Thursday, December 08, 2005

Gift exchanges

Here's a tip...if you participate in one of those gift exchanges where you can either pick a wrapped gift or "steal" a gift from someone who's already opened one (and then they get to either steal someone else's gift or choose from a wrapped one)...choose one that's already unwrapped. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with one small skein of chenille yarn in a completely wrong color for me, large plastic knitting needles and a small glass vase (when I already have too much glassware and am in the midst of donating or selling it). If the person who brought it to the knitting exchange reads my blog, well, I'm sorry it wasn't matched up with someone more appreciative. I was sooooo hoping someone would steal the gift from me and it almost happened but didn't. I guess I'm a little disappointed that I spent a lot of time making a gift and didn't receive something I like but I know "them's the breaks." The recipient of my gift loved the needle rollup and notions bag I made (pictures to come) and that's what really should matter to me. But you can bet that next Tuesday at my sewing group gift exchange I will pick a gift that's already opened. Yes indeedy.

So now I'm totally burned out from gift-making and rushing to get things done and I've decided not to make the gift I was planning for the sewing group gift exchange but will instead bring something I bought a while back specifically as a gift and forgot about. It's a really nice gift that I got at a good price so I hope the recipient likes it. I would really like to have made something for the group exchange but I'm pooped. I sewed the last stitch on one of the handmade gifts last night and packed them all up. Whew! Oh and my eBay items are on their way to their buyers. Double whew! I sold 7 out of the 9 items I listed and while none had the bidding wars I hoped for or sold for a lot, I'm still happy that they're going to people who want them. And I have a bit of cash in my PayPal account now for future purchases or patternreview membership fees or whatever.

In these next few holiday weeks I have plenty of other things to do. Cookies to bake. Trees to trim. Drywall to put up. Yes, drywall. We...or shall I say my husband, started the demo for the living room project. I would have preferred to have waited so that I could enjoy the pre-Christmas festivities of cookie-baking and holiday movie watching, but I know he's sick of me putting this off. He even got tired of waiting for me to finish packing up the last items in the living room and started tearing out walls with stuff still in the room. Oh well. He knew I was a procrastinating Virgo when he married me. To his credit he does have two of the four recessed lights installed and power to the center of the room for the ceiling fan. I just wish we could work a bit better together on these projects. I guess having been able to redo a bathroom, kitchen, dining room, family room and computer/sewing room without divorcing means we have a good marriage. But I wish he'd remember that I'm not trained as a carpenter, electrician, plumber, painter, tiler, interior designer, lighting consultant, or architect and he shouldn't expect me to act like I am. And oh yeah, I'm not a mind reader either.

So I'm still bugged by that stupid gift exchange and I know I should just get over it. I'm trying to think of what I can do with the gift. Any suggestions? I can't re-gift it to my sewing group because it's not sewing related. If there's enough I could make a scarf (barf) but I already have one in chenille plus a bunch of other scarves and don't need more, especially in this climate. Ditto for a hat. Plus, the color is wrong for me. I could make a scarf or hat and give it away but it won't be as a gift for this year so I guess the yarn will go to my stash and the vase will go to the back of the china cabinet. And the needles? They're blue and sparkly. Maybe I can give them to my niece.


  1. Anonymous8:57 AM

    Hi Lori - I'm not the person who brought the gifts you got at the Knitting Meetup gift exchange, but here are some thoughts for what you received:

    Needles - Giving these to your niece is a great idea, either to get her started knitting (a shared aunt/niece activity?) or feed her interest if she already knits.

    Yarn - Since the yarn is not 'you,' you could knit some preemie or chemo caps and donate them. Or you could give the yarn to your niece with the needles. Or you and your niece could make some charity caps together.

    Vase - This was probably given to use as a place to keep needles, not as a vase per se. When it comes to needles, I've noticed that some people are container people and some are case people (I'm a case person myself). If you're a case person, too, then this would be good to donate as well. Or give to your niece to keep *her* soon-to-expand collection of needles?

    Finally, it seems from your entry that you feel there was a great disparity between the value of what you brought to the gift exchange and the value you received. I would gently suggest that for future gift exchanges, you consider giving a stash gift or purchase something at or under the dollar value specified. With a max value of $15 for this exchange, I would not have expected to find a hand-made needle case and notions bag as one of the gifts. While it's true that it takes a hand-crafter to appreciate the value of a hand-crafted item, that's also its drawback - we *know* how long it takes other crafters to make something unless we know the crafter can truly knock homemade things out in a very short period of time. We appreciate it very much, but it does tend to skew the real value of the gift (vs the value of the raw materials).

    Hope your holidays are happy and get less stressful as we get closer to them!

  2. Thank you, anonymous, for the ideas. Knitting something to donate is a great idea. I re-read my entry and gosh, what a sorry sport I am. I really enjoyed making the needle rollup and bag and wasn't looking for something equal. I honestly didn't know what to expect having not exchanged gifts with other women since college "secret santa" days. The office gift exchanges were always very male (cheap) and thus very gag-gift oriented. I think I tried too hard to fit in. I also think I've been reading too many craft blogs and feel inferior to the talent that's out there.