Nothing says ‘I love you’ like some good old-fashioned DIY

Students share their ideas on how to personalize your gift-giving experience this holiday season

Madeleine Hansen/Argosy

Being thrust into the craze of the holiday season can be overwhelming for students after coming out of a long exam-period hibernation, especially when navigating the tedious waters of gift-giving. Students may also feel reluctant at the thought of falling victim to the consumerist traps of the holidays, particularly when needing to be extra budget-conscious. Whatever the case, it is an uphill battle to find the perfect gift for someone that is personal, yet practical and realistic for the giver. I sought out some of Mt. A’s crafty students for do-it-yourself gift inspiration to get those warm and fuzzy holiday vibes flowing.

Last year, English student Abigail Spicer painted watercolour paintings for her family members. “I am not a perfect artist, but they all seemed to love them and still put them on display in their homes,” she said.

“I believe that there is a more sentimental value in homemade or DIY gifts, rather than conventional store-bought presents,” Spicer said. “However I don’t think this means that if you’re not crafty or you don’t have the time to dedicate to making hand-crafted gifts that your purchased gifts are any less special.”

For gift ideas that are under $20, Spicer suggested a hand-painted tree ornament, a “bookmark with a painted or drawn design or quote or saying,” or a personalized notebook or diary.

Kawama Kasutu, a second-year sociology student, also provided some thoughtful gift-giving ideas. “I like giving gifts that remind the person of a good moment or memory we have shared.… Even a card telling the story, or a picture that is printed and decorated… It means a lot to get something with a bit of sentiment behind it,” Kasutu said.

Adam Firminger, a former Mt. A student, shared one of his unique gift ideas: “Last year I made a tree out of steel wire for my sister,” he said.

“If it’s purchased, it is something anybody could get you,” Firminger said on the value of choosing to explore DIY projects this holiday. “If you make something instead, it is one of a kind gift!”

So, there you have it. A few simple DIY ideas to have at the back of your mind as we approach the month of December. Spread the love, not the wealth. Unless, of course, you got a little too excited on Black Friday and threw all caution to the wind. I see you, and I forgive you.

Jane Rempel
Jane Rempel is a fourth-year English major and drama minor from the Vancouver, BC area. She has three friends and one cat.