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Sandra Magsamen: The Art of Making Traditions
For me, creating a holiday tradition has always been firmly rooted in the word "making." From the time I was a little girl, I've always made things to make the holiday special. As I think back on the traditions that I treasure and that mean the most to me, they are the ones that I have made something with someone I love to give to someone I love.

My grandmother taught my sisters and I how to knit, so we made slippers with Granny to give to our friends. Likewise, my mom taught us how to bake, so we made cookies and shared them with neighbors. As members of the local 4-H, we gave them to folks at local nursing homes. My mom also likes to remind me that my sisters and I made a lot of trouble too! As a young woman and as a student, I made prints, paintings, quilts and dinner for friends during the season. And as a mother, I've handmade an ornament every year for my daughter, Hannah. Together, Hannah and I have made holiday cards, decorations and more cookies then I should have eaten! I've hosted ornament-making parties for our friends and family where everyone gets into the act of creating something festive to share with someone they love.

As the years have passed and I journey through the many phases and stages in my life, I find great comfort in the familiar feeling of satisfaction and joy that making something for someone brings.

This year, my tradition will continue—I'm going to make more time for family and friends because they truly are the best gifts in the world.

Sandra Magsamen is an expert on making meaningful moments. She is the author of 35 books including the award winning Living Artfully (Free Press).

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