Maggie's Essay Contest: Are Home Made Gifts of Any Value?

Although Maggie has selected the top three entries, we want you to nominate your favorite essays for the People’s Choice award. The recipient of the award will win a package of crochet books and yarn totaling over $100.

To vote, click on the blog article. At the bottom of the article you will see a “Facebook like” button. The entry with the most likes by February 14th, 2012 wins. NOTE: You must have a Facebook account to participate. You can vote for as many essays as you want, but the top three entries do not qualify for this portion of the contest.

Are Home Made Gifts of Any Value?

BY: Chris Bordner

I treasure home made gifts. There is something special about making them, and also about receiving them. Store-bought gifts no longer have an appeal to me. I’ve gone to *the other side*. Some friends and family members just don’t understand how I could convert and like what they deem as *cheap*. Their eyebrows twist, their eyes look to the side and squint, they give a half smile while they utter the words, “Thank you.” Their mouths drop open when I receive a home made gift and act like a little kid getting the *best-est* present ever. They pronounce me as hopeless and utterly cheap.   But is that so? Not in the least! In fact it is quite the opposite.

Making a home made gift as well as receiving one is very enriching. There is so much power and opportunity when making a gift. The planning, settling on a pattern, the decision on and hunt for the perfect materials…the construction, proofing, frogging that sometimes erases hours of work, and more things if you think about it …all are involved in a home made gift. Every minute of the process, I am thinking of the person I am making a gift for.

When I receive a home made gift, I am humbled that someone thought of me for the length of time it took to come to fruition.   I mentioned making a homemade gift is also an opportunity. What a wonderful time to learn a new skill! It brings a double pleasure in that it is more difficult since you are trying something new, but then you are presenting something you made *from scratch* in all senses of the word. An appreciative receiver knows the extra work it took, and you are giving your first-fruits of this newly developed skill to someone you love.

I did that for a very dear friend’s and her husband’s anniversary. I learned how to loom knit. I made a Garoo Hat and Mobius Scarf for my friend, and I made her husband gloves, with alpaca…the warmest fiber, and dare I say ‘not cheap’! It was my first time using alpaca, and learning to loom knit. A double new experience for me.   And that was just the beginning of a new love. Feeling so good with developing a new skill, I broadened out and made a Key Hole Scarf and hat with alpaca for my daughter-in-law.   I was very excited to learn how to make flowers on a spool loom! I added a pansy with leaves to the scarf for my daughter in law. This led to making little purses and tote bags for little girls that I know.

I hardly call the time I spent learning a new skill, the pleasure it gave me, and the pleasure of watching the little girls excited with their special purses/totes … as something cheap or of less value than a store bought gift. They are priceless times, priceless gifts.  Even the cats benefited. I made Indian Corn on a spool loom with 100% cotton, and they just love batting and carrying these around.  It warms my heart to see them play with something I made for them.

Let some people choose to roll their eyes if a gift doesn’t have a price tag that you have to fight to take off. They are the ones *settling* for something that only took a couple minutes to go into a store and purchase. (Okay, give them credit for fighting in line at the checkout!) I am so happy with the time it takes me from beginning to end of making a gift for someone… from thinking of how much someone must care for me to go through all of that when they present me with a home made gift. It is wonderful to give a gift that took part of yourself to make, and to feel that loved when receiving the treasure of a home made gift.

Thanks for reading,

Hugs, Maggie

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