Homemade and heartfelt gifts cheer both giver and receiver

paper cut out cards with holiday themes
Cut paper cards and other traditional handcraft by Ingrid Nyholm-Lange, director of experience at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.
American Swedish Institute

Handmade gifts come from the heart. If we take time to make something for someone else, there’s love knitted into that scarf and affection baked into every box of cookies.  

Making gifts for the holidays is a long tradition for some people. Others are making homemade gifts for the first time, maybe after they discovered a craft or hobby during the pandemic as an antidote to stress and digital fatigue. 

MPR News guest host Stephanie Curtis talks with crafters and listeners about why people make gifts and how homemade presents can bring joy to both giver and receiver.  

Plus, MPR News senior economics contributor Chris Farrell shares the latest on the economy and Cyber Monday. 


  • Ingrid Nyholm-Lange is director of experience at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis where she oversees classes in traditional handcrafts. She’s also a paper cut and paper fold artist in the Scandinavian tradition. 

  • Lisa MacMartin is the owner of Heartfelt, a toy and craft shop in Minneapolis that offers craft classes for children and families. 

  • Jess Hirsch is a woodworker and founder of Fireweed Community Woodshop in Minneapolis, which offers space, equipment and instruction for women and nonbinary people interested in woodworking. 

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