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The year was 1962, and although my sister and I didn’t realize it, finances were tight in the Kidd household. My father, Elvis Dean Kidd, was attending Cumberland College and working to support his family of three by raising chickens in my Grandma and Grandpa Kidd’s chicken house and cutting pulp wood. My mother, Glenna Martin Kidd, sewed our clothes and kept an immaculate house while helping my dad with the chicken house and canning and freezing fresh produce from our garden.
On Christmas morning, my sister Pat and I eagerly awaited the opening of our gifts. In our home no presents were placed underneath, the tree until Christmas morning, and we were jumping with excitement at the prospect of what the beautifully wrapped packages might reveal.
Upon opening my gifts, I was overcome with joy and excitement. Not only did I receive a beautiful Barbie doll, a handsome Ken doll, and a carrying case but an entire wardrobe of doll clothes handmade by my mother. There was a pink dress complete with a gorgeous pink hat, a bridal dress and veil, a dressy black dress and matching coat with a fur collar, a mink stole, a red summer dress with matching hat, pajamas, dressing gown, and more. For Ken, my mother had sewn a suit with black slacks and red jacket. To say I was overcome is an understatement. My sister, Patricia Kidd Jones, received the same gifts and I can say unequivocally it was the best Christmas of my childhood. I have cherished these gifts my entire life and now, sixty years later, I still have them safely stored in my mother’s cedar chest.
My husband, Kenny Trammell, remembers the Christmas he was stationed overseas while serving in the United State Air Force. His Grandma Trammell sent him a cap she had knitted and some homemade potato candy. Kenny said this gift meant a great deal to him and he cherished this gift above all others. He was the envy of the entire barracks, and his friends couldn’t believe he had received such a wonderful gift from his grandmother. Because of this gift, he knew how much his grandma loved him.
A handmade gift means a great deal to the recipient because it is made with love by the giver or a skilled artisan. One is acutely aware of the time, thoughtfulness, and effort someone has given to the creation of their art. When one gives a handmade item, the recipient receives a gift to be cherished for a lifetime. Many handmade items become family heirlooms. The Artisan Shop has handmade gifts for everyone on your list from over 60 local artisans. Items in The Artisan Shop include baskets; candles; faux desserts; doll clothes; trains made from coal and wood; wooden boxes; wooden spinners; wooden bowls; raku pottery; toys; chain saw art; jewelry; wreaths; door and wall hangings; photographs; paintings; cards; books; candy; coffee and hot chocolate bombs; cloth bags; handwoven rugs; corn shuck dolls and flowers; walking stick medallions and walking sticks; handmade soaps; stained glass; knitted hats, gloves and scarves; crocheted scarves and hats; handmade Christmas ornaments; magnets; and more.
Make someone’s holiday extra special this year and support local artisans. A portion of the proceeds from The Artisan Shop support the McCreary County Museum. Holiday hours are November 17 -20 and November 25-December 23. For hours of operation please check our Facebook page, The Artisan Shop. The Artisan Shop follows the schedule of the Polar Express during November and December and artisans have been working for months to make the shop is well stocked. For further information you may also email firstname.lastname@example.org.