Tuesday, December 14, 2010


I remember one Christmas during those early-married, lean years when I made every single one of our gifts.  If memory is correct, we were living in an apartment in East York, Matthew was about two, and Barbara was on the way.  When Jim landed his first job with Penn State as Area Representative for Continuing Education, his salary was $9,504.  After living on part time wages of college students, we were convinced we were rich.  But our apartment there was more expensive that the $85 we paid to live on the second floor of an old home on West Nittany Avenue, and we soon found out that it isn't cheap to raise a family.  A young stay-at-home mom, I intended to do my part in making our paycheck stretch, and making our Christmas gifts was one way to give more for less.  If I remember correctly, that was the Christmas of cross stitch, decoupage, and macrame'.

Our salaries have risen since those days in the early 1970's, and since then I have learned to make lots of different things which are a whole lot more practical  (and desirable) than a hanging planter or decorated recipe box (although I am now using one given to my mother!).

For a teacher, the last several weeks before Christmas are hard days to drive off to school.  My heart desires keenly to be home, putting up the tree, decorating the house, baking, wrapping, and finishing up the last of my handmade gifts.  Due to a bum back, I have been home the past two days (bad news/good news), and today, I pulled together my knitted gifts for family, along with some assorted gifts for our neighbors, for my school friends, and for our church friends.

Summer jam paired with  Zimmerman's Peanut Butter (a family and friend favorite!)

...bagged and tagged

...and this Caramel Corn.

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