Man I love Christmas. It's the perfect time to make gifts for family and friends. I love knowing that the people I treasure are getting something from me that is personal and thoughtful. I have so much fun making these gifts and then seeing the faces of family and friends when they open them. It puts a huge smile on my dial that lasts for days and it's the kind of happiness that can't be bought or bottled. Somehow in the bottling of happiness, something is lost and the happiness becomes fleeting. Opening more bottles of happiness (i.e. buying more stuff at the shops) is not the answer. Trust me, I've tried!
The answer for longer lasting happiness is to make it yourself. When you give a handmade gift you are giving so much more than the gift itself. You are also giving your time and your effort. You are telling the recipient that they are valued.
A psychological study conducted by Lara Ankin, Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton and published in the Journal of Happiness (a whole journal devoted to the study of happiness? Awesome!) found that giving to others created more happiness than buying for yourself. I reckon that making those gifts yourself ups those happiness levels even further.
I posted earlier in the year about taking on the Handmade Gift Challenge. I'm still doing it and it's not too late to join in. Even if you only make a card for one person this Christmas, you're doing the challenge. So go ahead and give it a shot!