Letting people pick their own present is safe; you will not risk them not liking or using their gift. Yet you may feel that your own sense of giving has not been tapped. A true gift needs to come from somewhere in your heart and touch their. How can you do that at home?
You are a resourceful person if you do home projects. There are many things you can build, modify or fix that are unique and only will happen if you extend yourself to do them, using your time, materials, and imagination to bring about what they might enjoy.
There are basically two kinds of handy gifts. Those you make and give and those that involve the person in the project. Let's start with the make-and-give kind.
Thinking of small projects that are welcome gifts, you can find plenty of nice designs and pictures to get yourself rolling. Thumbing through your handy magazines or searching online, it is great to see pictures of the finished projects, as it will give you a design in your head to carry you into the project. Most articles will also give you exploded diagrams and handy hints on joinery that almost make the wood jump into place in your head. You know you will be ready to zip into it easily.
With small pieces of wood you have already on hand, you can make bins and organizers, a footstool, a computer lap desk, a remote control organizer, a book shelf, a nickel knock rack, a toiletry cubby for your bathroom, a step stool , a coat rack, and more. Just look around at clutter in your home, and see what could use a nice organizer to straighten things out? There you go. Using square cuts and recessing your finish nails, and then a primer coat, you can have a nice looking piece that will look good with some accent paint left over from your last room painting.
You can also think of the animals – a window mount bird feeder is pretty cool and usually best if home made. The beautiful birds can come and have breakfast with you – what a joy! You can also make a gift for your dog, too. Perhaps a platform for his food bowl.
And the cats? A scratching post, a perch or litter box concealer. And, if you want to get quite adventurous, you might design a catwalk for them to explore the perimeter of a room. This can be a shelf that you mount along the upper walls of a room that inclines like a little ramp up to a perch and a house. You can even decorate it as an accent to your décor. It is certainly a fashion risk, so you will want everyone's consent who may be affected by the unusual but fun room project.
Another very nice gift can be to offer a day of handy work to each person in your family. Check your own schedule to make sure you can do it, and see if you can fit yourself into your kids' busy lives for one day each, during their school vacation. You can preview the day with cocoa a day or two ahead, and then be their contractor for a day, for their room or other project they need help with. If their room is all set, you can have them come down to the shop and help them build something they might like to have or give away.
Yet not all kids are into handy stuff, so you will need to respond to their talent leanings. You may pick up where their ability leaves off, to help them achieve a project piece they desire. Then hand over the paintbrush for the parts they can do. Your adaptation to their ability and unique talents will be a loving gift in itself that will connect you afterwards as respecting each other. It is like making a mini team-of-two for a day, to accomplish a little goal that is auspicious to them. Not only do you connect in adapting to their abilities, but your working towards their goal for the day is also a gift. That generosity will stick in their mind in times to come.
Your willingness to consider each family member's talents, desires, taste, and priorities as you team up with each one will be a great gift in itself. Knowing who likes to design, who cuts wood, who likes to cook, gives you an idea of how to adapt roles your teamwork; this will acknowledge their ability. Filling in for their gaps will also communicate acceptance and respect. All of this – adapting yourself to each little two-person team as you do your mini-team gifts, will help them feel special, respected, and loved.
Happy Home Team!