Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hand Made Holiday

So, I have this friend on facebook; I went to art school with her and her husband way back when. Today she posted on her status about how her holiday shopping this year is mostly made up of handmade treasures making this year's trip to the mall less stressful and as a result more enjoyable. In the comments she went on to say that if everyone in the small town where she now lives in made the choice to give one gift that was locally hand made the change that would cause would be astronomical.

Think of it, one gift hand crafted by an artist or artisan who lives in your own back yard; a kind of 100 mile challenge of the holiday variety. In large city centers this is so easy to put into practice, even in smaller communities getting a lovingly handcrafted gift can be as simple as keeping an eye open for craft fairs and gift galleries that specialize in local artists. A quick visit to Etsy can locate local artists and their wares within specific search parameters, so if you're looking for an iPhone case that isn't the same as every other hipster's; a t-shirt for your in house baby paleontologist, an earth friendly coffee mug for the caffeine deprived loved one or a special bauble to adorn the throat of your significant other, you can find one in your country, state, province, city or town.

If everyone made the choice to purchase one gift from a local artist/artisan think of the change that could create!

For the artists in our communities making a living from designing and creating.

For the people who receive the gifts that had a little extra thought put into them.

For those doing the gifting dealing with a less stressful shopping experience...

the list could go on and on because like the long long list of handmade gifts that can be gifted the ripple effect from buying one single handmade gift locally would just spread out and out.

This is a movement I can really get behind because it's one small purchase, it's a baby step towards bigger change; not a call for a belly flop into the deep end. Would making the choice to make one of your gifts handmade be something that you could add to your holiday gift giving traditions? I'm not suggesting you drop the most wanted toy (in our house that would be an easy bake oven) from your kids list in favour of a hand made toy but I am suggesting that instead of buying an impersonal gift basket of pre-packaged teas and cookies you think about visiting a holiday craft fair and picking up some hand-made soaps or artisan toffees.

I couldn't write a post like this without (as I've been known to explain to the Peanut) putting actions to my words. Our gifts to grandparents, cousins and even a few gifts to the Peanut and the Bean have been (or are currently being) lovingly handcrafted. I'd love for this to become a wave of small change for the rest of the season and next year and the year after that too. Spread the word, it's going to be a thing.

1 comment:

Jen said...

starting last year I made something with Kyan for us to give to family and friends. Last year it was felted soap and this year it's pine cone and toilet paper roll bird feeders. My point here is to make him understand that gifts does not equal mall all the time. We shop craft fairs as well and each year I also include handmade gifts for each boy. This year a stocking for the baby and a felt storyboard for Ky. Great post and a great message!

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