COLUMN: Handmade gifts are the best made

Handmade gifts are perfect for the person that has everything, or just buys everything they want

This year for Christmas, one side of my family has decided to only give gifts that are consumable.

Initially I was super excited – think of all the chocolate! Then it was then explained to me that consumable could also mean things like soap, perfume, and that we would even open it up to goods that were handmade as well.

We were trying to avoid giving random knick-knacks and buying just for the sake of buying.

I like to think that I am a pretty crafty gal, so I have made it my mission to make at least one handmade gift for every one of myfamily members this Christmas. This means that I should have started working on this about three months ago, but who doesn’t love a little extra holiday-time pressure?

Handmade gifts are perfect for the person that has everything, or just buys everything they want.

You can personalize a gift to make it unique to your recipient, making it more special thananything they would pick up at a shopping mall.

While making your own handmade gifts, you get to experience the joy of creativity!

Channeling your inner crafter/baker/candlestick maker can boost your happiness, improve your memory and prevent cognitive deterioration. It is clear how much love and care go into creating something from scratch. Every stitch, every brushstroke, every cut.

There mayalso be a few curses and a “why did I ever think this was a good idea” lurking in there, but just try to ignore them… crafting can be frustrating at time.

Despite the frustration that making a handmade gift can bring, it is worth it in the end. The smile on your recipient’s face that acknowledges the hours of time and effort you put in makes it all worthwhile.

At the library, there are plenty of books to get you in the crafting spirit – especially when it comes to gifts! Take Handcrafted Gifts. edited by Weldon Owen, which has everything from an easy finger-knit cowl that just uses two balls of bulky yarn and some scissors to a tiny intricate terrarium that will bring joy to both adults and children alike.

If you would prefer to give from the kitchen, check out Food Gift Love, by Maggie Battista. This book features over 100 small batch recipes perfect for gifts, along with detailed wrapping instructions to make sure they are picture-perfect.

I personally have my eye on the Jam-Swirled Marshmallows.

If you are like me and have become obsessed with crocheting, then Crochet the Perfect Gift: Designs Just Right for Giving and Ideas for Every Occasion, by Kat Goldin will be right up your alley! With projects that can be made in one evening, this book is essential for those last-minute “gift emergencies”.

Make this holiday season special with the gift of giving… handmade!

Kayley Robb is an Assistant Community Librarian and an avid crafter at the Summerland Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library.

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