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Perhaps it’s time for homemade gifts

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By Jonna Spelbring Priester

Seafoam Green. I’ll probably remember the name of that color until I’m old and grey.

It was the color of yarn I used when my mother first taught me how to knit. That was somewhere in my formative years, probably before I hit the big 1-0.

Over the years, I’ve remembered, and then forgotten, all she ever taught me, and inevitably, when she visits I ask the same question. “Okay, how do you cast on again?”

But it was that first lesson that would result in a lifetime love for needlework.

And that lifetime love translates into a preference for giving, and receiving, homemade gifts.

The first homemade gift I remember giving was a pinecone tree ornament that I made for my dad, some 25 years ago.

I’d found a particularly large one in our yard, brought it inside, and glued green construction paper and glitter to it. It never fails that at Christmas, when we visit, he shows me just where it is on his tree.

My step mother still displays in one of her cabinets a rather small ceramic deer I made in the fifth grade. She also has the distinction of being the first person to receive one of my numerous doilies.

But by far, my favorite gift to give, or receive, is the edible one.

In 2005, it seemed that my sister and I were on the same page — she made a variety of cookies for everyone, and I made some special holiday breads.

Several folks over the years have been the beneficiary of my holiday baklava baking festival. And some will receive lessons in how to make it.

I’ve always found that homemade gifts can mean as much, or more, than a store-bought gift. It’s the personal touch, I think.

To know that someone took their time and utilitzed their skills to create something is invaluable.

In these tough economic times, I’m sure I’ll return to some of those homemade gifts.

I think, despite my better efforts, that the imperfections that inevitably work their way into my crafts ... that’s what makes them even more special.

Perhaps, those gifts from the heart come closer to the true meaning of the season.

It’s not about cheap DVD players or flat screen televisions. Maybe it’s time we remembered that.