Sunday, November 15, 2009

Buying & Giving Handmade

Growing up, my family wasn't one of the wealthiest. Of course, I always felt so spoiled at Christmas receiving so many things, many of which were handmade by my mom. Some of my favorites gifts include this completely handmade porcelain doll from my grandma when I was born.

Or the many dresses my mom made, that fit me perfectly. They were so unique and had a timeless quality to them.

Back then, handmade gifts were given mostly to save money. It was so much more economical to buy fabric and make a dress by hand, than to buy one from the store.

Today, giving handmade doesn't necessarily save money. I could purchase a Christmas dress for my girls for much less at a large chain store, than if I were to buy the fabric alone and then put hours of work into sewing them. People are choosing handmade today for the many other benefits.

Why buy handmade?

Buying Handmade makes for better gift-giving.
The giver of a handmade gift has avoided the parking lots and long lines of the big chain stores in favor of something more meaningful. If the giver has purchased the gift, s/he feels the satisfaction of supporting an artist or crafter directly. The recipient of the handmade gift receives something that is one-of-a-kind, and made with care and attention that can
be seen and touched. It is the result of skill and craftsmanship that is absent in the world of large-scale manufacturing.

Buying handmade is better for people.
The ascendancy of chain store culture and global manufacturing has left us dressing, furnishing, and decorating alike. We are encouraged to be consumers, not producers, of our own culture. Our ties to the local and human sources of our goods have been lost. Buying handmade helps us reconnect.

Buying handmade is better for the environment.
The accumulating environmental effects of mass production are a major cause of global warming and the poisoning of our air, water and soil. Every item you make or purchase from a small-scale independent artist or crafter strikes a small blow to the forces of mass production.


In an effort to support handmade this Christmas Season, I will post easy ideas for handmade gift giving. Each day this week beginning tomorrow, you will see gift ideas for:

Mom's / Women
Dad's / Men

So, start making those Christmas lists!

In the mean time, what are some of your most memorable handmade gifts (given or received)? Who was the giver or receiver? Do you still own it? Why is it so special to you?

Share with everyone by commenting!

1 comment:

  1. I love this - such fun interesting posts! Handmade cards and gifts are the best. My favorite handmade gift I've given was probably a family tree wall quilt I made for my mom's birthday. My favorite received hmm.. my husband made me a cool little monogrammed box when we were dating - he decoupaged the inside and painted the outside really cool, and when I was little my mom made my sister and I gorgeous dolls with personalized clothes. I still have it :)