Try sending handmade gifts this year


With the multitude of ads, deals and coupons enticing us from all angles, it’s hard to find the perfect thing to give to your friends, teachers and family members. There’s chocolate and waffle makers, makeup and clothing, sweets and gag gifts galore. We’ve got Oprah’s Favorite Things list and Buzzfeed’s recommended items. But what to get?

Especially with the growing dominance of online retailers like Amazon, the holiday season has become increasingly dominated by spending. This December, however, consider another option: handmaking your own gifts. 

Now, this may initially seem intimidating. But we all have experience. Remember in elementary school when we would toss glitter onto a paper and call it a snowflake? Or messily glue macaroni — to make a heart, of course — to construction paper for Mother’s Day? Every time we brought one of these gifts home, our parents would be ecstatic. There is no doubt that some of those crafts have survived to this day, tucked away in a drawer.

Although we’ve grown past our elementary school selves, the sentiment of a handmade gift has not changed. Even something as simple as collecting someone’s favorite color of M&M’s and putting them into a jar can be more heartfelt than a store-bought gift, not to mention much cheaper. Handmaking a gift allows for personalization and care. It lets us show the recipient how much they mean to us. More than anything, a handmade gift is a gift of time. In a world where we seem to increasingly rush forward, time is the most valuable of assets. 

But maybe arts and crafts are just not your thing. Perhaps you’re good at writing. Keep it simple — write a poem, put it in appealing colors on a sheet of paper and place it in an envelope. You can even put a couple of stamps and stickers on the outside. The value isn’t in the artistic quality of what you produce, but in the sentiment behind it.

As teenagers, it can be hard to express gratitude for those who care about you. When parents say, “I love you,” we sometimes feel uncomfortable replying in kind. But this problem doesn’t have to persist. This holiday season, invest your time into handmaking a gift. You’ll find it does the perfect job of saying, “I love you, too.”

The Spoke Editorial Board voted unanimously 15-0 in favor of this editorial.