Last year I questioned whether or not secondhand gifts were acceptable. My reasoning behind that was that I wanted to purchase my niece some clothes for Christmas, and I could purchase a lot more when I shopped at second hand clothing stores. In the end, I ended up purchasing new clothes for her on sale. I just didn’t want to create an awkward situation. I will say that if someone gave me a gift that they really thought I would like that came from a thrift store, I would definitely not be offended. There are many times people have given me things that were used that were unique and I ended up loving.
This year I want to focus on making gifts for people, as I do every year. I’ll end up purchasing gifts for some people on our list, but I’d rather make things as a creative outlet, to show people I really care, and to help save money. I really like when I make someone a gift that while I’m making it, I think about them. I think about how much they will love the item I’m making, and how much I care about them. It’s awesome.
I started to get self conscious about my homemade gifts. Sure, I enjoying making soap, knitting dishcloths, and making candy cane sugar scrub. Last year when I gave my aunts reusable cloth bags with soap, tea, and handmade dish cloths, they all really enjoyed them. I have given my neighbor a few dishcloths and some lotion as well, but I can’t help that my gifts are inadequate compared to what she’s given us. There are many times she’s asked us to let out her dogs, and we happily do. Every time we let them out, she gifts us with a $10 Starbucks gift card, or a neat picture that we really like, or just a nice little trinket. Each time we tell her it’s unnecessary, that we’re happy to help her out, and she continues to give us gifts. I’ve been trying to tell myself that if she didn’t want to do it, then she wouldn’t.
I worry that some of the recipients would be happier with a store bought item, so I’ve decided that this year I’m going to figure out who would really appreciate something hand made and make something for them. For my father in law, I’ll probably get a photo that I’ve taken printed at a professional lab and frame it. I did that a few years ago and he still talks about it. It’s nice because he’s hard to buy for, and I like that he appreciates my photography. With my sister, for instance, I’ll end up purchasing something for her. She wouldn’t like a handmade scarf or socks quite as well as some Bare Minerals makeup, so I’ll end up buying her something like that. I’ll make sure to ask her first what she wants.
I’d love to just get everyone a $25 prepaid gift card that they can spend wherever they want, but I don’t think that’s a great present (I’d be happy with it though!).
When it comes to homemade versus store bought gifts, which do you prefer?