Sep 8, 2010

A handmade holiday

I've been thinking a lot lately about my place in the world - what I'm contributing to the Earth - both good (my totally charming fun personality), and bad (everything I throw away). Amber was kind enough to loan me her copy of Eating Animals which I hope to read soon. I've found myself making choices lately I may not have thought about before. For instance, I've tried to switch to cleaning products that have less chemicals in them, and if I can clean something with a rag that can be washed instead of a paper towel that's thrown away, I use a rag.

But I digress. Along with all these "eco-friendly" thoughts I've been having, I've been realizing how much amazing talent that is reflected in the goods people create. I love places like Target, but ever since the economy got shaky I've really loved supporting small businesses, especially on places like Etsy.

The mister and I had a handmade holiday for Valentine's Day this year and it was so much fun finding things for him. It was more of a search for something heartfelt, and while he would have liked whatever I got him, it was great knowing what we ordered for each other was handmade by someone. An artist of whatever kind (jeweler, artist, crafter, etc). took the time to create the pieces we gave each other - that's what I think of every time I see those items in our house.

So I'm going to try something this year. I'm aiming to have a handmade holiday for everyone on our shopping list - meaning, I'm going to buy all handmade gifts this year.  Granted, if I have to buy something from Target (I love me some Target!), not the end of the world, but I'm hoping to support as many small businesses as possible.

Buying handmade comes with its own sets of challenges - for instance, if I go through Etsy it might take some time to ship depending on where the seller is based, and sometimes it can be pricier and we're working on a budget - but I'm up for it. (My Paypal account is going to be working hard in the coming months).

What do you think readers? Have you ever done this for everyone on your holiday list? Do you ever buy handmade - or do you exclusively buy handmade? Any shop suggestions I should check out?

(Photo: a diary of little things and curiosities)


Diana Mieczan said...

I shop on etsy all the time...I love the idea of handmade goodies...I think this is a great plan, my dear:)
I bet all the people on your list will love those handmade cuties:)

Ps: I will be hosting a cute GIVEAWAY this afternoon… so please join in !!!! ( its something you will surly like)

Diana Mieczan said...


Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I've gotten a couple of gifts off Etsy which have been a hit. I alos love supporting small shops on Etsy. I don't think i could ever commit to buying only handmade gifts, but I like giving them to certain people!!

I also try to give gifts that I have made - namely, scarves I have knit. That is what I did last Christmas for my sisters, sisters-in-law, and mom. I need to take this Christmas off as my fall is booked w/ baby knitting projects, but next year I would like to make them hats and/or socks!

Amber said...

I TOTALLY want to buy more handmade stuff this year also! We can't afford to go too crazy with Christmas presents this year, but what we do get I'd like to be handmade. I plan on definitely using Etsy, the Farmers Market and even doing some fun handmade picture gifts!

Kyla Roma said...

I love the idea of supporting independent artists for a holiday! I've been thinking about starting our Christmas shopping this month so we're not scrambling, and if we gave it that much lead time we could definitely accommodate etsy's shipping time. Good thinking! :)

Mandy said...

I enjoy supporting small business as well, but don't think I could do it for the mjority of my gifts either. (The men in my life are really hard to shop for!) I think this is a wonderful idea though and am looking forward to seeing how it works out for the two of you!

Emily Jane said...

This is a really great idea! I love supporting independent artists - around the holidays up here we have a TONNE of little craft fairs and I always stock up :) Scouring Etsy is never a bad thing, either!

Nora said...

Buying all presents from Etsy and/or local sellers (aka fair trade markets and etc) for my entire family for Christmas is on my list of 30 things to do before I'm 30! I'm not sure if I'll get to it this year or not, but I might! I think it's a fabulous idea and so much fun to find new relationships, gifties and etc! Keep us posted :)

Jenny said...

Becky! I would highly recommend the Green Festival in DC! It's in October. There are tons of gifts, I usually do a lot of my shopping there. Lots of hand-made, fair-trade items which are really cool. There are a few other online retailers too-- and ten thousand villages, both are very eco-friendly AND lots of handmade/fair-trade items.

Lucy The Valiant said...

I tried to do this last Christmas with fair trade stuff... I wasn't able to buy everything like that but I enjoyed giving those gifts more. I want to take it further this year, if I can!

Ally said...

I love the idea, but when it comes down to it I just don't know what to give the dudes. A leather bracelet? Shaving soap? It just doesn't work for me.

I really try to shop based on the person. If I see something a person I know would love, then I'll get it. Otherwise it's on to other stores :)

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