To My Mother, Who Should Buy Handmade This Holiday Season

I Took The Handmade Pledge!

“I pledge to buy handmade this holiday season, and request that others do the same for me.”


Dear Mom,

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.



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Written by Julie Finn

I'm a writer, crafter, Zombie Preparedness Planner, and homeschooling momma of two kids who will hopefully someday transition into using their genius for good, not the evil machinations and mess-making in which they currently indulge. I'm interested in recycling and nature crafts, food security, STEM education, and the DIY lifestyle, however it's manifested--making myself some underwear out of T-shirts? Done it. Teaching myself guitar? Doing it right now.

Visit my blog Craft Knife for a peek at our very weird handmade homeschool life, and my etsy shop Pumpkin+Bear for a truly odd number of rainbow-themed beeswax pretties.


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  1. Yeah, yeah, your parents are totally way more awesome than mine. Over Thanksgiving break, every time I turned around I caught my mom with one of the girls, poring over a toy catalog. I finally had to tell my FOUR-YEAR-OLD to tell Grandma Beck that she was not allowed to have plastic or electronics for Christmas.

    At least Wal-mart has an ample return policy.

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