Do-it-yourself gifts for Christmas

by Michael Smith

No, I am not about to give you instructions as to how too make gifts for Christmas. Others are doing that enough, methinks, which is good, but...

It seems that everywhere you look in magazines and newspapers – yes, even newspapers – and in television programs, and in their counterparts, whether from the same paper or magazine or not, online, whether those are the counterparts of the magazines, papers or TV programs, the talk is about and there are instructions for do-it-yourself Christmas gifts. This is the same in the Times Newspaper and its counterpart, Times Online, as well as on the website of the US TV program “Inside Edition”, and others.

Everywhere we look it is about DIY/homemade presents for Christmas. There must definitely be something in the air.

This is, obvious, something that I entirely applaud and endorse, as it is also good for the environment. Currently this does have little to do, in most case with environmental consciousness or such but seems to me definitely a sign of the times that we are presently in. We did not see such instructions in the last years past, bar in some special magazines and online media, such as Treehugger and others.

What we are seeing here is what people want and need for they cannot afford too go out and buy all those expensive things that they might have wanted to get their loved on es and friends for Christmas. A definite sign of the times.

This does not, necessarily, mean that this is a bad thing. It may feel like that to those that look at saving their dollars and cents and rather make gifts – and especially to those that do not have the funds to buy presents. In fact this may be a blessing in disguise, for us and the environment.

It may, finally, get us back to the finer things in life and to actually giving and receiving from and with the heart. A gift, whether for Christmas or Hanukkah or a birthday or other occasion, made by the giver expresses so much more than a store bought gift or a gift card.

Also greeting cards made at home, whether “just” on the computers or more elaborate is hardly the matter. In general, I think, home-made cards, and gifts, are, by the people with the right mindset, much more appreciated than boughten ones.

It is time that we got back to the real value of things and a recession or depression, for methinks that we have entered the latter already and left the former a while back, often makes for a rethink and brings us back to what really matters.

As I said, I am not about to give you instructions as too what to make and how to make it. There are enough instructions about already. There are many things that you can make, depending on how good your with your hands, and I am talking here equally to the men and the women of the audience.

While I must say that I do not really have anyone to give presents to at Christmas but my cards are always home-made on the PC and on occasions I give other handmade gifts, such as knives that I make in the traditional way of my Romany People. I also make gifts from recycling old leather bags and such into the likes of business card/credit card wallets (not that there will be so many folks around anymore using such plastic in the future, maybe).. Business/visiting cards are, once again, back in fashion though. Other leather items I also make for people as gifts, including also scabbards for pocketknives, for iPods, general MP3 players, and other goods.

If you have a mind to think what the recipient of the gift might appreciate, as long as it is not – yet again – a sweater that is far too large, I am sure that you can find something that you can make for someone that will be lived and loved.

Maybe the current economic problems are not a bad thing when it comes to us getting back, as I said, to the real values.

© M Smith (Veshengro), December 2008