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For Craft Sales, the Recession Is a Help


Because of the recession, there were more handmade gifts this holiday season than usual. Craft supply stores are reporting higher sales whereas electronics retailers and department stores are doing poorly. Sarah Dyer, the manager of a craft supply store in Portland, Oregon, observed: "A lot of people are doing a do-it-yourself Christmas, because of the economic downturn but also wanting to make their lives more sustainable, making stuff as opposed to buying stuff." Victor Domine, a spokesperson for the Craft & Hobby Association has observed: "Across the country, people are crafting more. With the recession, people are looking for ways to save money, and doctors are recommending it as a major form of stress relief."

Gift-giving is more gratifying throughout the year when we make it a way to express our creativity. And crafts, we'd add, can also be spiritual practices. Susan Gordon Lydon's two books, The Knitting Sutra and Knitting Heaven and Earth, explore about how knitting can be a catalyst to personal transformation. Or try praying with each stitch and create a prayer shawl for someone who is sick or in need of comfort. Knitting into the Mystery: A Guide to the Shawl-Knitting Ministry by Susan S. Jorgensen and Susan S. Izard is full of great ideas, rituals, and prayers.

Read this at The New York Times


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