There is nothing like a homemade gift to say “loving” at Christmas or any other time of the year. I especially liked the gifts made by children. I can honestly say a gold-painted macaroni necklace goes with anything, and that Popsicle stick basket made by a student when I was teaching was handier than you would think. 

But there are those handmade gifts that still make me cringe. With my apologies to Nona (my mother’s mother), I really wasn’t thrilled with the pink dress she crocheted for me. 

It seems Nona decided her three granddaughters would look so cute in matching dresses, and in her eyes we did. There was no choice as to whether or not I would wear it — too bad if it itched; smile, look cute and make your grandmother happy. 

I would have been happy if she had just made cookies. Why that dress stays in my mind, I don’t know, but it does give me a pleasant-not-pleasant memory of a grandmother who thought her granddaughter was a “bella bimba” (beautiful baby). I will add that I do not remember wearing the dress again. Thank you, mom.

The year I received a lump of coal in my stocking brought me to tears, especially since it came from Husband Joe, who did it to be funny. I wasn’t laughing even after he explained how much trouble he went to get real coal. 

Or when my mom gave me a Ken doll, because she felt sorry for me because I didn’t have a boyfriend. Well, that got taken care of and I still have the Ken doll in the original box, so he also is worth something.

Remember making gifts in school? Seems every year at St. Mary’s we made a star out of construction paper, pasted our school picture on it and decorated it with gold star stickers. Parents treasured those gifts.

Even I have made presents. One year it was fluffy scarves that amazed my family. Or when I embroidered a western shirt for Husband Joe, but wouldn’t let him wear it so it wouldn’t get dirty. I should have just framed it. 

Maybe I can make gifts for next year if I start on Jan. 2. Anybody need a fluffy scarf?