Wasted Effort

If you are like me, and have made gifts for family and friends over the years, I’m sure you have experienced an eye roll, mumbling under the breath, or the smirk, as they stuff the gift back into the box or gift bag. You might hear words like “cheap” or “waste.” And it hurts. There are actually commercials, especially around the holidays, of old women making incredibly ugly and useless items, that perpetuate this opinion.

To those of you who, like me, make gifts for others, I offer you this advice – don’t waste your effort.

Yes, it sounds harsh. But trust me when I say this. If you think someone won’t appreciate all your time and effort, don’t set yourself up for disappointment.

I love to go to thrift stores. You never know what neat items you might find. Without fail, I regularly see handmade blankets, pillows, and even paintings that have been cast aside with little care. Every time I see an item like this, it makes me incredibly sad. I think to myself, “did the recipient even understand what it took to make this?”

I have crocheted blankets, clothing, hats, and other items as gifts over the years. While the majority of the recipients are appreciative, sadly, there are some who scoffed, which always leaves me feeling sad and stupid.

One blanket I made took months to complete and cost close to $100 in yarn. The response from the recipient? Not even a thank you. I would like to say this was a one-time event, but it wasn’t.

Penny and her blanket.

Another recent gift was a dog blanket. It was a simple pattern – a rectangular granny. Not only was it appreciated, I have received several pictures of the pup enjoying its use. That makes it all worthwhile.

So to fellow artistic makers like me, I say this – before you make something for someone, decide if the potential recipient is worthy. Are they worthy of your time and effort as you painstakingly pick a pattern and agonize over every yarn selection and color choice? If not, don’t bother.

I know this goes against the way we would normally think, but trust me. When we choose to make a gift for someone, it is because that individual is special to us. We put our heart and soul into each project and often can’t wait to give our completed piece to them. Instead, decide if they are worthy of your effort. If the answer isn’t an emphatic YES, then save you energy and talent for something else.

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3 thoughts on “Wasted Effort”

  1. Andrea what a wonderful post!!! I have a scarf my sister crochet me many years ago. I love it, it’s my favorite colors of green. Home made gifts like that are so thoughtful like you said, because of the time it takes and they wanted to make it for you! Penny does love her blanket and so do we!!! Smile every time we see it. Thank you for your thoughtfulness. ?

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! It means so much to know there are still some that appreciate a hand-made gift.

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