There is a common misconception that people "love" to receive handmade or handcrafted gifts. Something genuine and from the heart. A well thought out gift that speaks to the recipient more than an store bought purchase ever could.
I am here to tell you, that this is in fact false. While some people may in fact enjoy receiving gifts that you have poured your heart and soul into, most people do not. They may lie, and tell you how much they appreciate your hard work. They may gush and oooohhh and ahhhhh, secretly they are wondering why they didn't get something new and shiny, or a gift card to their favorite haunt.
Other crafty type people will ALWAYS love your well thought out gift. They can appreciate and fully understand how many hours you invested on that cabled scarf, or how many stitches there are on a sock that is made with size 1 needles. They will look at your painting and notice the brush strokes that poured out of your soul.... they will thank you and it will be genuine and honest.
Non-crafty people on the other hand are hit or miss. They may admire the "pretty" factor of your handmade item. They will mean it when they compliment you on the color choice, and fancy stitch work. But secretly they will wonder why you bothered to make them a hat when you could've bought them one at the Big Box store for much cheaper, and thrown in a gift card to boot, or a new DVD. They will put on a good front, but you may never see your creation again. Some people are OK with this. Some others, may not. I am somewhere in the middle. This year I decided I wasn't creating any "big" gifts for anyone on my list. The total different kinds of handcrafted items for the 2007 holiday season? 3. One, is a beaded snowflake, will be a clue for my secret Santa person at school. One, is a set of 2 crocheted dishcloths made with organic cotton and paired with homemade soap from a local townie (one set to my brothers girlfriend, one to our school nurse who takes such good care of me). The last is sets of 6 mini Santa hat ornaments, as seen above. (I apologize for the crappy photos.. there is no decent light, either before or after school. Hate this dark season). I am using this pattern, and cheap-o sugar and cream yarn from Micheal's. My family picked names this year (the kids/sig. others) and the 3 other people we don't have to buy gifts for are each getting a set. I get to craft something... it isn't a *big deal* item, so if they don't like them, no biggie. It's not a hat that won't fit, or a pair of socks that will be too "rough" or a scarf that's too "girly" or whatever other thing.... it's an ornament to put on your tree. (well, 6 of them). How can you go wrong?