Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Handmade Hedge, er, Pledge

It's a bit late in the season for this thought, but what can I say? I just started my Christmas shopping yesterday. 

I've been reading about the Handmade Pledge: "I pledge to buy handmade for myself and my loved ones, and request that others do the same for me." In principle I think this is a capital idea, but in practice...

Well, here's my problem. I've got a big list and a small budget, and handmade items are, rightfully, a little spendier than other products. There are a number of people on the list for whom I will be lucky to choose something they won't hate that is within my price range, without placing a "handmade" limitation on it as well. My mom, for example, lives in a condo and doesn't want or need any more stuff -- except her crockpot just gave up the ghost. That is super convenient for me, as it is within my budget, and an item that she actually wants and will use. It seems mean-spirited to say, "Nope, gotta be handmade, even if it's not what she wants." Or my FIL, who really doesn't seem to like anything except M&M collectibles.  My MIL, on the other hand -- I found a lovely batter beater for her by artisan David Pollock at Kennebec River Artisans,  whose work is in the tiny little photo above. I hope to have a better photo soon, when I can find my dratted camera. 

Remember, I'm a potter. I have vested interest in persuading people to buy handmade. And I can't keep a totally-handmade pledge myself. So I propose an alteration to the handmade pledge: let's suggest that people buy at least one handmade item as a gift this holiday season. If everyone bought  just one thing this year, and next, that alone would cause a skyrocket in the sales of handmade, and would get people shopping in stores and on sites that sell handmade.  They will see things they like themselves, and see how much more fun it is than going to WalMart. 

So, here goes:

"I pledge to buy at least one handmade item for a loved one this holiday season, and hope I will receive one or more handmade gifts from my loved ones."

Let the shopping begin. Or, you know, continue.


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