Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Kids & Family

Tell Me About It: Wise recipients appreciate that handmade gifts are from the heart

ise recipients appreciate that handmade gifts are from the heart

Q: Even though I earn more than I need, I still love to give handmade gifts with the skills I have. One gift I particularly enjoy giving is a crocheted baby blanket. The recipients are almost always overjoyed to receive it.

However, the last time I gave one as a gift, I overheard a relative of the mom-to-be call me cheap because I only gave "one measly blanket and a few trinkets" when I "could have afforded to buy something more useful off the registry." I was flabbergasted.

I put a lot of love into these gifts. I thought that is what counted. Is this what most people think when I give my standard gift, or was this person off-base?

Blanket Maker

Carolyn: I see this person as an outlying idiot. I see a handmade gift as not only more valuable given the devaluing of "stuff" in the big-box era, but also as a potential heirloom.

Anonymous: Some time ago, I decided to teach myself to crochet. One of my first projects was a blanket for my then-5-year-old daughter. It's, well, odd. The stitches are wonky, the colors don't match, the size is weird, and it took forever to finish.

This daughter is turning 16 in a few days. Recently, we had a big blowout fight. I finally ended the argument by saying I was going for a walk. When I got back, she was sitting with a mug of cocoa, wrapped up in that blanket. She said to me, "When we fight, I like curling up in this blanket and thinking about whatever we're fighting about and what we can do to get past it. This blanket . . . you made it for me. So whenever we fight, I have something to curl up in to remind me that no matter what it is, you love me enough that you made this. And it'll be okay, and you will always love me."

Keep giving your blankets. It's so much more meaningful than any diaper gadget could ever be.

Carolyn: Cheez. You made me cry. Totally blindsided.