Handmade Vs. Store Bought presents: What Is The Best Way To Gift This Christmas?

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Ally Strehlke '22 and Alice Scott '21

Among the many traditions South students celebrate during the holidays, one stands out: exchanging gifts between friends and family. However, does it matter if a gift is hand-made or purchased?
Lily Morgan ’21 is shopping for all of her siblings and parents, as well as taking part in a Secret Santa with her friend group. She said she finds it easier to purchase gifts during the holidays, especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and noted the convenience of ordering online.
“I definitely think it’s easier to buy gifts,” Morgan said. “(Online shopping) is a lot easier because you can order right from your home. I like places like Amazon for most gifts because they have such a variety.”
Morgan added that she makes sure she orders gifts far in advance to ensure arrival in time due to this year’s unique circumstances.
“Due to COVID, shipping has been very delayed,” Morgan said. “Because the holidays are so busy (for delivery companies), it’s hard to get gifts delivered on time.”
Acknowledging the pandemic from another aspect, Morgan explained another thing she is making a priority this year.
“I love supporting small businesses for gifts because they have so many cute items,” Morgan said. “COVID has really hurt small businesses, so it’s a good thing to do this year even if it’s not the holidays.”
Whether making or buying gifts, Morgan emphasized that it’s not about the item itself when gifting something during the holiday season.
“I like giving gifts that are meaningful to the person receiving them,” Morgan said. “It makes me feel good to give to someone who means a lot to me.”

Sophie Clemens ’22 prefers making gifts, as it is less expensive and more heartfelt.
“I don’t have any money because I didn’t have a job over quarantine,” Clemens said. “So (making gifts) was a cheaper option.”
Clemens’ favorite handmade gift to make is embroidered sweatshirts, which she said she has made for her friends in the past.
“My favorite (sweatshirt) was one I embroidered for my friend Alex for her birthday,” Clemens said. “I embroidered a logo from a TV show that she likes.”
Although Clemens said making gifts is heartfelt, it’s not always the easiest process and can take long periods of time to complete one item.
“I did (all of my embroidering) all by hand,” Clemens said. “It took, in total, a few weeks to finish.”
According to Clemens, she would definitely recommend making gifts to others due to it’s inexpensive and overall less stressful nature.
“It’s a lot easier (to make gifts) than trying to go out and buy some expensive gift,” Clemens said. “And (Alex) really liked it, so I think it was worth it.”