I’ve been focusing on the economic impact of Georgia’s creative entrepreneurs and events, so asked Deborah Karwisch, the chairman of Mableton’s Christmas House, to give me some data about the 25th anniversary event last December. When she emailed it over, I was struck by the testimonials she included, written by buyers and by the volunteers. Read them. They are wonderful.
I‘ve been buying and giving handmade gifts from the Christmas House for at least 10 years. Why? Two reasons: Handmade gifts are the most unique gifts that I can find; and it supports the arts and the artists who make them.
This year I gave my Mom the prayer shawl. She has everything at this point but she didn’t have that. The shawl came with a touching letter from the artist telling the recipient how she had prayed for her the entire time she was making the shawl. It was a beautiful touching gift that you’ll never find at the Mall.
Every year, The Christmas House at The Mable House has these wonderfully knitted fingerless gloves. I love that they come in all different sizes and colors for both men and women, boys and girls. I can count on The Christmas House every year in having this charming, handmade item. Every year I buy some for my cousin, but this year I bought some for my son and myself, too!
I think giving handcrafted gifts speaks more from the heart than store purchased. You see something in a craft that makes you think of that particular person you are buying for.
My family loves receiving gifts made by local artists. Our community is important to us and showing off a wonderful gift that’s also handmade…life doesn’t get any better than that!
I loved being able to give a handmade gift during the holidays because it is one of a kind. Walking into the mall or Kohls to buy a gift no matter how nice the gift maybe seems practical and ordinary compared to the unique quality of a handmade gift.
I have given several handmade items over the years that I purchased at the Christmas House. No matter how large or small the items, the recipients of the gifts are so pleased to get a one-of-kind handmade item picked just for them.
Many times a handmade item might reflect a personality trait of the person receiving the gift; and in that case, it makes the gift even more special. This past Christmas I was lucky enough to receive an item purchased just for me, by my husband. The sales staff helped him pick it out knowing that I had admired a beautiful hand woven shawl made by Jennifer LeCroy, a local weaver and vendor at the Christmas House. I have enjoyed wearing it several times.
I love handmade items especially if given to me by someone who cares and loves me. For many years I have wanted and appreciated handmade items more than store bought. To know that someone would take the time to create something from nothing, putting time and effort into it and then to give it away or put it up for sale says a lot about them. Many people do not use their God given talents; therefore they go to waste. I am impressed by those who “use it” so as not to “lose it”. I do think I am in the minority. For the most part, I think people are too materialistic to appreciate the type of talent that comes from the hands.
For crafters and artists, being a volunteer allows the opportunity to interact with other creative folks and keeps us in the arts community even though we are not actually exhibiting. And of course, you can’t forget the camaraderie…you all are great to work with and the day goes by quickly. I come away full of inspiration for new projects!
For me personally, I love the crafting environment. Meeting fellow crafters and talking shop, and watching the Christmas House come together to become more and more successful each year. I love seeing what talents people have and hear what made them want to make what they do.
Organizing and implementing a successful show is reward enough, but I always want to make it better the next year. Working the show itself is a real treat. Getting to spend time with the crafters and seeing customers come back year after year is certainly gratifying.
I’ll get to the economic data and community impact soon. I couldn’t wait to share these testimonials with you.