Friday, December 9, 2011

Handmade vs. Homemade


As I finish making a few Christmas gifts I find myself thinking.

Thinking about how cool I think handmade gifts are.

Thinking about how come many people don't.


I've always known this.

And managed to never let it bother me.


So, now I'm thinking . . . why is it bothering me this year?

-dana

43 comments:

Rita said...

Could be that you have had more reasons to be around those who are materialistic. Or, maybe you are buying for older children who really want store bought items. I do see a difference in the way things are received. Some love handmade and some don't and it shows on their face. The quilt you made is lovely and the things you make are quality. I'd give them with a smile and for those who really want store bought it might be a good year to buy them something on sale or with coupons.

Kasey said...

It took my brother until he turned 25 to appreciate my handmade gifts... and now, he specifically asks for me to make him things. It's so much easier to give when things are appreciated. I have a friend, however, (and I use that term loosely now because of the following), who takes my skills for granted- most recently, she custom ordered 2 knitting bags, then only paid me half what I quoted her and thought she was giving me a tip. So I guess there will always be some people who will never appreciate things that we put hours of time and love into. But for the people who Do appreciate it, like my brother, my husband, my mom, and most of my in-laws, there are handmade gifts being finished and waiting to be loved.

Jennifer said...

I think a lot of people don't realize how much time and effort gets put into homemade gifts, whereas people that make homemade gifts, can appreciate that. Also, some people are just plain materialistic! haha great quilt by the way - happy holidays!

Jennifer said...

btw, a while back I won the quilt you had auctioned off to help people living in joplin - though it wasn't a "gift" it sure felt like one and it sits on my bed and gets used everyday! so thank you!

JacquieLH said...

I agree with Jennifer. People who receive homemade gifts don't always understand/appreciate like people who give them. We know how much time and effort it took and how unlike most situations where we just go and buy presents, we've been thinking/anticipating the giving of the gift to the intended recipient the entire process, which may take days and even weeks.

I've learned that while others may not appreciate it as much as we had hoped, as long as I'm still enjoying the crafting/handmaking process, I'll continue to do it :)

Kim said...

This is a great question.....those who appreciate the gift as more than just a material thing but as a gesture of your love for them just by
the fact that you actually made something for them. They know the time it takes to do such a loving thing. The others just don't get that. And is it because of what is in their hearts or what you have given? I always think it is because they have no idea what they have been given.

My daughter use to paint rocks with such zeal in gold paint and give them as a gifts when she was a child. Those people that opened them and made a fuss and used them as paper weights or proclaimed them as "chunks of gold" made such a place in my heart for their
love of the thought that went behind the gift as well as being so kind to a child, I'll love them forever. Do we all really need "things"...no....but someone taking the time to make me a quilt or handmade soap or scrub like you do......priceless.

You can only control what you do not how others behave or react to your gifts......you can't make their hearts bigger.

Happy sewing and Merry Christmas,
Kim

The Army of Four said...

A lack of appreciation, maybe?
It's sad, but I'm cutting WAY back on who in my family gets handmade gifts this year. They just don't seem to appreciate it. Then there are some friends who just seem to treasure things I make for them and support me/encourage me in my quilting/sewing ... and I'd do just about anything for them.
KZK
Merry Christmas

DianeY said...

Interesting point!

I know I was appalled when I heard my SIL is completely insulted by a handmade gift - a present must be purchased she says. I'm so glad we don't exchange gifts!

Anonymous said...

I can relate. We've been married for 20 years. For my SILs I've made quilts, tablecloths, placemats, napkins, wall hangings, pillows, etc. to always get gift cards in return. Not trying to be a grinch, but it is kind of insulting, so FINALLY this year, we aren't doing it. Hubby told them we are done trading "gifts". It bothers me that I spend all that time and effort and they run out to Starbucks, buy a gift card, and are done.

DebbyMc said...

