Published on November 22nd, 2008 | by Julie Finn31
To My Mother, Who Should Buy Handmade This Holiday Season
“I pledge to buy handmade this holiday season, and request that others do the same for me.”
I know that this is coming a little late for you, since you’re the kind of woman who starts asking everybody what they want for Christmas back in June, and wrapping presents in August and just sticking them under the side table because the tree won’t be up for another three months, but still, you should know: I took the handmade pledge, and I wish that you would, too.
Handmade gifts-whether you make them or buy them–are more meaningful than mass-produced gifts. You don’t see your granddaughters very often; wouldn’t you rather give them something they will cherish, something that will remind them of you, rather than another plastic pony or walking/talking little thing? And I’d like to feel that you still know who I am, even though I’ve grown up and moved away from you–couldn’t you buy or make a handmade present for me, something that fits my passions or my interests, instead of giving me a gift card to a store where I do not even shop?
I’d like it, Mom, if this year we could all have presents that are fewer in number and more meaningful in nature. Sure, I’d like my children to learn that this holiday is centered around reconnecting with family, not acquisition, and that one very thoughtful gift is worth more than twenty hastily-chosen ones. But really, I’d like you to learn that you do not have to buy your granddaughters hundreds of dollars of things that you can’t afford and that they don’t appreciate for them to love you–this is a much less effective strategy, in fact, than just spending time with them.
I’d like you to learn that you could also get to know your daughter, that you don’t have to buy her a plastic card for shopping at an anonymous big-box store, but that you could ask her what she likes, you could listen when she talks about her values, for herself and for her children, and you could show her that you understand and honor her committments of having less and loving more, of acting globally and living locally, of connecting through people and not through things:
You could buy handmade, and we will do the same for you.