Thursday, November 20, 2008

Time vs. Money

In my former life before kids I would try to make most of the gifts that I gave to people. This was easy when time was my currency and I had boundless amounts of free time laid out in front of me. I cross-stitched elaborate patterns for my mother, knit cute things and wrote silly little books for my nieces and nephews, and sewed fun things for my in-laws. But now that I have a little one of my own it is becoming much more complicated to string together enough moments to make gifts for the important people in my life. Which makes the one hundred dollar holiday more of a challenge this year than it has been in the past. I have been working on knitting a scarf for my mother (pictured above) out of this divine mohair/silk blend yarn and it is growing slowly and it could be completed by Christmas. But just yesterday my mom mentioned that she and my dad would most like a printer for Christmas, which made my little knit scarf seem a) insignificant and b) much more expensive because the time that I would put into it would be much more valuable than the money that would go towards a printer (split five ways amongst my siblings and I). Of course, giving a printer would quickly eat away at a third to a half of my allotted hundred dollars, even after the cost has been split five ways. And a printer doesn't seem very Christmas-y to me, whereas a scarf very nearly screams holiday spirit. Alas, we'll see how this dilemma plays out.

If you are interested in making things for Christmas this year I highly recommend these two blogs: Elise Blaha's Handmade Holidays and Sew, Mama, Sew. Lots of fun ideas on both.


Queen B said...

Courtney, I'll take the scarf! XOXOXOX

Kris said...

This is also my ongoing dilemma. Do you get them what they want or do you give them what you are happy to give? Is the gift giving to make the receiver happy or for the giver to share something/make a connection with the receiver? I'd like to believe it could always be both, but this is so hard. This is why I tend to go broke and run out of time because I'd end up buying the printer and making the scarf!

Tina said...

I agree. I am always trying to find the perfect gift that makes them happy, but makes me feel good. Doesn't happen much . . .

I'm w/Kris in the broke and frazzled group!!

Julie-Ann said...

I remember one year when I was single and in my 20s my sister gave every one the bounty of her garden - jams, jelly, pickles, canned beans, etc. I was SO disappointed. What did I need with all of this stuff? Now, 30 years later, I would love it!

I think you have to find the balance of what people need (I did't need or want that when I was in my early 20s) and what they want. My sister knit at that time. I would have appreciated a warm scarf more than the food.

A couple of years later we all received beautiful knit afghans from her. I still have mine.

I also have a gift rule - don't give me anything with a plug on it unless I specifically ask for it (and I never will).