As far as I’m concerned, there are pros and cons to both handmade and store bought gifts. In the past, I have bought and made a variety of gifts to give people for birthdays and holidays. Handmade gifts can be customized for individual people and I feel that they are more meaningful, since the person can see the time and effort you put into making the gift. Also, depending on what you are making, going the DIY route can be cheaper than simply buying the final product.
For example, I decided to learn how to make candles on a whim and I was quite pleased with the final result. I ended up making more for myself using some old glass containers I had lying around, and played around with different fragrance combinations. When I felt I was good enough at this craft, I made scented candles to give people one Christmas. Usually a candle in a Mason jar can be fairly pricey, but I was able to get all of the materials (including empty jars) to make a bunch of candles for about $20.
However, handmade gifts can take a considerable amount of time to make, whereas simply buying a gift is definitely easier and faster. As some say, you pay more for the convenience. Also, depending on the handmade gift and the skill of the maker, the quality of store bought gifts can be better at times.
In the end, I would have to say I still prefer making and receiving handmade gifts, despite their downsides. When it comes to gift giving, we often say that it is the thought that counts, and I truly do believe that, especially when it is obvious that someone spent a lot of his or her time making something. However, if you decide to make a gift, I think you should choose something you’re fairly good at making. And don’t worry – there are some great gift ideas even for beginners! For example, you can put together a “Spa Day” gift basket with a homemade sugar body and/or lip scrub and soap. You could also add a candle (homemade or store bought) and some store bought tea or towels to fill up this basket. If you pair it with some fresh flowers, it can make a good Mother’s Day gift!
One of my favorite holidays to make personalized gifts for is definitely Christmas! A cute idea for the winter holidays is to make chocolates, fudges (a favorite of mine is peppermint fudge), and cookies. These sweets are fairly simple to make and easy to package. You can also buy glass jars in the shapes of Santa or snowmen and fill them with layers of dry ingredients to make cookies or hot chocolate.
There are so many potential ideas for homemade gifts: scarves or mittens, candles, sweets, lotions, bags, wooden carvings, paintings, and so on! What kind of gifts have you made in the past? If you have never made a gift before, what would you like to try to make?
on a whim (idiom) – based on a sudden desire, decision, idea, etc.
lie around (idiom) – to be somewhere in a general area
downside (noun) – a part of something that you do not want or like; a bad point
potential (adjective) – possible
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