I am very particular about who gets things I've made. They have to have expressed to me in some way in the past that they would like something I've made, or else they have to be someone who makes things themselves and know what it entails. Otherwise it is just not worth the work and the thought and the caring and the time that goes into it. In these many years I've been burned too often...sad but true. Um, ahem, I would love to be one of the ones on your gift list BTW!! =-)

Jan said...

It's been bothering me, a bit, too. This year I sent my husbands' nephew and his wife, both well educated, a quilt for their first baby. NO response, not even on FB. Never again for this family.

Elissa said...

dunno, but if you're worried about the recipient of that awesome quilt you've got there, just go ahead and send it to me instead so you can ease your mind ;-)

**nicke... said...

it is funny how everyone in my family wants handmade things from me, EVERYONE! i hate to admit it but i think they are all going to be disappointed this year. i am soo far behind they will be lucky to get a gift by valentines day.

Meg said...

I think about this a lot, too. I finish so few quilts every year (I am getting better, but I'm not a prolific quilter) that I tend to stop and think about who I'm crafting for. My husband begged for a quilt, and got one. I know my parents will appreciate the one I've made for them this year. But I also know that my cousins, who could both certainly use a quilt, wouldn't necessarily welcome one. I guess I figure it's about knowing my audience, and valuing my time. I don't sew for people I don't think will appreciate it--it makes no one happy in the end, and a quilt, to me, is too special to waste.

Suzanne said...

I love making handmade gift too, but have found it distressing when in return I get a cheap gift from Aldi! We have decided to only give gifts to the kids from now on and I just make Rocky Road Chocolate on a cute plastic Christmas plate and I am done. I only make gifts now for people who seem to love and appreciate them.

samadhya said...

I've been reading quite a lot about value and creation and appreciation of value, and Rushkoff writes about the increasing disconnect between the creation of an item and acquiring it in a store, leading to a total incomprehension of the process of making anything. It's really interesting when you think of it like that and I think explains what you're feeling this year and what many of the others leaving comments here also feel. In extreme capitalism people just don't connect with the origins of anything any more...
I try to surround myself with people who also make and give handmade gifts so that I'm usually in good company, but just recently gave a gift of a quilt which I loved so much when making that it was difficult to part with, and was absolutely totally unappreciated when I gave it. It's made me rethink giving or selling another quilt that I've worked on for years and love very much.

For what it's worth, I think there are changes taking place in the world, where people are starting to realise how important our hands are, but it's slow. Keep on trucking! :-)

Jules said...

yep, i choose my audience. i know who appreciates these things and who doesn't . end of story. And my mother in law is the last person i would put any effort in for. For multiple reasons.

tara said...

I had a dream where my ex-sister in law hated the pillow cases I made for her 2 children. I am having handmade anxiety.

ksrunt said...

I am struggling with the same issue this year. I think overall feelings of self-doubt and holiday anxiety hone those doubts. To counter the doubts, I hold onto the past reactions I've had and they were utter joy from the gift recipients. Just remember, gifts aren't always about how much time or money you have spent on someone. Think of how you would feel if you received a handmade or homemade gift. Hope these thoughts help.

Sally said...

I think the ages of your children might have something to do with these feelings. I love to make gifts for my family, but I do not even attempt it for anyone under the age of 16 or so, since I know they will not appreciate it and would far rather have a gift card (the gift of shopping.) It doesn't upset me. I just imagine that I am saving up all my sewing mojo for when they are older and will love it more.

Jennifer @ Ellison Lane Quilts said...

I am sorry it is troubling you- I have no answers- I am giving three quilts this year and have a feeling that they will be well-received- at least I sure hope so! But your quilt there is beautiful (maybe it is a table runner?) At any rate, it is fabulous and I hope that whomever receives it knows it was made with love and them in mind.

Terriaw said...

You know what - this always bothers me too. In fact, my mom has never been big on handmade gifts, so it's hard to buy presents for her. I love to make handmade gifts! (love to receive them too, of course) I wonder if it's because people think handmade gifts don't have the same quality as Target. Who knows! But I'm with you - handmade gifts are THE best!

carol said...

