I was doing an interview with the fantastic videographer Maxine Tomlinson the other day and the subject of Christmas came up naturally in the conversation.
I had been talking about the reclamation of woods from listed houses and other interesting places where the narrative of the place the wood came from can become part of the story of the object being made. I think for many of the people who have asked me to make something awesome for them the story of getting something made and the decisions and considerations involved in the production of anything they commission make the object a lot more interesting than something which has merely been picked up from a shelf. They tend to value the object and everything about it in a much deeper way.
I think working with a designer or crafts person to create something truly special for the people you care about is a far more pleasant experience than the frustrations of facing town or city crowds in the cold and wet. I find shopping for loved ones by going to traditional shops is often a fruitless task. Off the shelf products are rarely the gifts I want to give to the people I care most about.
So this year I will mainly be giving hand made one of a kind creations to the people I love most.
If you are looking for the perfect gift I would recommend doing the same.
Handmade gifts are fantastic! If you are making things for others then the people receiving them will be able to see the time and care you have put into your creations. If you like many others are not a crafter or a maker or an artist then you might want to seek out the makers who you would like to commission something truly unique from.
The great thing about commissioning the artists and makers you like is the gift works in a number of great ways:
1 you have an awesome gift which will be received gratefully making you look like a fantastic person who put time and effort into finding the right gift.
2 you have just invested in the artist or maker whose work you like so much. (There work will get more cool and that will pay off next time you need a fantastic present for someone)
3 you don’t have to suffer town on Christmas
As a maker I might be a bit bias in my opinion that a made Christmas is the best Christmas. But this year I think I will win at giving the best gifts.