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Holiday Crafting and Cooking

November 29, 2021

The holidays were always an exciting time for us. We believed deeply in Santa Claus, and even though each Santa looked a bit different from all others, we didn't care; Santa was Santa.  Christmas morning was always a joy provided by parents who had lived through The Great Depression. It was their goal to make sure that we didn't feel deprived.

As I grew older and Santa was not so important, I took great pleasure in giving gifts to others. My babysitting money and my allowance were not a lot combined, but I figured out ways to make it work by giving gifts I made myself. I made coupon books, drew pictures, baked cookies, made candy, crocheted items, and memorized and performed songs. I also designed and sewed doll clothes and made ornaments for the tree. I was able to give something to everyone on my list. When my grandnephew was five years old, I created a book called Aunt Donna and the Great Nah which was about the life of his grandmother and me growing up in the country with activities for each month to draw and color. It was the hit of holiday giving that year, and everyone wanted one!

Creative thoughtfulness in gift giving is always welcome and shows how much you care. If you need a little inspiration, check out the many books on holiday crafting and cooking available at your library! The following favorites represent Christmas, Ramadan, Kwanzaa, Dwali, and Hanukkah. Gift giving is a holiday tradition of these and other traditions.

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Donna Reagan has served as Children's Specialist at the Bellevue Branch Library since 2002. She produces My Storytime Place, a local TV show for young children. The ALA's Every Child Ready to Read initiative forms the foundation of her early childhood programming.