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Charity Wood is a cosmetologist, businesswoman, and Tahlequah mother who works on crafts to give to friends and loved ones. In her free time, she is also a sewist and craftsperson who creates customized gifts for her family and friends.
Through her giving, she teaches that gifts can from the heart.
Last year, she made an Advent calendar from cloth, which looks like a 15-inch by 15-inch calendar. Each day contains a cloth pouch in which parents can hide goodies or ideas for activities. If parents do not want to put in candy or goodies for each day, they place ideas for activities in the pouches, or a Christmas thought.
“The idea for it was to give my daughters something that they could hang up every year. For the grandkids, it is something they could do during the holidays,” said Wood.
Last year, in light of the pandemic, she decided to stay at home and make her presents, rather than wait in long lines at stores.
“I like to quilt. Last year, I homed in on making gifts,” she said.
She has made personalized hooded bath towels, which are very popular. She also crochets, so some years she makes slippers.
“This year, I’m making gifts again. My kids know Mom quilts,” she said.
She is excited to make toys for her grandkids because they retain greater sentimental value than objects purchased at a store.
“There’s lots of toys out there. They will play with them for a while and they will get tired of them," Wood said. "Homemade toys, on the other hand – they don’t grow out of them because you put thought into them as an individual.”
She also gives out charcuterie boards, which are much sought-after. Even with the rising cost of wood, she has found they are an easy and inexpensive way to impress family and friends around Christmas.
“My husband and I picked out a harder wood from Lowe’s. I got it in a 12-foot length, and I even had them cut for me in sections,” said Wood.
She sanded the wood, used a heat gun to carve the names of their loved ones on it, and then she treated it with wood-grade oil to seal it.
“It is a simple gift,” she said.
For those who struggle with handwriting, stencils make wood-burning easy and are available at hardware stores.
Wood is continuing to make gifts for her family and friends this year, but until Dec. 25, it will be a surprise.
“There is so much out there to explore and play with,” said Wood.
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