Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday Confession

Christmas Gifts

As you probably already know, I make many of my Christmas gifts. For family, I often make clothes. For friends at work, in order to avoid fitting issues, I have made bathrobes, aprons, fabric purses, etc. (And then there is this year's mystery gift...) ;)

One of my favorite "traditions" is to take my nieces shopping at Joann's and let them each pick out a pattern and fabric for their Christmas gifts. I'll admit that the first time I did this as my gift, they were a little bit disappointed. (I think the exact quote was something like, "Is that all?") But now I think they enjoy it too and look forward to it each year. We have fun shopping together. I let them pick most anything (limited only by my ability) and they seem to really like the outfits.

Of course, sewing gifts adds a bit of pressure to the holiday season. And I have read in other blogs that recipients don't always appreciate the thought, time and work that goes into making something. So, I know that this is not the right choice for everyone...

What about you? Do you make any of the Christmas gifts that you give to family and/or friends? Is this something that you find stressful and unrewarding, or a way that you can show people how much you love them?

11 comments:

Jen said...

Hi Gwen,

I'm Jen from Joanne's blog. That is so sweet of you to make gifts. I usually end up buying gifts for the fam, however, there are 2 things I would love to learn after I graduate. First, I would love to learn how to paint so I could give beautiful pictures. Also, I want to learn how to knit a scarf, people say it is pretty easy, but I have no idea where to begin. Whenever I see handmade scarves on people, it makes me want to give them as gifts. They are so comforting.

wendy said...

My oldest niece LOVES joann, especially the button racks. Guess it depends on the age, though- Kate is only 5, so it's all fun for her.

I try to make almost all my gifts, but I was foiled last year with a sprained right ankle. I discovered that switching to using a left foot with that sewing machine pedal really doesn't work so well, sadly. ;-) So watch your footing on the ice!!

Joanne said...

Although I don't make gifts, I love your idea with your nieces. What makes it even more special is the time you spend with them beforehand, browsing, considering. Maybe a coffee or hot chocolate before or afterwards. It makes for a nice holiday anticiaption!

Lindsay T said...

I am making a skirt for my goth niece, which she may not like because she is fussy. But it has skeleton heads on it! And I am making boxers for my son, who will view them with the same level of excitement as a pair of tube socks. But he needs them so who cares. That's it for handmade presents this year.

and sew it begins... said...

I like to make gifts, but I too find that the time, effort, and thought isn't necessarily as appreciated as I expect.

Though, store bought gifts often have the same effect, for example when my niece opened her gift from me last weekend (a store bought snow white doll with interchangeable dresses) she exclaimed "I HATE IT!"
At least she was being honest though! :D

Vicki said...

I make Christmas gifts for my work collegues - there are 10. Always in Christmas fabric. I have done table runners, aprons, coasters and I can't think what else at the moment. I think they like them. This year I think I will do oven gloves to match the last years aprons. And it does stress me, as I always leave it too late. I haven't started on this years yet :((

Becky said...

It depends on who the gift is for, for me. I'll often end up making things for my mom (who is also crafty and therefore appreciates it), and my close friends. I don't think I've ever made anything for either my dad or my brother-- usually I'll just get my brother a cd or dvd, and stuff like Home Depot gift cards and golf stuff for my dad. And for things like weddings and baby showers, unless it's a very good friend, I'll rarely make stuff, just because I don't want to put all that time into something that they may not need or isn't their taste (so I just go off the registries.) As for stress, there's usually a bit of nervousness whether they'll like it, but it's far more rewarding when they do.

Miss Linda said...

I am so new to sewing that I decided not to make any gifts this year, but I have been gathering ideas from you and other sewing bloggers for next year. You give me a lot of inspiration, dear Gwen! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Sarah said...

I DO make some of my presents.... It can be stressful, especially with finals looming over my head and all, but reactions make it worth it. I give people things that have come from my hands, and love every minute of it.
I figure if I have been blessed to have the skills, I should not thwart my Maker by letting them spoil... And it's love in every stitch, even the frustrated ones.

Summerset said...

It depends on who it is for. I have had a really negative experience with one particular family member, who has not received anything hand made by me since. Actually I've stopped making things for most of my family member. Sad to say, but I only make gifts for those who really appreciate them.

MadeByAmanda said...

Luckily, most of my family members appreciate hand-made gifts, even my Dad and my husband. My brother, not so much.

Pretty much, I limit myself to giving handmade to those who will appreciate it, either because they realize the work that goes into it, or because they are crafters themselves.

I am also much more careful in the picking of WHAT to give than I used to be, which ensures that the gifts are appreciated.