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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Requesting hand-made gifts from family

    I would like some opinions before I carry through with my idea...

    Christmas is still months away, but I'm thinking of requesting hand-made gifts from my family. It would mean so much more to me! Even if the gifts are totally simple.

    But - I'm not sure if this is an appropriate request. My mom is crafty enough (stained glass, crochet, drawing, painting), but my sisters are not. I don't want to stress them out!

    I'm thinking of including ideas with my request...maybe hand-made cards from my niece and nephews, maybe my sisters could make me CDs, (more ideas here would be helpful!) I'm really not expecting anything extravigant, just something that will be special to me.

    I usually give hand-made gifts for birthdays, and purchased gifts for Christmas. So I'm not being a hypocrite with this request. I'm actually hoping they'll enjoy the process, and maybe save some money, too. Both of my sisters have kids, and money can be tight during the holidays.

    So, the question is: are hand-made gifts too much to ask for people who are not (yet) crafty? Would it be fun for them? Would it make the holidays more difficult and stressful?

    Opinions here would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks

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  3. #2
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2005
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    i like your idea!

    what about, for the not-so-craft-inclined folks, a nice handwritten letter. maybe like a favorite memory they have of the two of you ... you can maybe use these in a larger craft project of your family.

  4. #3
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    Jun 2005
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    i like your idea too, but maybe a better way to phrase it would be to say, "you know, each year we all spend so much money on gifts, how about this year we set aside some time to make something together that we can both share somehow and that will be our gift to each other." then you get to create something together that probably will mean a lot more to you both and it's not so much pressure on non-crafty types who probably wouldn't know where to start and might feel bad if it doesn't turn out perfectly.

  5. #4
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    Mar 2005
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    Last year for my birthday I told my friends and family how I'd been wanting art, so I asked anyone who was interested to make me some. I told everyone who wanted to participate that I would buy a small canvas (8x10, maybe a bit smaller) for them, and I told them to do whatever they wanted to it. I only got half of them back (I think I bought 6, and I got 3 back), so since my birthday is coming up again in about a month, I guess I should really start guilt-tripping them into giving me LAST YEAR's birthday gift.

  6. #5
    Senior Member
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    how about making it into a little secret santa exchange thing - have everyone draw a name from a hat and make them something. then when the gifts are opened, everyone could try to figure out who made it. perhaps it might make the challenge more fun.

  7. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    363
    I tried that idea with my family this past year and they all laughed at me.

    They all claimed they didn't have enough time. Things like that don't go over well with a mother of 3 who also works outside the home and has about 30 minutes of spare time a month but yet still manages to make handmade goodies...

  8. #7
    Junior Member
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    I tried that idea with my family this past year and they all laughed at me.
    Thanks Slinkster...as much as I appreciate the advice other folks have given me, this is the sort of answer I was wondering about...

    So they didn't appreciate the request? Did you just get normal store-bought gifts, anyway? Hmm...

    Last night on the phone, my mom was describing how nicely these stained glass bowls she's making are coming out (she's using a kiln to melt the glass). So I said, 'those sound so cool, now you know what to make me for christmas!' She agreed that it woudl make a nice christmas gift. One down, two to go...

  9. #8
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    any chance mom would help your sisters? Maybe she could oversee their crafting so they wouldn't feel so uncomfortable about it and she could provide technical assistance for their ideas.

  10. #9
    Junior Member
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    any chance mom would help your sisters? Maybe she could oversee their crafting so they wouldn't feel so uncomfortable about it and she could provide technical assistance for their ideas.
    Yes! Great idea. That will work with one of my sisters...but the other lives far away. This will work well! Mom's recently retired and sort of twiddling her thumbs, so teaching my sister would be positive for both of them.

  11. #10
    Member
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    Apr 2004
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    I requested handmade gifts last year, but I did not ask people not to buy gifts. Although I know my family doesn't, some people start their holiday shopping very early, or they have a great idea for a gift. How would you feel if you thought of or bought the perfect gift for someone, and the intended recipient told you they didn't want any store-bought gifts?

    What I did was ask for at least one homemade item. I only mentioned it when someone asked me what I wanted for Xmas. I don't think this should be approached any differently than when asking (or hinting) for any other gift you want that is store-bought. Another option is to tell the person you're most comfortable talking to, and ask them to spread the word to the rest of your family.

    I did, however, provide suggestions on what to make, but kept the suggestions varied and general enough to let the person know it was their choice whether to make something and what to make, and that sort of thing. I suggest to tailor your suggestions to the person's strengths.

    Some examples:
    write a song/poem/story
    draw a picture
    make christmas ornament
    make a food gift
    assemble favorite family recipes, make a recipe booklet
    handmade jewelry or clothing item
    purchased item (like a tote-bag or wooden box, for example) personalized with paint, glue, stitches, etc.
    Simple shelf or storage cube from woodworking hobbyist
    personalized stationery set
    framed photograph taken by person giving gift
    cut flowers, dried flowers, seeds, or plant cuttings from a gardener

    Also, if someone has a special hobby or talent you may suggest they use it, but keep in mind that some hobbies are very time consuming. Let the person know it can be something small or it doesn't have to use their well-known talent. Many knitters consider it a pet peeve to be asked to knit gifts for others, as knitting is very time-consuming, sometimes taking dozens of hours of knitting (often squeezed in during spare time over several months) to complete one item. Time-consuming gifts can be a real labor of love; better when freely given than when requested.

    One other thing to keep in mind is that someone could also interpret your request as a polite way of saying "I know you can't afford a good gift, so feel free to make me something instead." If you know money is a sensitive issue for someone, be careful how you phrase the request, and be sure you know it applies to everyone, not just them.

    Good luck!

    -S


 
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