Handmade gifts seem like such a good deal, right? You craft something for your loved ones with your own hands, creating them something that they’ll love – not only for what it is, but the love you put into it. Right? They’re going to love it…right?
For too long, we’ve pretended that handmade gifts are appropriate for anyone. The reality is, unless you’re a giver under the age of 6, a grandparent, or you happen to be a commercial manufacturer that makes a Mercedes Benz by hand, no one is interested in the junk you cobbled together on your break at work.
Think about the handmade gifts you’ve received; did they knock you off your feet? Did you swoon for that scarf your aunt knitted you? Did your little brother’s painting inspire peace within you?
And more importantly, where are those gifts now? Most likely, you’re hoarding them in a box in a closet somewhere, too guilty to give them away, too sentimentally attached to throw them in the trash, but too..ashamed of them to have them be seen by others.
Well, maybe ten percent of the time, we’re giving handmade gifts because we really want to show love, express care, and add value to another person’s life. But the other ninety percent is money. We don’t have it – or we simply don’t want to spend it.
This isn’t capitalism propaganda trying to trick you into a “Buy! Buy! Buy!” mindset when a gift-giving occasion comes around. And it’s not a poster for the materialistic qualities you or your loved-ones have. It’s simply fact.
Here’s another simple fact: buying a gift they’ll really love doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg.
Get ready early.
If you leave yourself twenty-four hours or less to knock someone off their feet, you’re going to end up spending more than you have to – and probably getting them something they’re not in love with anyways. Instead of procrastinating, start preparing for a gift-giving occasion early. By now, you should know when their birthday and Christmas are…hopefully.
It’s never too early to start. Keep a list of your favorite people in your phone, and when gift ideas arise, jot them down. This could be something they mention wanting, a cute plant pot they shared the link to, or just something you come across on your own. Having multiple options will only help you when it comes time to buy. That way, you can fit it into your current budget, as well as look to see what items have the best deals.
Do your research.
Once you know what you want to give, it’s time to get to deal-hunting. Check your inbox for newsletters promoting sales. Check the web to track down coupon codes that will help you secure the best price.
Buy in advance.
Is it crazy to hoard gifts in your closet half the year, waiting for that birthday to hit or Christmas to come? Maybe. But if Black Friday brings you a deal on a gift you know they’ll love, there’s no reason to waste that opportunity. If you’ve done your part as far as planning ahead, or heard your BFF mention something they’d love to have, you’ll be primed and ready for the best price to find you. Just don’t let them raid your closet too thoroughly before your next night out.
Gift outside the box.
Sometimes, money is just too tight to function. You can’t make room to gift them the laptop they’ve been drooling over – not even a mouse to go with it.
Hard times hit all of us, but it’s no reason not to find a way to celebrate and get creative when gifting.
Instead of gluing dollar store macaroni into a necklace for them, gift them a new memory. Plan a hiking trip to a scenic overlook they’ve never seen before, with a cute PB&J picnic. Take them on a whole day trip cruising through different museums (they can treat themselves in the gift shop). Give them an experience they’ll hold on to way longer than that designer handbag or chic pair of boots.