So. Take that giant amount of effort and add thoughtfulness to it. (bear with me here) Yes. You could make a list of people you want to give gifts to - you could even go so far as to add what you want to give them next to their name - and you could go to the mall - or a megastore - and buy it all at once. At which point you absolutely deserve the latte you would buy yourself on the way home. Go you! And your recipients would be happy that you thought of them and all is happy and merry and bright.
You could make a list of people you want to give gifts to and add what you want to give them next to their name. And then take a good look at that list. You're gonna want to do a few things from here, all of which most likely (especially if you're me) involve the interwebs. Because you see you're going to add thoughtfulness to the mix. Which doesn't need to be exhausting. It can be fun, relaxing, and in my case (because I'm also slightly insane), cathartic. And by thoughtfulness I mean the majority of people on that list are going to get something handmade.
Thoughtfulness goes both ways. It's a two-way street, it's a dynamic duo.... insert twosome analogy here. If you can make everything on your gift list for all of your recipients, than you are a hero, you are awesome, and you are way above reading this little blog. Or you are a hermit who knows no one (which is scary). But you can get a gift for just about everyone on there that's handmade. You can do this by spending a quiet afternoon in your PJ's with a computer and a credit card, or you can support local businesses, artists, and crafters by going out in your community and doing your holiday shopping with a little extra thought. (and chances are your handmade item will be higher in quality and artistry than what you'd find at a megastore...)
Yes. Shopping at local businesses and buying your gifts from crafters and small businesses can be more expensive. But you are supporting your community and you can offset some of the costs with some of the homemade gifts you give.
You might think the recipient of your gift might not notice, or might not care, but they will more than you'd think.
So I have made a pledge to make sure that at least half of the people on my list get handmade gifts. Possibly by me, possibly by a talented crafter on Etsy, or I can find someone here.
End sanctimonious rant. Comments welcome.