mz webbanner holidaygiftguide Make: Holiday Gift Guides 2009

Well folks, it’s that time of year again. I know, I know! The holidays fill you with a heady mixture of excitement and dread, pleasure and performance anxiety. So many things to do, obligatory events to attend, a Santa-long list of presents to buy, embarrassing moments to witness at the company Christmas party, etc. We hear ya. But we don’t have to tell you the upsides: the time off, the opportunity to take stock and give thanks for the bounty with which you’ve been blessed, the time spent with family and friends. And, let’s be honest: the PRESENTS!

And, just as Halloween provides an opportunity for makers to go wild with costumes and decorations, there are plenty of opportunities over the next few months to indulge in your joy of making, whether it be handmade invitations and decorations for a party, an all-out Thanksgiving feast, or handmade gifts. If you need an excuse to set aside free time for making, here’s your golden opportunity. You can tell yourself (and/or your spouse) you’ll be saving money and the time and hassle of shopping. Even if you don’t make the presents themselves, you can make the wrapping and gift cards. With a color printer and the vast image and idea libraries of the internets, the sky’s the limit in terms of what you can create for wrapping paper and gift cards.

Over the course of the next few months, we’ll be posting DIY gift, wrapping, and other holiday-related projects and ideas here on Make: Online. This would also be a good time to check out our sister site, CRAFT, for more creative holiday ideas.

If you don’t want to go the DIY present route yourself, but want to give presents that encourage your gift recipients to make things, we’ve got you covered there, too. Over the next five weeks, we’ll be running a series of gift guides geared toward makers, everything from expensive DIY toys for adults who refuse to grow up, to “interestingly dangerous” gifts, to gifts that go blinky-blink, to our massive annual round-up of open source hardware. These guides will be written by our usual Make: Online contributors, but we’ll also be bringing on guest guiders, such as Bill Gurstelle, of Backyard Ballistics, Paul Overton, of DudeCraft, and Diana Eng, of Fashion Geek.

So, welcome to the holiday hustle. Try and take care of yourself, don’t let yourself get too stressed out (remember: these are supposed to be holidays of joy and peace and family and sharing your love and your bounty), and please, use this as an opportunity to get creative. If you do make any presents, or wrappings, or cards, or anything else, please take pictures and share them with us in the MAKE Flickr pool.

Gareth Branwyn

Gareth Branwyn is a freelancer writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture, including the first book about the web (Mosaic Quick Tour) and the Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Building Robots. He is currently working on a best-of collection of his writing, called Borg Like Me.


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