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i don’t like handmade gifts

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I noticed today in the shops that the Christmas stuff is beginning to creep out on the shelves. This means that people will soon be starting to worry about gift giving, and complaining that it is excessive, and they spend too much money. And then lots of frugal sites will encourage everyone to give handmade gifts in an attempt to cut costs. Let me make it entirely clear that I really love to receive gifts, and it absolutely and utterly is the thought that counts. But (if I’m lucky enough to get any gifts this year) that includes thinking about me, the recipient.

My taste in home decor is minimalist and modernist - think chrome, glass and Le Corbusier - pretty difficult to pull off with home made. I live on my own, and don’t really want lots of baked goods. The reason that I don’t make them myself is that there is no one to eat them. I’m just not a hand made / home made sort of person.

I’d personally rather receive a pair of funky socks that cost £1, than a hand knitted holiday sweater that I’ll never wear. And if anyone wants to get me something that I’ll truly love, get me a book.

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10 comments for “i don’t like handmade gifts”

  1. Hehe that’s great. Nobody has ever given me a handmade gift but I don’t think I’d really like it either unless the person was a real craftsman or artist.

    But I have to admit… once I made plant stands for a gift for my sister. It seemed like a great idea, but the end product was pretty miserable. No handmade gifts since then!

    Posted by Jon | September 24, 2007, 1:06 pm
  2. I guess the key is letting people know your preferences - my Mum-in-Law always buys tons of little bits of rubbishy tat for everyone at Christmas. She spends a *fortune* on it, and I usually hate it all. I’ve tried saying that I’d rather she didn’t spend money she didn’t have, but she carries on regardless…

    I’d rather have a homemade knitted hat than yet *another* set of cocktail stirrers with dragons on them, but she’s just not listening.

    Drives me crackers.

    On the other hand, my family have totally embraced the whole “let’s not bother buying presents, we’ve already got more stuff than we can fit in our houses and I’ll probably Ebay it in a month anyway” philosophy. We call each other and send nice cards instead - much more my cup of tea.

    Posted by Annie | September 24, 2007, 7:15 pm
  3. I’d just like to state for the record (in case any of my family are reading this) that I don’t want cocktail stirrers with dragons on them either. :)

    Posted by plonkee | September 24, 2007, 7:18 pm
  4. We live in a small house and are determined to not let it get cluttered, so this year for Christmas my girlfriend and I are going to give each other experiences instead of possessions. Tickets to a concert or show, supper out at our favourite nice restaurant, a weekend trip away, that sort of thing. My siblings and stepmother will still send us presents, but we maintain an Amazon wishlist that they shop from so we’re sure to get stuff we actually want.

    Posted by brad | September 24, 2007, 8:25 pm
  5. I agree with Brad. I prefer giving food or cosmetics or toiletries or experiences - giving ‘things’ is just adding clutter 99% of the time, even if it’s well-intentioned clutter.

    Posted by Brip Blap | September 25, 2007, 3:10 am
  6. Lists of links to the various online sites e.g. Amazon, or vouchers to thoses sites work. We also set an annual limit.

    Posted by Llama for brains | September 27, 2007, 1:30 pm
  7. I don’t know… I bet if I knew you well enough I could come up with a handmade gift that you would like. Handmade gifts don’t have to be cutesy-country-kitschy stuff with teddy bears and hearts. I can make purses and handbags for example (I made a shoulder bag for my sister-in-law), out of any style of fabric you would like. And if you would like a funky pair of store-bought socks, why wouldn’t you like a funky pair of handknitted socks? Handknits can be edgey or funky if that’s what you’re into. My dad made my mother a 3-shelf bookshelf once — that’s a handmade gift that might fit into your minimalist decor (you even said you are a reader). You don’t eat baked goods, but maybe you eat jam on your toast at breakfast (I make jam and put it in tiny jars… I could give an assortment and they are sealed so the ones you don’t open right away will stay good for ages). I also can my own salsa. Some people can relish, chutney, lemon curd, etc. Maybe those ideas don’t appeal, but there are many more alternatives…

    Posted by Monica | September 28, 2007, 2:27 pm
  8. I would love to get handmade gifts that I like. Like really cool socks, or relishes, or anything involving books. But random, generic stuff (including thanks mum and dad), er no. I truly appreciate suitable stuff, but hate generic.

    Posted by plonkee | September 28, 2007, 8:16 pm
  9. When I give handmade things, I try to really fit the gift to the recipient. I’ve been on the receiving end of untold useless gifts–handmade or not. Mine are often quilts or pretty bags. And mostly for girls, who are more liable to want pretty bags. ;-) I’ve made a few boy quilts. 2 for Mr. Micah and 1 for a boy who was my best friend through some tough times.

    Potholders, doilies, ashtrays….not so much.

    Posted by Mrs. Micah | October 1, 2007, 6:35 pm
  10. As for me I would be glad to do something and present it to my friends. I think that this gift goes from heart. At the same time I understand that i am not good in doing such things. That’s why instead of doing something terrible I would prefer to buy perfect quality gift and present it.

    Posted by Andrew | June 4, 2009, 5:49 pm

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