Unsure what to get a loved one for the festive season? Why not try your hand at making one?
Make a Gift Day is an unofficial National holiday dedicated to encouraging people to handcraft gifts for their loved ones.
The practice of gift-giving had been around for thousands of years, it’s practised across nations and cultures. Gifts are a special way of showing thoughtfulness, love, and affection, so much so that it’s considered to be one of the five love-languages. Giving someone a gift is one of many ways of showing someone we care. It has also become an important tradition over the holiday season.
Shopping for festive presents has become a large part of the festive season and can at times be quite stressful. Between navigating the festive shopping crowds, prices hiking up and the possibility of things selling out, the stress can take the joy out of what is supposed to be a fulfilling and thoughtful way to show care for someone. An alternative to the highly commercialised ‘traditional’ festive shop, Make a Gift Day is an excuse to break out the paints and glitter, flex your creative muscles and handcraft a gift instead, embracing the DIY spirit.
A handcrafted gift, no matter what it is you’re making, requires time and attention. Receiving one and knowing that the person presenting it has taken the time and effort to make something specifically with you in mind can make the gift more personal and meaningful than a store-bought gift. Though, that’s not to say that store-bought gifts can’t also be meaningful, depending on the person and their tastes.
You don’t have to have any pre-existing skill to make a gift for someone you love but giving a handmade gift can be a good excuse to learn a new skill, whether that be painting, jewellery making, knitting, or cross-stitching, making a gift for someone can be a great milestone goal to set yourself and can be inspiring and a way of staying motivated. If you’re looking to avoid the stress of the festive shopping crowd, making a gift can be a good way to do so as well as to relieve stress in general.
Practicing arts and crafts can be very relaxing and studies have shown that creativeness and practicing arts can relieve stress, help with anxiety and depression as well as help with memory. In current times, when people are struggling to deal with stress caused by the pandemic on top of anything else they may be dealing with, finding a constructive way to deal with that stress is important; arts and crafts are a fantastic way to do just that. Arts and crafts don’t always have to take up much energy and many arts and crafts activities require slowing down and working methodically which can be very meditative, for example, cross-stitching or sewing requires patient, slow work that can be quite relaxing. Activities such as these can also be incredibly fun and a great way to spend time with friends.
How to Celebrate
So how can you celebrate Make A Gift Day?
Watching arts and crafts tutorials on YouTube or scrolling through Pinterest is a good way to gather some ideas on what you could make. Or, hosting an arts and crafts night or gift-giving night for friends and family, for example, could be a fun way to spend time and work together on gifts as a group.
The possibilities are endless. Make A Gift Day simply encourages people to try their hand at making a gift, it could be anything. Get creative and see where your imagination takes you. Gifts don’t need to be extravagant or expensive, it could be anything from food, to cards, to painting, to handmade sweaters. Once you’ve made your gifts, photos can be shared on social media with the hashtag #MakeAGiftDay
Happy crafting and happy holidays!