Sipping The Pink Holiday Koolaid! Meaning of Gifts

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The Crochet Crowd Blog

A hot topic, one that can boil any crocheter over is gifting others with our projects.

Though some people don’t wish to admit, times are tight and I think the holidays needs to get back in focus to evaluating what gifting means… family, friends and the gift of time. Will I see it get back to that within my lifetime??? I don’t know. I might just have wishful thinking.

Many of us collect yarn. A few of us, including me, probably could open up a mini mart of yarn in our own homes. It’s almost embarrassing when we go to small cute little yarn shops and we probably have more ‘stash’ at home.

Darnit… I used the word ‘Stash’. Such a dirty word. Means to me like I am a yarn hoarder. Instead, let’s call it ‘Yarn Collection’. Yes… I may be in denial about what my stockpile of yarn really is… but for me… it’s my go to place when I want to relax, create and make something meaningful for me. Stash or no stash… it’s my place of happiness!

Getting back to giving the gift of time. Spending time with people we care about is really what we need. Yes… a beautiful, non-recyclable gift wrapped item with a big honk’n bow gives us the EBGB’s of delight. Now let’s remove that person from the equation and just find that gift sitting in your living room with no person attached to it. You can see… it’s more than just the gift, it’s the connection with another person.

For me, memory creation is more important than the tangible gifts. Within our crochet projects is the gift of time and compassion as each stitch is hand crafted. It was thoughtful and planned. With our home crafted items we are giving the best of what I believe to be the greatest gift of the year.

Sure… some people are driven by commercialism and the more gifts under the tree represent how much they are loved. Kind of sad when we look at the gift and figure out how much they spent and evaluate the gift based on a retail price. Not surprised… it’s taught to us by the media to be important.

I was watching a YouTube Commercial two days ago and this woman is sitting at the dining room table with her husband. He is about to say something and she says, “I can’t take it anymore… they just don’t match!” The camera pans away to her kitchen where the stove is stainless steel and the fridge is the regular white look. It then pans to them shopping at Home Depot looking for a new fridge.

I rolled my eyes in disgust as there is nothing wrong with the fridge other than colour. We are being taught we need to buy stuff in order to be happy. Sorry… I just don’t ‘buy it’, pardon the pun.

I guess what I am trying to say is that our value on things are warped and I think it takes us crocheters to remind others who have been sucked into commercialism that it is false happiness. Will we ever get that message across to others? I’m not sure but maybe I have been sipping too much pink Koolaid this morning!

What are your thoughts on this? I am misdirected in my thoughts?


About Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Mikey, owner of The Crochet Crowd Blog. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet. I am from Ontario Canada and teach how to crochet online through YouTube Video Tutorials. From a simple idea and being at the right place and time in my life back in 2008, the concept of The Crochet Crowd was developed. I'm here to hook and share. Come follow my crochet journey and share yours with comments here and you are most welcome to share your creativity within our Facebook page.
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31 Responses to Sipping The Pink Holiday Koolaid! Meaning of Gifts

  1. Tina Lawson says:

    I am a lucky person. I raised my kids with hand sewn clothing, quilts and crocheted afghans. I gave homemade gifts at holidays. And each was love and well used by the recipients. Now my grandchildren beg me to make them items. I was taught to sew at a very young age and made most of my clothes from 2nd grade on. It is sad to see how very comercial the holidays and just everyday life has become. And although my grandkids. Do want those fancy gifts, the homemade ones are the ones I see them use and cherish each day.

  2. Jean Cummins says:

    You hit it on the head once again Mikey. I have had mixed reaction. I have told this story before, but I made an afghan as a wedding gift for my husbands family member and all they could ask was “who made this for you”. I was crushed and have not made anything else for this person. My family loves it and have even put in request for what they want for this Christmas or birthdays. I love it when what I make is appreciated. Homemade is so much better than store bought.

  3. Barb says:

    Funny I read this post today. Just made the phone call to my grandchildren July is the month to plan Christmas gifts.
    I was blessed last year with a full month with three of my grandchildren, unplugged! No electronics came with them. Two girls 12 and 11, one boy 7. We had a blast! We chopped and cooked. The girls were on the sewing machine, one learned to crochet and the other learned plastic canvas (hoping they would teach each other after they went home). Come to think of it we never ate out once while they were here. We took the dogs swimming and we played in the rain.
    I crocheted them all (9 of them) kid sized blankets last year for Christmas, hats and scarves this year. I ask for homemade things even if it is paper and glue.
    If you instill it, they will come. 🙂

  4. Barbara Jacobs says:

    Our family has a few crafters, upcyclers, creative genes in them. We have a mix of bought and homemade gifts. Because our family has become so large and we all are financially tight, we have decided to give gifts to the children. They love it when they get something homemade. The most common reaction is “you made this for me!” Followed by a big hug. Now if that doesn’t melt your heart nothing will. Most of us in our family are also teaching our children, grandchildren the true meaning of each holiday. We also explain that the commercials are trying to get you go buy their stuff, whether you need it or not.

