Why Vintage and Handmade Items Make the Best Gifts

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Is there anything worse than opening up a beautifully wrapped gift from a friend, a presumed treasure nestled among delicate paper, only to find that you already own the item that’s inside? Maybe even more unpleasant: excitedly rifling through a gift bag and discovering something that you could have purchased for yourself at the big box retailer down the street.

*Cue the awkward pause and your best forced smile*

Gift giving can be a precarious event, prone to missteps and opportunities for deeper disaster - and yet, we all continue to strive to be incredible gift givers. Giving and receiving gifts is even a love language! When done right, there is something so uniquely special about giving someone you love the perfect gift, something that you’ve put thought and time into, something that will make them light up when they see what you’ve found.

Why Vintage and Handmade Items Make the Best Gifts

That’s where vintage and handmade gifts come in. When you search for an item that has had a past life, or one that a local artisan created by hand, you ensure that you’re giving a gift that is unlike anything that your friend or family member already owns.

These are not copycat pieces, manufactured to fit a certain level of perfection or modeled after a current trend. They are full of depth, an embodiment of what the recipient means to you, relaying the message that your relationship with this person is deserving of effort.

Vintage gifts give off a bit of magic, having passed through the hands of multiple owners, carrying with them stories to tell and history to uncover. When you give a vintage gift, you’re not only giving someone something beautiful for their home or their closet, you’re giving them an item that has lasted the test of time, and will remain special throughout their life.

You might even get a few happy tears in return.

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A handmade gift is equally meaningful. While new in age, it was created with care by a talented maker, shaped into being through slow techniques and innovative creativity. If you give a handmade gift, you’re signifying to your friend or family member that you’ve been paying attention, that you have a deep understanding of their interests and passions, and that you’ve gone above and beyond to find a distinctive piece that symbolizes their soul.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit much. You can also just give someone a handmade candle because it smells really really good.

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Beyond the emotional weight and “gift giver cred” that bestowing a handmade or vintage gift gives you, there is an added benefit to this type of giving: sustainability. When you choose to invest in an item created by a local maker or resold through a vintage retailer, you’re working toward a better future for our environment, reducing your contribution to the world’s waste pandemic, and forgoing the negative effects of endless, unintentional consumerism.

Just saying.

The next time that you need to give a gift (for any occasion: from housewarmings to birthdays to “you finally quit your job!” festivities), look for a vintage or handmade option. Not only will you find the perfect gift for your friend or family member, you’ll know that you were able to support a local maker who is chasing their dreams, find a sustainable way to shop, and show someone how much you love and appreciate them. Isn’t that the best gift of all?