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Northern Star

The Student News Site of Northern Illinois University

Northern Star

Give more homemade gifts

Christa Kim
A person in a purple sweater sits on their bed knitting green yarn while a thought bubble near their head reads “I can’t wait to see their reaction.” Senior Opinion Columnist Emily Beebe believes homemade gifts are more meaningful than store-bought ones. (Christa Kim | Northern Star)

‘Tis the Christmas season when gifts rest under a festively decorated pine tree. The traditional opening of presents may feature those homemade, others store-bought, and the rest somewhere in between. However, one type should stand above the rest during a season filled with kind gestures and merry spirits.

Although store-bought gifts have a monetary value, homemade gifts have a sentimental value purchased gifts can’t offer. 

Store-bought gifts may entice people with their shiny packaging, but they lack the emotion and personal touch homemade gifts provide. 

During the holiday season, it should be the thought of a gift that counts, not its monetary value. Not everyone can afford to spend hundreds of dollars on presents. 

The amount of money spent on gifts this holiday season is expected to reach record levels with between $957 billion to $966 billion being spent overall, according to the National Retail Federation. These numbers are astounding and show homemade gifts can be more cost-effective.

Matthew Sharp, a junior communication in media studies major, explained the homemade gift he made for his friend.

“I had bought a glass frame from Michael’s. I printed a picture of my best friend and I and taped it on the glass, then traced on the glass with white sharpie to create a Spotify music song display,” Sharp said. “At the bottom it had a Spotify scan bar that when scanned on the phone, took them to that song on Spotify.”

When making presents, people can tailor to their recipient’s preferences, such as their favorite color or favorite song.

Homemade gifts can make people feel truly seen and appreciated.

Jada Bates, a junior engineering technology major with an emphasis in industrial management and technology, explained a con of homemade gifts. 

“For me, I think the biggest one would be regifting. Sometimes if my family members buy me something I don’t like, even though I’m thankful, I still have the opportunity to regift it. You can’t regift homemade gifts,” Bates said.

Although regifting can work at times, especially if someone is in need of a gift to give, it shows lack of appreciation. When an individual regifts something that they received, it makes it seem like they don’t care about that gift. But, with the personalization of homemade gifts, regifting often isn’t an option. 

Kenneth Jacksack, a senior economics major, said creating homemade gifts can be difficult at times, especially when it’s for strangers. 

“A drawback is that homemade gifts may not meet the expectations or preferences of whoever is receiving the gift. This may be tricky for strangers or distant people, or for people who have different tastes or opinions,” Jacksack said.

Even though creating homemade gifts can be tricky, the recipient’s reaction often makes the time and effort worth it. Even if individuals make a gift for a stranger, the intention and thoughtfulness behind the present is still prevalent. 

Store-bought gifts have their time and place; however, consider incorporating more handmade presents into your holidays. 

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