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Until they make Black Friday a goth holiday, where you dress all in black, sit around listening to Bauhaus and Bella Morte, and stare at the floor, Black Friday will scare me. Yes, the running of the shoppers scares me MORE than goth.

As we’ve pointed out before, this holiday season provides an excellent opportunity to give yourself “permission to play,” to make things, either to decorate your house or to give away as gifts. Or both. Last year, I made the above “Gift of Robot Invasion” LED Christmas tree ornaments, for our own tree and to give away as presents. They turned out to be a lot more work than I expected, so I didn’t make many. But I still have lots of the parts, so I may start early and make more this year. If I give them as presents, I’ll make a box for them as well. My son and I have made ornament presents in the past and created custom, commercial-looking, box art to package them. I love the idea that our recipients will store them away with their holiday decorations and get a little visit from us every time they take out our box and hang our ornament. “Robot invasion” ornaments lend themselves to all sorts of sci-fi silliness for the box copy.

We announced a DIY Friday initiative this morning on our Twitter channel, as an alternative to Black Friday. If you’re doing any handmade gifts this holiday, post them here in the comments, or tag them #diyfri on Twitter.

And check out Becky Stern’s Gifts You Can Make guide.

I got the plans for making the Robot Invasion ornaments from The Best of Instructables Volume I (the little robot dude is even on the cover). This book has all sorts of great DIY gift ideas.