I overheard two females walking around in a store the other day. One said, Oh, I do hope we don't get one of those awful homemade gifts this year from .... They are so awful. They both just laughed and laughed. It has stuck in my head thinking how much time, money, energy, love, effort, talent, ... went into those gifts never knowing how little they were appreciated. Some people are so ungrateful.

Kristen said...

There is a piece of you that goes into each quilt. Hawaiians use to believe it was your soul. When I put a 100% of my efforts into the quilt and it is sniffed at it hurts my heart plain and simple. I will only be making a few small handmade gifts for select people that would appreciate it. Sorry... It's the truth.

Colleen said...

I give very few handmade gifts. The few things I have made were very much appreciated. I really don't think people can truly appreciate a handmade gift unless they have those skills themselves. Many people don't get how much time, effort, and care arre put into creating something wonderful.

Scottish Nanna said...

I made A quilt for A friend 7years ago And i used to see it when I visited her I was so proud of that Quilt as I had just learned how to quilt then I had two Heart attacks and was sick for 6 years And could not do any craft But am back on my feet now And Back into it I went to my friends house and the quilt was gone I did nit like to ask her where it was.one of my daughters Does craft and Sends me things I just love them Because love from the heart comes with that gift.I dont get many home made gifts but I would prefer that rather than something from the shop Keep on Making your gifts The runner you have made is Gorgeous and some lucky person will receive A bit of love from your Heart Have A great Xmas. Hugs Mary xx

Tina ~ Seaside Stitches said...

I understand how you feel. I love making handmade gifts, but I worry about becoming the Aunt in A Christmas Story. You know the one who made Ralphie the bunny suit? I have 3 grand nieces now. Bunny suit, anyone?

Trudi said...

Clearly a great question to ponder on :) Handmade gifts mean 'special' to me, and that means the person receiving it deserves that care and love poured into its making :) What could be a greater compliment! A gift of love :)

Kar said...

I have struggled with this also Dana. I use to make things for quite a number of people each year. Use too. Not any more. My list is very specific to those who truly appreciate handmade things. I made socks one time for a couple of family members and when we went on a trip to visit them I found those socks in the rag bin one day! It is a shame that some people are so caught up on brand names, etc. and only those items have meaning for them. I feel sorry for those individuals because they are truly missing out in life. They just don't see the love, care and creativeness that was put into something that was given to them. Concentrate on those who enjoy you handmade gifts and you will be better for that. So will they!

Emily Cole said...

Dana, It bothers me too, it's bothered me for the last several years. I think it's because I see much more personal value in handmade/homemade items. It seems that everyone wants the newest, best, fastest thing... I think homemade things should be more appreciated and valued.

diane said...

You have to give handmade only to those who can appreciate the time and love spent on the gift. I love handmade but only give to those who understand me. Your creations are lovely and the recipients are lucky to have you as friend/family.

Susanne said...

You know...everyone is different. My husband looks forward to getting new socks as a stocking stuffer every year and I would be a little sad if that's the only thing he put in my stocking.

I think people just want to be seen and heard. We as a culture do that through our gifts. When we give gifts that people don't value not only do we not feel valued but they don't either. They might think "she doesn't get me."

If we look at it two ways it might be selfish of us to impose our home made gifts on others just because we enjoy the process and value in it. Some one who loves models could spend a year building a model for me and while I might think it was ridiculously thoughtful, I'd be MUCH more excited about getting bolt of fabric : )

The joy in giving is big when we've heard and seen the other person's perspective : )

VeeV said...

Hm.....
I know i have to focus more on the act of giving. (yes, i know its hurtful when I put in so much time & effort and the recipient simply goes with their 'plastic' and buys a "duty" gift and they're done). I try very hard (and sometimes don't do so well at it) to remind myself that "tis better to give than to receive".... THAT's the spirit of Christmas...isn't it??

I send out about 120 cards every year, and get about 55...... I send them because I WANT to, and because it's the one time in the year to keep in touch with everyone!!

