I tend to be the homemade present giver, so whenever I get something from someone else that has been made it makes me super happy because I know how much effort has gone into it. Yesterday for example, I made a pair of earrings. If you include all the running back and forth, getting bits and settling down again, it probably took me about 3 hours. For a single pair of earrings.
I’ve also spent all afternoon making jars and jars of chutney and relish. I know the pain of handmade presents – they take so much longer, cost more than you expect and then you spend every moment worrying that your intended recipient won’t actually like it and would have preferred a present from the shop.
So, the prompt. Hairy bought me an advent house for Christmas a few years back, I’ll have to get a photo of it soon (dropped my camera down the loo in a club and miss it horribly). It wasn’t handmade by him, but for each day he’d put something cute in that he’d written for me. It’s not technically handmade, but the thought put into my advent house was the thing that truly brought it alive for me. The bonus is that I get a new thing inside each of the days every year 😀
Unexpected handmade presents are also a bonus. As you know, I had Mops and Pops up to stay this weekend and as usual I’m chuntering away at them about pretty much everything under the sun including the fact that I get cold fingers and toes nowadays. I’ve turned into an old lady; there is no hope for me now. Back to business though, Mops calls me over today to try a sock on my foot. I go over, since if you grow up with Mops as your Mops, you get used to being a prop for all her knitting and crochet stuff (“Here, that body part is close enough to the size I need! Gimme!”) and it turns out that Mops has been knitting me a pair of socks this weekend because I get cold feet.
It was the thought of it that really made it special, because I wasn’t expecting antyhing from Mops and it was a lovely surprise. Mops is a fiend for giving me homemade knitted bits; I loved being at university and getting an odd package every now and again that had socks in, or a little knitted toy.
In a similar vein, my little cousin (not so little and working in a biscuit factory) brought me a present the first time she came to stay – Christmas sugar. It was so special because we’d been chatting about it and I said I would think about making some. I hadn’t by the time she came down, but she brought me a jar of amazing sugar that smells divine. It was the fact that she’d remembered about it and made me some as well.
As a thank you present recently, one of my many uncles brought me fruit in vodka – a tradition on his side of the family. It wasn’t a big or expensive present, but sometimes it’s just about the little things in life.
For me, the joy of getting a present that someone has made is knowing how much has gone into it. How many hours have been put into making something that made them think of you. It’s how every time you use the present after that, you think of them. I’m not saying you only get that feeling from handmade presents, particularly as some of the bought presents are so spot on but as a crafter myself, I recognise what’s gone into it and appreciate the thought and effort behind it.