Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Handmade Christmas

Every year, it seems retail stores are opening earlier and earlier on Black Friday. Now, some store will be open for part of Thanksgiving with doorbusters. Do you really lose that much money on Thanksgiving if you aren't open? What about the families of your employees who you are forcing to work on Thanksgiving at 8 pm? Never mind that these people can't have a drink during their meal, now they have to watch what they eat so they don't succumb to the food coma that is inevitable during big meals like Thanksgiving.

Black Friday has become increasingly dangerous if you choose to go out to the store to get that special gift for someone. Lack of sleep and adrenaline are lethal combinations in the wrong hands. I thought it was bad that some stores were opening at 4 am for doorbusters. Starbucks isn't even open that early! People get trampled when the doors open. Fights break out over the last "must have" toy. Employees are crabby because they didn't get enough sleep, so forget about customer service that day. I choose not to leave the house that day if I can help it. Might need to make a run to Joann's though, for some crafting supplies. If the apartment is clean.

I think we as consumers need to send a message to these retailers who choose to open at ungodly hours or on Thanksgiving in order to make another buck. This year, I am taking the handmade pledge. All the gifts I am giving this year will be handmade. I may not make them, but I know someone does. I'm not talking about tablets which are pieced together by hand in China. I'm talking about artisans on Artfire, Goodsmiths, HandmadeArtists, Etsy, and Copius, who make a product to sell. Instead of giving my money to a big retailer, I'm helping the small business owner or stay at home mom making a few extra dollars by selling crafts.

Will you join me?

I posed this question on Etsy earlier today, and more than a few people have already taken this pledge.

In need of gift ideas? For the men in your life, try a handmade tile coaster. Larry, the Coaster Man, makes wonderful coasters. I have one of his coasters and I'm going back to him this Christmas for gifts. Check out his shop:

Need a pet gift? Bax and Cat Co. ( makes organic cat toys. I'll be ordering from her this year.

Do you have a Twilight fan in your life? Search Twilight in Etsy's search engine and you'll find a ton of Twilight inspired gifts.

You can find a ton of gift ideas from these artisan websites. Or choose something vintage instead of buying new. (Yes, this is the only time you will see me suggesting you buy vintage. Recycle, people!) A lot of these shops will have Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales. Get a good deal without leaving the house!

Speaking of which, I did tease that I would be announcing my Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal today. It will not go into effect until Friday, but it is good the entire weekend. 15% off everything in the shop. And, if you order $50 or more, you'll get free shipping. Email me before you order and I will create a custom listing for you.

Well, better get back to work. Have a great Thanksgiving!



  1. I totally agree with you about how much earlier they are opening the stores. I mean seriously its not fair to people to have to work on Thanksgiving night... Not everyone celebrates thanksgiving during lunch hours lol , i know my family does thanks giving during around 6-7pm imagine if i had to rush my dinner then go to work?? I would not be happy either... and yes please support handmade artist this year, even this year I have decided to do that with my gifts, I am making my own products to give out to friends and family for gift this year just to show them what I have been productively doing for my first year in the shop :)

    1. Another reason I don't go out - I have a child. I'm a single parent. I couldn't imagine toting him around just so I could get a good deal.

  2. Great post! Thanks for pointing out how idiotic it is for stores to force their employees to work ungodly hours on a holiday for the sake of turning a profit. Thankfully, in Massachusetts, state laws prohibit this idiocy and preserve the "relax and give thanks" aspect of Thanksgiving. I don't mind knitting and/or stitching on the holiday, because I can do it in the company of my loved ones!

    Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


    1. Ah, to live in Massachusetts. I understand some people do not celebrate Thanksgiving in the US, just like some people don't celebrate Christmas. But a majority of the country does. If I had my own store, and I had employees who had different holy days than I, I would allow them to have that day off to celebrate with their friends and family. Granted, Thanksgiving isn't a holy day, but it is a national celebration of what can happen when someone shows compassion to someone else.

  3. Wow! Black Friday is waaay more intense than I thought! Here in the UK, we don't really do it... only us online makers participate I think. I don't really give gifts to my family, I buy a bunch of awesome toys and donate them to ill children instead. Whilst I do take advantage of the sales to be able to afford more good quality & branded toys, I don't do anything hardcore like que before the coffee shops are open! The only reason I don't donate made gifts is because the rules are really strict on what you can and cannot give. This aside, I totally agree with you and regularly buy (or make) handmade gifts instead of spending like a maniac!

    1. Viv - consider yourself lucky. Like I said. I'm not venturing outside unless I have to and if the apartment is clean.