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© Studio La Donna

© Studio La Donna

Christmas gift suggestions: To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect. – Oren Arnold

Giving gifts to significant others at Christmas can be tricky business. I know that the best way to ensure success is not to deviate from the wish list selections. Maybe it is the rebel in me, but I like to give really personal handmade gifts that are on the list but cannot be found on Amazon.com or in department stores.

Starting in October, I begin making a scrapbook photo album, knitting a sweater, or sewing a Sheplers-like flannel shirt so that the gift will be ready for Christmas morning. The recipients seem to have liked my offerings and used them beyond Christmas day (unlike Mark Darcy in Bridget Jones’ Diary) but they have not jumped with joy as they might have for a personally signed Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition, car shop manual, pneumatic drill press, or emergency home generator.

Their gifts to me have included serious power tools, car batteries, miniature propane tanks, and wrench sets – my fault, because at some point I shared with them that I liked NPR’s Car Talk and PBS’s This Old House and I am now doomed to reside in the home improvement section of their brains forever!

Model: Lauren DiMarco