2013 Holiday Lookbook

2013 Holiday Lookbook

Published on Tuesday, November 26, 2013.
American Craft 2013 Holiday Lookbook

Your Essential Guide to Handmade Gift Giving

Gift giving, you could argue, is harder than it used to be. Time was, you could observe your closest pals and think: That woman could use another scarf! Or, that guy’s wallet is falling apart. Now, who knows? He may already be en route to the mall to replace that raggedy wallet. She may have ordered three new scarves online.

Gift giving is more challenging because, today, shopping doesn’t wait for an occasion. Once upon a time, before it became a major leisure activity, shopping was an annual or semi-annual restocking. You dressed up to visit the stores, because it was an event. Now shopping is woven into our weekends, our evenings, our lunch hours. And it’s harder to surprise and delight your loved ones when those loved ones might be trolling e-commerce websites at all hours of the day and night, buying things for themselves. Not long ago, I found the perfect book for my hard-to-buy-for husband – eureka! – only to discover he’d ordered it for himself.

It’s harder to leave an impression with a gift today, because so much of what you buy your giftee he could just have easily purchased for himself. That’s why memorable gift giving these days takes more imagination and research. And we’re here to help.

Six of us on the American Craft Council staff did some digging for gifts off the beaten path. We present them to you in this digital holiday lookbook. Each gift is connected to an artist or craftsperson. All have the air of the unexpected – and the potential to captivate and gratify.

Challenging though it may be, gift giving is still an art in itself. Go forth and be generous.