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Wow! I am overwhelmed just thinking about the Christmas holiday. So much to do, so little time. I have to confess I have been a bit of a crab in the past about Christmas. Christmas is supposed to focus our minds on love, peace, family time together, etc. Instead it seems that everything is focused on the consumerism that is the holiday season. My local Kmart had decorations out before Halloween! Good grief! Can we please celebrate one holiday at a time?!?!?

Now we have passed Halloween and Thanksgiving on the calendar. Time to celebrate Christmas. Remember when we had real cranberry garlands? When children were so excited to watch Charlie Brown’s Christmas and drink homemade hot chocolate? When it was more about the events and the fun playing with your cousins/friends than the belongings we soon would acquire? When an orange was still an appreciated gift?  I plan to focus on the love, peace, and family time even more than ever before and to combat consumerism with a vengeance. I am going to make the great majority of my gifts. The few exceptions are the books for my grandparents (books are always a good and lasting gift that promise the receiver many years of enjoyment).

For the ladies in my family I hope to make some sort of sugar/salt scrub. Who doesn’t like spa days? For the cooks in my family, both male and female, I plan to give lemon curd, the pear jams I made (here and here), and taco seasoning mix. For my neighbors and co-workers, I will put together a candy box full of homemade candy like these chocolate covered caramels, bourbon truffles, and dark chocolate butter crunch. Don’t those seem like better gifts than the junk you don’t know you want or need? Gifts from the heart are gifts I want to give and receive. Not gifts made anonymously in a foreign country with more bright lights and promises of distraction from the most important thing in your life- those you love.