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My very special cooking-related Christmas gift

16 years ago

After all the gifts were opened, my mom gathered my SIL and I together to sit beside her on the sofa. She gave each of us a gift bag. Inside was a special gift that she had begun planning and assembling in October.

One of the items in the bag -- and the inspiration for the whole gift -- was a book: The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort. It's a delightful, colorful, and creative book about the history of the apron. The book also features several recipes, diagrams for making several different aprons, and a pattern in the back of the book. Inside the front cover, she pasted a photo of her own mother, taken in the mid-40s, wearing her apron while hanging the laundry.

Also inside the bag was an apron she made using the pattern in the book. My mom is not a seamstress, which makes this gift even more special. Each apron was different; mine has a white background with small blue flowers and blue piping around the edges, and pockets. It's me, and I love it.

Inside the pockets she stuffed additional gifts, tied with a strip of the fabric she used to make the apron:

- A stack of favorite family recipes, including one in my grandmother's handwriting; one I wrote as a young girl, one she collected during a family vacation years ago, and one with the recipe for gingerbread men which came on a Hallmark Christmas card my grandparents sent to me in the 60s. Each was wrapped in a plastic bag and included her own note about the history of the recipe.

- A kitchen towel with gingerbread men on it (gingerbread men are a HUGE thing in our family).

- A tube of gingerbread-flavored Chapstick (did I mention our thing about gingerbread men)?

- A pair of matching earrings

This will always be one of the most special gifts I've ever received. I'll enjoy wearing the apron for years to come. I plan to make aprons from the patterns in the book and give them to friends with their own copy of the book. Now I know what to do with all that fabric I've saved for years!

The Apron Book: Making, Wearing, and Sharing a Bit of Cloth and Comfort.


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