Im delighted!
when i was a kid i'd make homemade gifts for all of my aunts and uncles every year. this continued through my 20's until the family had a fight.now i'll buy some stuff for the kids, and make the rest of the gifts.
Terri, that sounds amazing! I am sure that it was well received! I have done the photo album gift for people and it is always well received. When my husband turned 40, I did his whole year, including a newsletter he wrote that started each month. He loved it. I wish I was craftier, learning how to knit is on my list but it is so itimedating! I also love to give experiences, especially for hard to buy for peeps like my parents. As far as Santa goes, find a good spirit of Christmas story, and when the kids question why you would have lied, explain that spirit is what Santa is all about. One year when I was little my dad was out of work, and I was old enough to know that it would be a lean Christmas, someone knocked on our apt door on Christmas eve and left a red envelope with $500 that said "from Santa". I told my son that story when he was old enough to ask, as proof that Santa is real, or a real as you believe he is.
E Gee Bee what a great story! I don't have kids (yet, hopefully) but I grew up with Santa and i would want the same for my kids. Every year I make sure to label a gift to my nephew from Santa
I buy because I have no skills. I am someone who truly appreciates the time & effort that goes into making something personal. Congratulations on all those who are doing sobriety. Hope everyone finds at least a little peace & joy this holiday season.
I bake old family special treats for some family and friends.
While in College and broke I made things for everyone. No one complained. My family was just happy to all be together. I miss those days when we all were at my Sister's house. We always got snowed in and then there were 20 people sleeping in chairs and on the floor. We would divide in teams and play games half the night. All the baked goodies would be on the kitchen counter and my nephews would be feeding my dogs bits of goodies. My dogs could go on long walks, no neighbors in the winter. It was just fun to be together. We would draw names at Thanksgiving for the adults and you could not spend over $20., but all the kids were gifted by everyone. They had to have the same number of presents so no one got upset.
Christmas Eve was Ham, potato salad mace and cheese (homemade) and my Mother's special Dinner rolls that people would actually fight over. She would make about 200 and then had to hide them from everyone.
Christmas was a big breakfast, presents lots of books and outfits and my Mother would always get things from everyone even though we drew names. Turkey, dressing, vegetables, cranberry and orange homemade.
People got a lot of homemade. I made my brother a shirt when he came home for VN and he wore it out. We all loved the homemade because we understood the time and love that made them.
This year I am having Christmas for my Granddaughter and she will get clothes, and books and a few educational toys. One is a map of the US that tells you all the state capital and info about the state. She all ready can count to 10 in Spanish and Chinese, knows the her ABC's, and is starting to read. She also knows to be nice to animals as I rescue Dogs and have her mother's Dogs and Cat. I think this is important to teach children while they are young to be kind to animals.
old ;ady: Your post brought tears to my eyes. I know you recently lost your daughter. You don't know me, but I lost my son years and years ago. My heart aches for you and I send you peace and love. <3
I really am going to have a threadbare Christmas and I actually am okay with that. I have my family and my friends and my animals. My health isn't the greatest right now, but I'm working on that. So, I may not be as well-off as I once was, but in a lot of ways, I'm much richer than I've ever been. =)
Older family so no kids involved. Any gift is food, drink, flowers for the table. We have all we need. No need to buy into the corporate hysteria.
I just wants to offer this as a suggestion if anyone is still reading. My best friend made me a cookbook of hand written tried and true recipes that she has made. It is one of the best gifts I have ever gotten, especially since she was the person who pretty much taught me to be comfortable in the kitchen
And warmest congratulations to Reeses and Kara on your sobriety. Yeah ladies!!!
I must've cried 3 times in this thread. Old 'ady you get me every time. Reese I am sorry to hear about your son's death. You have such a wonderful spirit about you, and I am glad you made it through the pain
E gee bee – thank you for your spirit of Santa story. I loved it
Look out!! Hugs coming your way!!!
Sunny, you say the nicest things to me after I post…thank you so very much!! I struggle with horrible depression and I've been med-free for a year, but I'm doing surprisingly well. I believe sobriety has a lot to do with that.
Liddy, I had a devil of time getting used to your style of writing…probably like people have to decipher when I'm without an F key…oops, that would be EPHEPH key! But, I love what you have to say…as with most people here. Hugs to all who come on this thread. <3
I used to ask my children, what is the one thing if u dont get wld ruin your whole christmas, and I wld make certain to get that item. Then fill in with other stuff.