Why We’re Doing Home-Made Christmas This Year

December 7, 2011

So just about every year as far back as I can remember, my mom’s side of the family has drawn names for Christmas.  When I was younger,  we would all sit down on Thanksgiving day and write out the items that we would like to receive for Christmas. And we would hunt down that specific item that we wanted to get for the person we drew.

That’s Great – and we’ve enjoyed it –  But When gift cards started becoming popular, that’s when the nuisances seemed to start.

Rather than spending time writing lists of things that they could go out and find for us – We would instead, write down all the locations we’d like a gift card to.

I mean – gift cards are GREAT. I love having them… it just kind of took the meaning out of the gift giving.  The gifts were no longer ‘special’ but more… expected.

Really the big problem that I have with gift cards isn’t so much about Giving them – because, they are easy – and sometimes VERY needed.


For Instance, one year, we got gift cards to four different home improvement stores.  Which is great and all – but it would have been really nice to have 4 gift cards to ONE home improvement store – that we could have then combined the gifts and bought something larger.  I know too, that you can sell gift cards online and get the money you need to use towards other items you might be looking at – but that wasn’t as widely available a few years ago.

The problem I have, is that… a gift card exchange is more of a… ‘what can I buy myself’ sort of thing.  Does that make sense?

My thought process when asking for gift cards is more finding out the stores/restaurants that I want to go to, that I otherwise wouldn’t justify my money towards.


Example: So I get a gift card for $30 to one of my favorite restaurants… that typically costs me $100 to go to.  Well.. now I’ve got $30 off… but I still have to come up with and justify the other $70.

So, if I want an excuse to go to my fav. restaurant that is out of my price range? I’ll ask for a gift card for it.

But if I want to be smart about my money – I just will stay out of the gift card exchange all together.

That’s how we came up with the home-made Christmas this year.  In a few days I’ll showcase to you what I’m making for my family members this year for Christmas!

I bet you will all want one too Open-mouthed smile


  1. I’m totally into home made gifts this year. Something about making stuff myself makes me happy. Good Luck and can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  2. Can’t wait to see it! I am not super creative or crafty, so I *sometimes* enjoy making things, but I sometimes get stressed about having to make something.

  3. We’ve been doing an exchange every year and the past 5 years or so have totally become just a gift card exchange… not sure how I feel about that. I’ve wanted to opt out the last couple of times.

  4. Amanda N. says:

    Love it! I’m doing several home-made gifts this year, but was not creative enough (and couldn’t quite find enough time) to do ALL home-made…maybe next year!

    Honestly, I put gift cards down at the end of my list mostly for clothes. I’ve found that it’s nearly impossible to find clothes that fit right for myself. Every time someone tried to shop for me I ended up with too-short, too-wide clothes…yes, it was thoughtful, but the gifts were not useful then. …I know my Grandma loved to take us shopping for clothes as a birthday gift, but her body can’t handle shopping like that anymore. So I still have a certain respect for gift cards, but if I can find something more personal for someone, I’d rather get them an actual gift. :-/

  5. I cannot wait to see what you are making!! We have had that problem with gift cards, too. I know it’s easier, but goodness, like you mentioned who wants all in one store??

  6. Can’t wait to see them. I am making some gifts this year as well. More so for my girls and nieces.

  7. I love gift cards, but prefer the am ex ones so I can buy what I want, where I want.
    I love the idea of homemade gifts, and cant wait to see what you come up with! Our family is so large we really dont do gifts anymore, just little stocking stuffers for the kids only… Saves some money and the kids love it. =)

  8. Jessica Beard says:

    I love the idea of making things each year for your family. I have actually suggested it to mine, but no one will get on board. Some of them are not crafty, so I understand. I can’t wait to see what you are making for yours.

  9. That’s a great idea. We are doing photos for the family but maybe we should get creative with the frames 🙂

  10. I love home made stuff! It doesn’t get more personal than that!

  11. Please do share what you’re making! I’m planning on cooking my in-laws favorite food and freezing it for them to re-heat/bake later and sewing some little things for my MIL.

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