This year I’ve made a concerted effort to either shop locally or give handmade gifts for the holidays. This hasn’t been easy, considering that I have a large, extended family that includes second-cousins, and great-nieces and -nephews, in-laws, stepparents and siblings, all of which celebrate with gifts. But rather than complaining about how many parties we need to attend and throw, and how much shopping we have to do, I try to be grateful for the fact that there are so many loved ones in our lives, and even if the gifts aren’t extravagant, I don’t take for granted the fact that I’m able to give each family member at least a little something that lets him or her know that I care.
Just like it takes time and some planning to create a painting, I began crafting my gifts months ago: I crocheted afghans and created mosaic art for my parents, and I painted pottery for my older nieces and nephews. Some of the gifts have been distributed by now, as I celebrate the holidays at staggered times throughout the month in order to spend time with everyone, and most of the other gifts are still wrapped, patiently waiting to be opened, under our tree. At this point, I have three more parties to attend, and then will switch gears for New Year’s Eve.
But there’s always one more last-minute gift to pick up; I usually either accidentally forget someone (it happens to the best of us, right? Please tell me so…), or I simply decide to add one or two people that I wouldn’t normally buy gifts for, just because I want to let them know they’re special. That’s when gift certificates come into play.
I wasn’t always a fan of gift certificates, but their convenience for me–and their benefit for the receiver–is undeniable. North Light Shop, for example, has gift cards available for as low as $15 (the perfect amount for a last-minute, thinking-of-you gift) and up to $100 (for me, this would go to someone pretty high on the family totem pole). When you buy North Light Shop gift cards, you’re also helping other artists improve their own skills, as the site is filled with instructional art materials in all media, subjects, and formats. It’s a win-win.
I hope that your holiday season is filled with loved ones who support your creative endeavors, and that amidst the busyness of it all, you find time to do what you love most.