Yes, Virginia, It IS Time to Panic About Gifts
Actually, I don’t believe in panicking about gift-giving at the holidays at all. My modus operandi has always been to give gifts that speak to me, that move me in some way…and I figure the receiver will be moved, too. Or will, at least, think of me when looking at the gift in days and years to come: “Now, why in the world did Suzanne think I’d LIKE that thing???” But most of the gifts I give don’t come out of electronics stores or corporate catalogues–they come from artists I either know or have followed, or they come from quirky little shops on Ocracoke Island or other places I visit whose owners have put together quirky collections that speak loads about themselves and their own personalities. Usually I have a story to tell about the gift when I give it–like the ice cream scoop with a hand-turned wooden handle that I picked up at the Rockingham County Artisans Shop on my way to a show in Chicago. I stopped in because I really needed to pee, and I’d rather stop in a craft shop than a 7-11. And, even though my son’s 13th birthday was 3 months away, when I saw the ice cream scoops, I knew one of them would make a perfect little gift for him; he can go through a HUGE container of Talenti Sea Salt Caramel gelato in no time. Perhaps an artisan-made ice cream scoop without the little flippy thing that some scoops have will slow him down. His birthday is in 4 days, and I hope he’ll like the fact that I thought of him three months ago, after I had my pee.
Now, as an artist and a shop-owner, there always IS a little bit of panic around the holidays, as I hope that people will continue to feel the need to buy and give artist-made gifts. It’s a contradiction, I know. Fortunately, the season has been going very well, sales wise, in what I like to call the Earlysville Arts District (that would be Mud Dauber Pottery–don’t blink or you might miss it!). I’d like to thank all of you for your support, and wish you all an artful and peaceful holiday season.