‘Tis the season to be merry and celebrate one of my favorite holidays. However, I know that Christmas can be very hectic when it comes to buying the perfect present, trying to get to all the holiday parties, and trying not to eat too much (by far the most difficult.) I have no advice on how to make it to all the parties or not be tempted by all the desserts at these parties, but I can give some advice on making presents for people.
My family started a tradition a long time ago called Make-It Gifts. We draw names on Thanksgiving, and by Christmas day (hopefully before the actual day,) you have to make a gift for that person. Obviously, there are certain people who want certain names, such as my grandpa; he makes the other golfers of the family a new golf club. There are people that you cross your fingers for, hoping they get your name. For example, my great uncle makes leather bags! In reality, everyone brings their A-game for Make-It Gifts.
Of course, I’m not telling you to make a leather bag, but there are some simple gifts that you can give that will be extra special because you made it.
One of my favorite gifts that I have made is an Awkward Family Photo Album for my grandma. I went through stacks of old family photos and found the worst ones that we had, and of course, made an album. My grandma was so excited to show her “attractive” family to all of her friends when they came over.
For the traveler in your life, you can put cork under a map and frame it. Give them some thumbtacks, and have them mark every place they have been. We did this for my great grandma, and when we added tacks, she would have to tell us about who she went with and what she saw there.
A tie blanket is always a classic, because who doesn’t need a nice fleece blanket? If you like to sew, you could make some comfy pajamas. Or, if you are a really good chef, make them a chicken dinner and a bucket of cookies.
Another gift that is one of the easiest to make is a scarf made from arm knitting. You use your hands and arms instead of needles. Once you get the hang of it, you can zone out and do it while studying or while watching TV.
Christmas is a great time to have fun, be merry, and eat a lot. It is also a great time to start a tradition that your family can do for years, and to get creative with your gifts. Make-it Gifts don’t just have to be for the winter holidays. They make great gifts for any occasion, especially when you are on a graduate student loan. Besides, the highlight of making your own gift is that everyone will be jealous they didn’t come up with it, or that they didn’t receive it!