November 10

Who Is Going To Thank You For A Home-Made Christmas Gift?

Home-Made Presents – The Thrifty Gifter’s Crafty Money-Spinner

Antique-Sewing-Machine-Lady-GraphicsFairy-thumb-150x150‘Twas two months before Christmas, and all through the house were half-finished and carefully hidden DIY gifts, waiting to be completed.  Yup, it was beginning to look a lot like a home-made Christmas in Tartan Towers.  I logged on daily to the Home Made Gifts thread on Mumsnet, and shared ideas, advice and encouragement with an inspiring bunch of fellow-crafters.  Some of us just loved any excuse to make things.  Most of us were driven by the reality of being two years into a recession, trying desperately to reduce our gift budgets with a bit of seasonal DIY.  Come December 26th we all logged back on to report in triumph on how our gifts had been received.

Reader, the news was not entirely good.

worried gift-giverSome of our carefully crafted offerings went down well but others did not seem to be particularly gratefully received. Some recipients were polite but cool.  Some seemed to be downright insulted. One, on receiving a lovingly prepared hamper of hand-made goodies commented that it wasn’t fair that everyone else spent money, “while you just spent a bit of time in the kitchen.”  Having cheered the cook on through weeks in the kitchen we all felt her pain. Aside from being shocked at the appalling manners of some adults, it made me wonder – are there some people to whom you can never give a home-made gift?

Why Is A Frugally and Lovingly Home-Made Gift Not Always Welcome?

santa+painting+vintage+image+graphicsfairy3Some people saw a home-made gift as something lovingly made just for them – a token of our time and affection.  (I have noticed that this seems to apply particularly to the parents of babies and small children, for whom hand-made is often superior to shop-bought.)  But others saw it as a sign that their gift was inferior – neither an adequate exchange for the gifts they had bought for us, nor an acceptable expression of the high regard in which we held them.  And for some it was just… not what they would have chosen.

download (1)This set me thinking about a book I had come across back in the 1990’s – “Just What I’ve Always Wanted”.  It borrowed McClelland’s Three Needs Model of Human Motivation, from management training to argue that all people are driven by three needs, and each person has one need in particular that outweighs the other two. Working out which need motivates each of your loved ones is the key to working out what kind of gift to give them.

Who Is Going To Thank You For A Home-Made Gift?

McClelland’s Three Needs are:  Power, Achievement And Affiliation  Or to put it more simply, the need to get things done, the need to accomplish  and have this recognised and the need to be loved.  I think of these as people who need to climb a scale of achievement, people who need to fix things, and people who need to connect with others:  The Climber, The Fixer and The Connector.

Personality sorter to help you choose who to make a gift for

So if you are married to a Fixer, give him a fantastically complex tool box not a hand-knitted scarf. And if your mother-in-law is a Climber, forget the mug painted by her grandchildren and splash out on cashmere socks instead.  As for the mother-in-law who is a Connector… go to Photoshop and have a calender filled with photos of her family made up for her, marked up with all their birthdays and other special occasions.

The Good News Is,There Has Never Been An Easier Time To Hand-Make A Gift

Not everyone wants a home-made gift.  But that doesn’t mean nobody will.  Choose the right gift for the right person and DIY is still more thrifty, more personal, and often higher quality than bought.  And, thanks to the internet, sourcing cheap resources, accessing free instructions, and finding a wealth of inspiration is a doddle.

vintage image of woman with binocularsSeen a beautiful scented candle that’s out of your price range?  Google ‘how to make scented candles’ or ‘candle-making supplies’.  Want to make some truffles? Come back here in a couple of weeks, when I will be showing you a way to do that AND get ahead of the festive curve. Not even sure where to start? Go on Pinterest and enter “DIY Christmas Gifts”. While you are there, check out the Tartan Thrifty Christmas Board to get you started.

What will you be making this Christmas?  And more importantly, for whom?


HandNoticeVintage-GraphicsFairyMore Christmas Posts



5 Ways To Make DIY Stocking Fillers – When You Have No DIY Skills

Gifts In A Jar – Snowy Road Mix


How To Cut Your Gift-Buying Budget


Copyright © 2015. All rights reserved.

Posted November 10, 2014 by tartanmum in category "Christmas", "Invest in Relationships", "Make Something", "Tackle One Big Spend

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.