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‘Hard Candy Christmas’

POSTED November 3, 2009 5:59 p.m.
The countdown has begun. There are only 51 days until Christmas.
“Christmas,” you say, “How can that be? It seems like just last week I was sweltering in Indian summer heat.”
I know what you mean. How can it possibly be time to bring out the holly and tinsel again when I haven’t even had time to put away my summer clothes? On top of the seemingly supersonic season changes, finding the extra money for holiday shopping is making my head spin.
While I am one of the lucky ones who still have a job, 15.3 percent of those living in Stanislaus County are unemployed. I’m sure that the daily struggle to make ends meet for the majority of those unemployed is stressful enough without the burdens of the holidays.
To head off any holiday headaches at my home, I have decided to go old-school this year. I’m talking about a full-on Dolly Parton “Hard Candy Christmas.”
Instead of whiling away the hours worrying, I’m going to spend that time making heart-felt homemade gifts for my loved ones. Although I’m no Martha Stewart — and I’ve been hurt before by many a glue gun — I’m going to give crafting my best shot.
This will not be my first foray into the world of beads and bows. A long, long time ago — way back when figure skating was just as dangerous as being married to O.J. Simpson — I decided to take up basket making.
Okay, so they weren’t “real” baskets, more like decorated paper bags, but I not only had inexpensive holiday gifts for friends and family, but people actually paid me to make baskets for them.
This year I’m thinking about making something more sentimental. My computer is filled with dozens of photos taken at family get-togethers and trips. I’m not quite sure if digital photography is helping or hurting the art of family archiving. While the number of photos have increased and the cost of viewing them is now practically nothing, they are no longer prominently displayed in the home and are rarely shared with visitors.
In the following weeks I will be brainstorming a photo-related gift idea that I can personalize for those dear to me. If you have a life-time subscription to Home & Garden and every year you make your children’s Halloween costumes, then please send me an e-mail with your best photo craft ideas. I appreciate any help I can get!
In the meantime, I will be spending my free time roaming the aisles of Michael’s and waiting to be inspired.
To contact Kristina Hacker, e-mail khacker@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2004.

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