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Christmas A to Z

Learn interesting, unusual, unique and useful facts and tips about Christmas and the winter holiday season, in America and around the world.

Special gifts from the workshop /kitchen/ sewing room of ...

T

here’s nothing you can give someone for Christmas that’s more personal than something you make. It says volumes. It says you’ve taken the time necessary to make the gift and not just ordered something online. It says you think enough of the recipient to make something just for them. Whether it’s something from your kitchen that’s made from an old family recipe or a woolen scarf or a smooth and shiny wooden train that’s just right for a toddler – the fact that you’ve made it makes it special – even if it’s a fruitcake.

Try looking in grandma’s cookbook for recipes that she was known for. Did she write notes to herself about shortcuts or alternate ingredients that made the dish “hers”? Scan or photocopy the actual recipe and include a copy with your version.

Include a reusable storage container with your present and customize it if possible – using ink or marker that will stand up to the rigors of a dishwasher.

Another way to wrap a food package is with, of all things, a dish towel – that you’ve made, or at least modified. You could just embroider the recipient’s initials or a phrase such as “Pam’s Kitchen” or stencil a design using fabric paint.

Making that train would be an ideal project if you have a workshop. You could start out with an engine, a car or two and a caboose and then add a new car each Christmas for years to come – even after your recipient is much older they’ll still appreciate the tradition and workmanship… and possibly have children of their own to pass it along to. There are all sorts of plans online for wooden trains, cars and trucks and other items that can be made in manageable steps over a period of several months.

One possibility would be to involve a grandchild in making a present for their dad or mom. You do the things that need to be done safely but let them do the sanding and staining or painting. They’ll not only learn some basic woodworking skills but love to be spending time with you – and to have a “secret” that only you and they know about.

Faygo soda ( a regional line of soft drinks) had a commercial that included the line “remember when you were a kid/ well part of you still is…”. So think back to the days when you got to work with granddad or grandma on a project. Share that experience with the kids in your life even if you’re not their granddad or grandma.

Written by Dianne Weller
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