I love the holiday season. I really do. I love the lights, the music, the decorations, the baking, the shopping, and, most of all, the Christmas tree. I know that many people (including my roommate, who has been proclaiming “Bah Humbug” for at least a month now) hate the bustle and craziness, the traffic and long lines. And, of course, one of the biggest complaints about the season is the commercialism. Somehow, the Christmas shopping season seems earlier and earlier every year, and all of the emphasis is placed on getting the best deals and the most fashionable and expensive presents.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I like presents—both the giving and the receiving of them. However, I decided this year I’d like to try something other than going to the crowded mall and checking out the same stores and websites. I’m ready to give something unexpected. An obvious solution to my present conundrum is to shop (or make) handmade.
One of the things I like best about living in Columbus is its great art and craft culture. I am a crafter myself, but I mostly scrapbook and occasionally make cards, so my present creation is pretty limited (I’ve been working sporatically on a Colorado vacation scrapbook for my parents for about 3 years now). But I love to see what other artists and crafters create, and it’s so much more fun to buy unique, handmade items than it is to walk around a store where everything is made overseas via mass production and it all looks all the same. I also think it’s great that craft items now range from kitschy and fun, such as Nintendo-themed jewelry, all the way to elegant and beautiful, such as gorgeous mohair knit scarves and sweaters. The Columbus art and craft community is chock-full of presents that are personal and cool and full of soul. They are a delight to give, as well as to receive, and it’s so satisfying to actually be able to talk to and meet with (or at least email) the creator of your presents before buying them.
I may still pick up a movie or two, or perhaps a requested book, but my plan for my holiday shopping this year is to go unique and shop handmade. I even got off to a head start at Wholly Craft and the Craftin Outlaws fair last month. Should the holiday spirit really start to kick in, I may even make a thing or two (or finish that scrapbook for mom and dad). It may just be the best holiday gift season yet!
If you, too, would like to do some of your own craft shopping, or even make some of your own gifts, you may want to check out Holiday Craftacular Spectacular at CMA on December 11. Workshops will take place all day that will allow you to create everything from polymer food charm beads to festive gift tags, plus shop from local vendors for your own handmade holiday gifts. For Craftacular Spectacular tickets click here.
Over the past 18 months, in preparation for opening CMA’s new Center for Creativity (on Jan. 1, 2011), the entire education staff immersed ourselves in research on creativity, particularly what is necessary to cultivate creativity. Musings from the Center for Creativity is an opportunity for us to share our thoughts on this topic. Please share your views and resources with us, as well.
Art Speaks. Join the Conversation.
Dayna Jalkanen, Educator for Family Programs