By Christina VanGinkel
In the past couple of weeks, I have found myself scrambling to finish several craft projects that I am intending to give as gifts this holiday season. One is a little book that I decorated every other page in, on the theme of friendship, leaving every other page blank to be used by the recipient for keeping notes and jotting down other small wisdoms, etc.
Giving a gift that represents or is somehow related to a hobby that we love is a great way to share a bit of ourselves with our friends and loved ones. Too often though, I have heard comments that more or less say that such a gift are a cop out or cheap. I beg to differ and usually do. If someone takes the time to share with someone a hobby that they obviously love via a gift, then in my estimations, that gift stands out more than anything that might even cost a lot more, but comes with a lot less thought.
If you find yourself approaching these last few days before the holidays, stumped as to what to give to someone, especially someone that you are close to, look at what your hobbies are and see if you can somehow borrow from one of them to help you a give a gift that speaks volumes. Crafters might be able to give a gift that they made from start to finish, or a basket of supplies that represent their hobby with a note attached promising to also give their time to show the recipient what to do with the supplies.
If your hobby is something less tangible, say a love of a sport, consider how you might share that with them. A friend loves to play tennis. She wanted to get her sister up and more active this coming year, so for Christmas, she is giving her sister two tennis rackets, along with the promise that once a week, starting the first week of the New Year, the two of them will be heading to the indoor courts at the community center near where they live. Another friend is a huge fan of NASCAR and anything related to it. So is her husband. She made him an ABC (All aBout nasCar) book all about, what else, NASCAR, with her scrapbook supplies. It has tons of pics of them at various races, and is somewhat similar to the one I made for another friend, in that it has every other page blank so that he can use it to add comments, or maybe fill with autographs at this year's coming races, whatever he decides.
If you have children on your holiday shopping list, and you enjoy a hobby that you feel they might enjoy learning more about, share it with them in some tangible way. A bird watching devotee might give a child a book all about bird watching, the hobby itself, or a bird identification book, along with a pair of binoculars. An entomologist might give a child a butterfly guide, a microscope, or an ant farm. If you enjoy astronomy, choose a telescope suitable for a beginner astronomer along with a guide to the stars. Crafters could put together a beginner's kit representative of the basics that make their hobby so enjoyable. Almost any hobby can be introduced to a child via some fun but informative gift idea. Use your imagination. Consider why you love your hobby, and why giving something related to the hobby to someone as a gift might be a good idea.
Our hobbies are often such a part of our lifestyle that we take them for granted, and presume that others already know about them, or are not interested. This can be wrong to assume though, and they can be perfect idea builders when it comes to gift giving. Ignore those who think that a handcrafted gift is somehow less. Ignore too the idea that others will not be interested in what we do hobby wise. Chances are, if someone is interested in us enough to be getting a gift from us, then a gift that represents a bit of who we are, is probably one of the best gifts you could ever give.