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It’s all about the time and love
Have you received a handmade gift only to toss it in a closet and forget it? There was time and love in that item, and it might be time to rethink your attitude.
There’s nothing quite as heartbreaking as finding out that you put hours or even days of time and effort into a handcrafted item for someone, and they tossed it in a corner never to be seen again. There are many people in this country that have no appreciation for the time and effort and love that goes into handmade gifts.
There was one year that I took an entire week to work on handcrafted items for my boyfriend’s parents for Christmas. I was low on money, but I had supplies, so I thought handcrafted was the way to go. I knew his dad had a gun collection, so I made a custom case for his favorite pistol out of wood with polished brass fixtures and a custom-fit velvet liner. For his mom, who loved elephants and Rudolph the Reindeer, I made a 14” stuffed spotted elephant, all hand-stitched and hand dyed from a pattern I created myself.
I gave the gifts at Christmas, thinking they would be thrilled at the love and care that went into these one-of-a-kind items. They seemed happy at the time, but I found out later it was all an act. The following year the mother sent me into her closet to get something, and what did I see? My lovely gifts tossed carelessly in the back corner in the “junk” section. My heart sank. All that time and effort, and they had just tossed them away as if they meant nothing.
It’s a sad fact that in American society people are all about the expensive gift, and handcrafted items rarely make the grade. Even if it’s better or more unique than anything you could purchase in a store, the lack of a name brand label makes it worthless. People are so materialistic that they fail to see the value in a handmade gift. People should really think about what goes into a hand made gift before disregarding it.
For one thing, a handmade item is going to be one of a kind. It is impossible for a home crafter to make the exact same thing twice, there is always going to be some small variation. So your handmade gift is going to be the only one like it on the planet. A store bought item is going to be just like every other one that people bought from the store. And think about it, if someone bought you a hand crafted item from a famous artist, wouldn’t that uniqueness be of great value to you? Why should it be any less special when coming from a home crafter?
You also need to consider the time and effort that goes into a project. First they have to think of something you’ll like, then they have to create it in their mind, and then in reality. Some projects can take hours, and others can take days or weeks. For all that time the person making the item is thinking of you, and filling that item with their love and time and effort. How much love or effort does it take to walk up to a store shelf and grab some mass-produced item? Not much at all.
Cost is also not something that should even be thought of. Something someone made for you using $10 in materials should be seen as no less valuable than a store-bought item that cost double or triple that. The price tag does not show how much someone loves you. I’d rather have a pendant made by someone that cost $1 in materials than have them buy one at a store and spend $20. The love and time spent in creating something makes it far more valuable than any mass-produced product by far.
The next time you get a handcrafted gift, you might want to stop and think about the love, the time and the effort that went into making it for you. Think about how special it is, and how you are the only person on the planet who will ever have one. Think about how many hours or days that person spent thinking of just you while they created this special item. Don’t scoff and toss it aside. Realize that every handmade item is a representation of that person’s love for you, and is far more valuable than any mass-produced store bought item ever could be.