Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see someone's face light up with something I've made. Cookies? A nice meal? A handmade scarf? I love it.
Any other time of year, we love to give things we've made to people we love, or have them give something to us.
Why is it that around Christmas, that nasty little voice makes us second guess ourselves?
"That isn't good enough."
"Oh, so you made presents? Tightwad."
"You're so weird and different for not just buying things."
Let's rethink these for a second:
"That isn't good enough." No, it isn't "good enough"- it's better. You made something that is 100% unique. Even if you used a pattern or followed a recipe, there will never be the exact same item out there ever. It's better than good-enough, it's GREAT!
"Oh, so you made presents? Tightwad." You only spent untold hours in planning and making an item. You only spent the cost of ingredients or materials. You only put your love in to every stitch, stroke or stir. You gave up your free time when you could have been napping, watching tv or just staring out a window. What a scrooge you are to put your love and so much thought and effort in to a gift!
"You're so weird and different for not just buying things." How dare you not just toss out a few bucks and get something "just to be done with shopping"? You truly are a weirdo for overthinking a gift that could make someone smile. Be like the rest of the world and just buy something poorly made that will break in 6 months and will be forgotten before the wrapping paper is thrown away.
I love homemade gifts. Last Christmas I received a handmade Christmas ornament from a friend and I am in love with it- every time I go to trim my tree, I will think of her. Had she given me a $25 gift card to a restaurant, that would have been appreciated, but forgotten as soon as the meal was over.
One of my favorite gifts from my little brother ever came three Christmases ago. He was a poor student in Nashville. Come Christmas, he gave me a stocking full of Coke Rewards caps, a small Rottweiler stuffed animal (I love rotties) and a bag of these delicious sugared nuts a place in the Mall in Nashville sold. The nuts were shared around the family and eaten quickly, the stuffed puppy is collecting dust somewhere and the coke rewards caps have all been redeemed- but I will never forget when I saw all those codes. It's silly, but it showed me that he really stopped and considered what I like (saving money!) and spent his time collecting them for me. It wasn't done in a rush because he needed to check my name off his list. In a few more years, time will cloud the memory and the nuts and stuffed puppy will be forgotten, but I don't think I'll ever forget how much thought and effort he put in to a silly stocking full of drink caps.
So no, his gift wasn't just "Good-Enough". It was Perfect.
Catch up on all the 12 Months of Christmas posts here.