Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Better to Give

Last autumn I crocheted my father a scarf, just because ... because the yarn color perfectly matched his eyes, because he asked for a scarf after seeing my husband's, because handmade gifts give me the chance to slow down and appreciate the person who'll receive the present while I'm working on it.

While gift-giving can be tricky, especially in a time crunch, I think it boils down to three basic components:
  • Knowing a person's preferences and personality
  • Compiling the time and resources to prepare/purchase the gift
  • Actually following through
Confession: I find the last part the hardest.  This year alone I've missed the opportunity to send a humorous get well package, to buy a bouquet for a friend going through a hard time, and needed a reminder about another scarf I'd forgotten I'd promised to make!

I picked up some hydrangeas at the local farm market before the first road trip of 2011 this past weekend (more on this next time).  Giving my mother potted perennial flowers for Easter became a tradition over the years since the holiday celebrates resurrection.  Each spring Mom keeps me updated on the daffodils and hyacinths of previous years; we look forward to the sprouting, budding, and blooming of these plants as Easter nears.  Perhaps tulips for next year.

What's your take on gift-giving?  Purchase, make, or avoid?


  1. I despise shopping for myself--I find it both dull and frustrating--but I really enjoy shopping for other people. Also, I recently came to a realization about my non-craftiness: when planning out the day's activities, my thought is always "What can we do? Where can we go?". It never occurs to me to think "What could we make?" I admire other people's crafts and craftiness, but am just not inspired.

  2. @Heidi re: "What could we make?"

    What a great question to ask yourself every day. There's not just that "what crafty thing might I create" question to consider, but also "what could I do to make something new in the world" and "how might I inspire others to make."

    What about this one: How have you inspired your kids to make something lately? That's a level of making to which many people assign insufficient credit. You're probably awesome with that one, Heidster.