  5. Robin Comfort says:

    I also have made gifts (crocheted items, beading items, biscotti and other baked goods) for friends and family. With a couple of exceptions, they have been well received. BUT (isn’t there always a but…) there are a couple who will only get store bought (…grimace…) gifts because THEY are not mature enough to recognize a handmade heirloom from a store bought trinket.

  6. Katie says:

    I have a very large family and always try to make things for Christmas to keep the cost down, and keep me busy. I have a brother in Canada with his family so I like to make sure that their gifts are extra special and hand made to show them that they are still important to us even if we are still in the UK. I know my nieces get really excited as they know what I send them will be something really different and a one off just for them in the colours they love. It makes me happy to know my gifts are a source of such excitement to them all. Once I became disabled I spend my time learning new things to keep myself busy, all my family love it as it means they get the benefits of my skills. Anyone who is interested in making things for family should try, these days I am finding that more people are interested in hand made items as they are so much nicer than the same gifts all the stores have year in year out.

  7. Carol Battistini says:

    Well said!! As I speak I am working on crocheted Christmas gifts!! I work full time at a demanding job and take care of a home. I hope the recipients get your message!

  8. Alicia says:

    They DO make wallpaper-like steel/aluminum. Why not just cover the fridge?

    I made a few homemade items for Christmas last year for family, but I feel like some were disappointed when I bought gifts for some and made gifts for them.

    On the other hand, I made a scarf for a white elephant party at work and everyone went crazy. I had at least 10 people who wanted (demanded) one…lol

  9. Audrey, I hear you. One year when money was tight, my sister made muffins and homemade soap and other gifts for family. Our family was thrilled, as we have always been big on handmade gifts. Her in-laws on the other hand, not so much. Her brother-in-law actually came over to her husband (his older brother) and had the nerve to say to him “Is this supposed to be our gift?” Who does that??? Needless to say, she never did anything for them again. How sad when people treat handmade like it is second class goods. I make for those that I know enjoy and appreciate it!

  10. Audrey Cook says:

    I am happy that you all have received rave reviews. With unemployment, chemo and general expenses, I have been making Christmas gifts for a few years. Last Christmas my sister asked me to stop making what I want and start taking orders. Needless to say, I do not crochet Christmas gifts any more. Now my family gets nothing.

    • patti blake says:

      I have many ungrateful people too. Breaks something inside you for them not to see the effort of time and love. So now I stitch for me and my dogs.

  11. Lawana says:

    My husband and I have a combined family and there are a lot of us. Almost all of us make our gifts- I crochet or sew something and he does wood work so that’s what we give. They all love it. My son has married a woman with 3 GC and they fight over a little childs rocker he made for one of my GGD. So her GC are getting rockers. One DD doesn’t craft so she gives home made candy. We have so much fun when we get together. With us it’s not about money- it’s about love.

    • Lawana says:

      I didn’t mean my son and his wife fight- the kids do. LOL Argue- not fight- I’m just making this worse, aren’t I? Oh, well- I’m old.

  12. Tina says:

    i have been giving handmade gifts to my family for several years. they have always loved everything. but when i got together with my husband in 2009, (we got married Nov. 2012), i also started giving handmade gifts to his family as well. some of the receivers liked the gifts but most did not. of course i was devastated because of the amount of work and care i put into every item and so last year my husband said to me, if they don’t appreciate what they got we wont give them any more handmade or otherwise gifts. he knew how much i was hurt by the way the gifts where received.
    However he and I both loved driving around on Christmas day giving gifts to random strangers. I really loved everyone’s appreciation and felt so honored to have given something to a stranger and making their day. It made my day so much better. It is something we would love to be able to continue doing as long as we can.

  13. Cathy says:

    I am right there with you Mikey. Everyone I give gifts really love getting things from me that handmade and mostly made with love.

  14. Linda says:

    I spend a lot of time making crochet gifts for friends and family, I’m making string tote’s for them now for Christmas (you can’t start too soon) apart from that most of my stuff goes to charity like Lala above. Most of the people I give gifts too are so happy to receive a hand made gift. I always have a stock of little hearts or owls to give to newborns to hang on their cot. To me giving is what it’s all about it gives me a lot of pleasure. What else can you do with your stuff anyway?

