December 7, 2011



An abundance of gift guides are popping up all over blogs and websites. When it comes to giving, the main guidance I would like to share is that, ideally, giving will be fun and part of the joy of the season. Our holiday celebrations this year will continue to be small and low key, but I plan to thoroughly enjoy the preparations. This week I am finishing up some custom orders and a few other things for the shop, but by Friday I hope to be in Christmas making mode.

Just as writing a letter is a way to spend time with someone from afar, a handmade gift is imbued with the love and joy that I want to give. Making or finding the gift is half the fun, giving it and experiencing the way that it is received is equally gratifying. I'll will miss out on most of this second half of giving, but I am still looking forward to putting together packages and cards for friends and family next week. I'll include a homemade treat, some jars of preserves and maybe a few other little things, but I don't want it to be too complicated because then it won't be fun.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed by the focus on buying and giving that comes this time of year, but I truly enjoy making, finding, and giving gifts. I'm trying to do things that I really want to do and that are manageable and I'm letting go of the rest so that I don't feel too busy and rushed. The enjoyment should be part of the gift.

Last year I listed some ideas for a handmade holiday. Food in Jars has a roundup of homemade gift ideas. The Kitchn has another list of homemade gifts. If you have had enough of making (or aren't into making it yourself) there are so many amazing handmade gifts you can find. I also love giving experiences -- one year I gave my little sister a dress pattern with the promise of going to pick out fabric and make the dress together.

I hope everyone can find the sweet spot between doing everything and enjoying everything that needs to be done. I'll be sharing more of my holiday preparations and projects in the next couple weeks. I'd love to hear about yours, too!

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