Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love that food and family and friends become our focus for a few days, that every family has a culture surrounding the day, that for a brief moment we are united throughout our country in our observance of ritual.  There is comfort in displaying gratitude for the bounty in our lives.

We are 768 miles from home this week visiting family.  We arrived to discover that my mom had been feeling unwell and was concerned about her heart.  She ended up overnight in the hospital for tests, which indicated that, despite her weird symptoms, her heart is in good condition.  After such a scare, I can only be full of gratitude - for good health, for the ability to get to family so easily in our society, for having the means to do so.   

The down side of Thanksgiving is that it officially kicks off the holiday season.  We are inundated with holiday music and messages sending mixed signals - be grateful for all you have, but show people you love them by purchasing the perfect gift.  I am fortunate that I married a man who shares my love for making gifts for family and friends.  In our early days of shared holidays, those presents were often brilliantly conceived and questionably executed.  I can't begin to tell you how many times recipients were given the parts of a shirt I was still working out how to give a professional finish.  As time went on, we made cutting boards and picture frames, knitted socks (one sock with the promise of another) and totes for camping kit.  Some presents were absolute successes, others, if nothing else, were symbols of our regard for the recipient and the time we were willing to spend on a gift for them.

Recently, we sent out a survey asking you what we should do with the December schedule, since everyone is so busy. Your responses overwhelmingly requested quick gift-making classes.  Yay!  We celebrated since that's what we had talked about doing, but were feeling a little uncertain as to how to schedule in the din of holiday merry making.  We are grateful that you took the time to tell us what and when, and we hope that you will be excited about what we have on the schedule (scroll down for a sampling, or click through to the class page.).  As always, don't hesitate to let us know classes you would like to see in the new year, or to send people our way that have a special talent to share.