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One of the fun memories I had of my mother is that while we were visiting a gift shop or gallery in the summer, we would like a piece of art of handcrafted item, but didn’t have a good excuse to buy it right then. She would say, “I will buy it and give it to you for Christmas.”

The first time she said that, I thought to myself that it was a silly exercise. But I would soon forget about the purchase altogether. Then, at Christmas, I was surprised, even more so, that this gift would re-emerge, and I would remember when we purchased it. In this way, it was a double surprise.

This continued on over the years, where I would buy something for her while we were out together, or she would buy something for me, and it would appear again as a birthday or Christmas present.

The only difficult part of this arrangement, is that we would hide it away and forget about it, then it would appear months after Christmas, and had suddenly one of us saying, “oh I forgot to give you this at Christmas.”

These gifts that were so special always tended to be hand crafted items at art fairs or specialty shops.

I was reminded of this when I recently visited the Oak Hollow Gallery. I had not been there since we were all quarantined, so it was nice to drop by there.

They are currently having their Holiday Show, which includes paintings, sculptures, ceramics, woodwork, glass, jewelry, and ornaments.

I was especially intrigued by an heirloom ornament called “Fruit of the Vine” create by Pat and Karen Miller. Pat is a wood turner, and he told me it was made from a Holly tree and included pyrography (wood burning) by his wife Karen, who also applied color to the grapes.

Rachel Dorn, who teaches ceramics in the Art Department at Yakima Valley College, has some expressive face mugs. Just that special item that is that one-of-a-kind gift for Christmas.

With all the categories of gifts, including the ever-popular electronics, it is always a special treat to give a handcrafted work of art.

You may visit Oak Hollow Gallery Monday-Friday 10-5, and Saturday 10-3.

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