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Homemade gifts from the heart

December 15, 2008|By SHANNON BERRY / Pulse Correspondent

This year everyone's Christmas budget is smaller because of the economy. But just because you don't have the same amount of money to spend doesn't mean you can't give great presents.

Christmas is about spending time with family and friends. A gift doesn't have to be expensive to be great and these gifts will mean more because of the time and thought that went into them.

For the gardener: herb or flower pots. For this you will need some small clay pots available at a local nursery or craft store. You can paint them with some festive colors for a creative touch.

Next, you will need seed packets of herbs or any kind of plant you want. Around this time of year you can order them at www.americanmeadows.com/FlowerSeedPackets.aspx where you can customize your own flower seed packet.

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Put the seed packets in the pots and add a small bag of potting soil if desired. If you can't find seeds and don't have time to order them, some local grocery stores, such as Weis in Boonsboro, sell live potted herbs in the produce section. You can put one in your decorative pots for a perfect gift for a gardener.

For the sweet tooth: homemade fudge. Nothing says love more than something sweet you made yourself.

Once you're finished with the fudge, wrap the dish in plastic wrap and tie with ribbon.

Remember, Christmas isn't just about giving presents. You have your whole Christmas vacation to enjoy yourself, so take a day to spend with family and friends and make some homemade gifts together. Have a merry Christmas!

Shannon Barry is a seventh-grade homeschooler living in Boonsboro. She enjoys making homemade gifts.

Homemade fudge



2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 2/3 cup white sugar
2 cups mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat butter, sugar and milk to boil over medium low heat for 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in the marshmallows, chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until melted. Pour into buttered 8-inch baking dish baking dish and refrigerate until set.

-- from Barry family recipe

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