Much as we might not want to think about it, the bite in the air this morning is undeniable proof that the cold season is on its way. Thankfully, that also means that it’s almost time for the holidays!
I have always been one of those obnoxiously cheerful people when it comes to the holidays. Cuddling in front of fireplaces, trees hung with family ornaments, hot chocolate with a little something extra, snowmen and snow angels, lights bringing color to darkened streets, I love it all. Although I personally grew up without a strong religious affiliation, Christmas was the one tradition my family always went all out for and because of that it has always been my favorite holiday. Though I may grumble like everyone else when I hear holiday music before Thanksgiving and see decorations out before Halloween, I am also responsible for playing the Christmas Pandora station at work. Only once it’s actually December, though, I swear.
Last year, as my holiday shopping came to a close, I realized that I had bought nearly every present from a local artist. Jewelry, books, paintings, scarves, soap, you can find pretty much anything at local craft fairs or stores. This year, I’ve decided to go all the way and be completely handmade for the holidays. I will either make or buy straight from the artist every present.
The roots for this decision were instilled in me quite early. My siblings and I always made each other gifts. Scarves, Popsicle stick sculptures, painted shoes, little poems, you name it we did it. Everywhere I go, I find small handmade gifts that I’ve distributed to friends and family throughout the years and they never cease to make me smile. As I sat down to write about #HandmadeHoliday (wouldn’t that be a great hashtag to go viral?), I realized that going completely handmade for the holidays not only underscores everything I believe about supporting local makers and giving gifts with real stories, it is also why I have always loved this holiday so much. Birthdays were fun, Thanksgiving was filling, but Christmas was about making things for people who I loved, and receiving these well-thought out, time-consuming gifts in return.
So whatever gift-giving holiday that’s coming up for you, I challenge you to make it a #HandmadeHoliday. You’ll give better gifts, help someone make an income, have a better story, and who knows, you might even like the holidays a little more.
(Once you’ve jumped on board, send this post to someone else so that they’ll join in as well!)