I was reading through a bulletin board this morning and was hearing the usual chorus of frustration about people who don’t appreciate handmade gifts. So I wrote a short blurb on the subject, which I thought was interesting enough to reproduce here (one day I would like to expand it into a longer essay/post on the value of craft).
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Here’s my “take” on making gifts for others….The purpose of the gift, at least for me, is to please the other person. So, I don’t give anyone handmade items unless I know that it will increase their pleasure in the gift – either by being of better quality than whatever I would purchase for them, or by letting them know that I cared enough to put x number of hours of my own time into making the gift. Preferably both.
If they don’t appreciate the gift, it means that I guessed wrong, and next year I’ll try to get something that will please them more (assuming they get a gift at all, that is! 😀 ). I don’t expect everyone to appreciate the value of handmade.
There is also a distinction between handmade and homemade, in my opinion. Handmade is something that is made with skill and is treasured for its quality and uniqueness. Homemade looks distinctly amateurish and shoddy, usually because it’s beginners’ work. I try not to give people anything that looks homemade – if I’m going to give someone a gift I made, it will be better than what is generally available. My beginner efforts I save for myself and Mom, who I know will appreciate them. <grin>
But basically, the way I feel is that not everyone appreciates handwork, and that’s OK. I don’t take offense when someone asks me “What are you doing that for when you can buy it at Wal-Mart?” They simply don’t understand the roots of craft, or the reasons I do what I do. And that’s OK. Not everyone has to appreciate what I make! There are plenty of people who can and do appreciate well-made, handcrafted items, and those are the ones who receive them.