  15. Last year I made gifts for just about everyone due to financial difficulties. Everyone LOVED them! And it wasn’t even anything spectacular… hats, scarves, purses. But everyone was like “You MADE this???” and they were really impressed. Made me feel really good that I was able to give them something at all in our situation, and made me feel amazing that they all loved what they got. I think I’m going to start a new tradition of giving hand made gifts each year. 🙂

  16. Lala Chappell says:

    I know I’ve shared this before, but I am so proud of what I am doing! I am making lapghans which I am gifting to a few of our local convalescent homes at Christmas time. They are all different stitches (Ocean Waves, Corner to Corner, etc) and different colors. I will wrap them in red theme for females and green theme for males. I have asked the staff to give the gifts to those who do not get visitors. It is amazing how many of the residents are left in homes by their families to die and don’t visit them! So I know they will get at least one gift for Christmas.And, I hope, the gifts will be appreciated and put to good use.

  17. Valerie says:

    As I sit here reading your post I am working on a doily, I know you don’t get doilies but that is another subject, lol. I have been working on this doily off an on for about 2 weeks. I am shifting multiple projects, but again another story lol. This doily is going to be a gift for my mother in law, she loves things like this. She is truly appreciative of anything that I make for her, so I of course love making things for her. She tells me the history of the other pieces she has proudly displayed in her home. Her grandmother and aunts (who are all gone now, she herself is 69) all crocheted and she has several pieces from each of them. So giving her this gift in turn gives me several. First, her reaction when I give her something, second the story she shares with me about those family members who are no longer here, and third knowing that the gift I give her is going to be one of those memories.

    It is about memory creation, for every piece that I stitch and give….

  18. Connie says:

    I am careful about who receives my home made gifts. In the past I have found my home made gifts carelessly tossed aside by some family members and they no longer receive any of my home made gifts. The are NOT worthy of my precious gifts!

  19. Diamond says:

    You are so right. I saw that commercial too and also shook my head. Homemade, and handmade items are always the best gift. You know that time, thought, and energy went into the making of it…and its almost always one of a kind.

  20. handmade, upcycled, or regifted thats the way i am going. it doesnt stop me from buying something new because i see something thats perfect for this or that person… but more and more i find my friends and family like the gifts that i make more than a gift certificate to home depot…

  21. Rosalie Wright says:

    Sometimes I wish the gifts I received were handmade….I prefer handmade over store bought…

  22. Dawn says:

    I knit and crochet gifts and have found that the feelings are mixed. My sons appear to appreciate the things I make for them. My dil(daughter in law) appreciates the stuff too. My youngest son has a baby almost a year old. I had saved his (my sons)christening gown that I had knit 27 years ago. I gave it to him and his girlfriend when the baby was born and they had the shower and was very disappointed at the reactions from her and her mom. If someone had done something like that for me the thank you’s would be never ending. Don’t know what this world is coming to.

  23. janice says:

    I am happy to report that I gifted my grandchildren with hats and scarves last Christmas and they were a big hit! They loved them and so did there Moms and Dads, all asking for adult sized sets. They appreciated my time and effort.

  24. Ginger says:

    I started crocheting gifts for the family a couple of years ago. The reaction was mixed in the beginning. I now have family members and friends asking me to make them something (usually a big afghan) for Christmas. You are right, the perspective was a bit skewed. Now, I see the appreciation and that “Hey look what I got that is handmade!” (emphasis on the handmade) It’s a great feeling for me!

  25. Joyce says:

    I had those same thoughts this year. I started in Jan., to crocheting my Christmas, had like 40 gifts to make, I am now down to seven. I always liked a hand made Christmas and will have one this year. Thank you for your FB and forum!!

  26. Barbara Stiller says:

    I told my friends no more present just a birthday lunch to get together. I took a hostess gift to my husband’s aunt and she got all mouthy about No Gifts until she opened the ruffle scarf I made her and she loved it!! Shows your right!!

  27. Faith Cram says:

    I think you are right,and I’m not drinking the pink koolaid, too much money spent on things people don’t need or want, , the holidays are to commercialized.

  28. Stephanie says:

    I totally agree with you! My husband and I even decided this year Christmas for our family is going to be what we can make each other and that’s it. No more letting the kids loose in the dollar store to pick their gifts, no more toys that are just going to be broken anyways. I’m crocheting everyone something, which I do every year, but that’s it this year. This year, and the years to come, will be about spending time together and remembering why we celebrate the holiday in the first place. Next year we’ll probably do this with birthdays as well. Or family activities instead of gifts. 🙂

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