I would like to send a plea out to all you folks who say you want something handmade: mean it.
Something thrills me about coming up with fun homemade gifts - but the flip side can be really discouraging.
I make things for people that I would love to receive, but unfortunately there are few people in my life who appreciate the awesomeness. Like last year... a person asked for a basket after she had seen my weaving. So I carefully chose one that she should find useful. I tucked other things into it like candy and lip balm, and included it in the bag o' gifts. She pulled it out of the bag, ooh-ed and ahh-ed over each filler item inside the basket, placed the unnoticed basket on the floor and proceeded to go through the other gifts in the bag. I held my tongue and waited until later to tell her why the basket was special. I was interrupted because she wanted me to go to her garage for some unremembered reason.
I let my little-kid ego feel hurt, then decided that the basket (and my efforts, time and money) deserved better than to be shoved in her garage or worse, tossed out later. I mustered all the courage I had and asked for the basket back if she didn't want it. There was no protest, but she tried to pass it off as it being an item "that meant so much" to me. It was amazingly liberating to drive home with a gift that was unappreciated by the intended recipient. On the ride home I was giddy with my assertiveness and felt really badass. I was quite cheeky to everyone I encountered for the rest of the day!
I am pretty sure my action saved her from guilt (I know her quite well... she is my mother after all). At the time, I offered to make her a custom one to her better liking - "just tell me specifics of what you want, I'll happily make it!" She has yet to take me up on the offer.
So, folks - sometimes it happens. Our super amazing efforts and love and brilliant ideas aren't accepted on our terms, and it sucks. I suggest that we take control of the situation by reclaiming our amazing gift! And next time just give them something with a Starbucks logo on it.
Next post: What gifts I'm making this year! :)