I know, and understand the frustration..... but as an old lady once told me......"you can be better than them"

Merry Christmas!!
I love the words in this song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFrdazoYX7I
xo
eva

Lucy @ Charm About You said...

Oh Dana - this should set you straight:
http://handmaderyangosling.tumblr.com/post/13931999343/submitted-by-theowlandthebee

Hehehehehe!! x

Pink Lemonade Bags said...

I love buying handmade, when it suites the person and I know they will love it. Which is why I sent your sugar scrub set to my sister for her Christmas present!!! xoxoxoxo

It is sad, but unfortunately true, that some people don't appreciate handmade gifts. It is too bad that they feel happier buying/getting something made in China, just because it came from a name brand store.

Holly Days Closet said...

I love giving and getting handmade gift I'll take them any day of the week.
It does bother me and to tell you the truth I only give handmade gift and I only give to people who I know appreciate them. I know alot of people who only look at the price tag and love to tell you how much they spent I don't even bother with them any more.
Holly

Lara said...

I know how you feel Dana... Every Christmas I worry. I think some people have a misconception that handmade means cheap... But really a handmade gift usually costs the same if not more than a store bought item and that's just the materials to make it! Add your time, thought and sometimes even blood (darn needles!) and a handmade gift is truly from the heart and beyond. I love receiving handmade gifts. I was recently at a quilting charity event for out local children's hospital. They had quilts for sale as well as some knitted goods. One item that nearly made me cry was a gorgeous 2ply woolen baby shawl (cot size) for NZ$60. I bought it. I couldn't even buy the wool for that! And I shudder to think how long it took some sweet soul to knit!! It's sitting in my in case we have a third pile or will be a gift when one of my bridesmaids finally start a family!

You've made a lovely gift as always. Merry Christmas xx

CitricSugar said...

I agree that knowing your audience is a good thing. There are people who get it, who see beauty in the handmade gift and appreciate the time, energy and thought, that goes into it. Everyone I'm making for this year has a healthy sense of what a gift is and values time, energy and thought more than a "store" gift. Also, they relish the giving more than the receiving so everything's a treat.

Once he's old enough to pick up a pen, my nephew is getting "write me a story" requests for my birthday. He can write them while wrapped in the quilt I made him this year. :-)

Mego said...

This is so sad but don't give up HOPE! I think 'appreciation' of a homemade gift is a learned act. I had a friend growing up and they made things for each member of the family for Christmas. From the youngest member to the oldest and it made Christmas special to see what they each came up with. When I had kids I resolved to do the same thing. Not only was it fabulous to see their creativity it kept them occupied. NOW they beg for quilts and pillows from Mom. What has been interesting is to see their friends begging for a a 'homemade' gift for graduation, birthdays, etc. They have watched us over the years and KNOW what goes into it. There will always be those that don't 'get it'. For my niece's wedding gift I made her a BIG quilt with collected fabric of her likes/dislikes thru the years. My brother, her father, wanted to know what ELSE I was going to get her and got punched by both his wife and daughter and was told it was the most 'special' present she received. She emails me every couple of weeks with a new 'memory' as she looks at the different fabrics. It is all worth it.

sarah, rsm said...

i can't imagine anyone not preferring a handmade gift!

Corinnea said...

It's funny, I think about this. Sometimes we might make the mistake of believing that because we put time, effort, and love into an item we make, it will and must be well received. When we forget to consider the recipient's likes, we open ourselves up to the unwanted homemade stigma.
BTW, if you have trouble finding someone to gift one of those lovely runners to, I'm here for you....

Dena said...

I am doing nothing but homemade gifts this year for family and friends. I found I love to crochet again. I want to figure out how to make hats. Teachers and staff are getting baked goods and scarves. Family is getting wall hangings. friends are getting scarves or socks. lots of handmade. handmade is the best!!!!

Dena said...

I am doing nothing but homemade gifts this year for family and friends. I found I love to crochet again. I want to figure out how to make hats. Teachers and staff are getting baked goods and scarves. Family is getting wall hangings. friends are getting scarves or socks. lots of handmade. handmade is the best!!!!