Brent Carlson-Lee 

Two years ago, my wife’s family instituted a handmade policy for Christmas gifts. We each draw a name, and make a gift for a not-so-lucky recipient. It should also be noted that our handmade claims often amount to artisan puffery. The authenticity of these gifts is highly questionable – often bordering on the absurd.

Last year, I bought a kit to make a clay footprint ornament for my decidedly unlucky brother-in-law. While a newborn’s footprint may be cute, the same cannot be said for my 36 year old, size 9 ½ version of this classic gift. Not surprisingly, he “forgot” his gift when he flew home to California.

However ridiculous our handmade claims may be, this one takes the cake.

So, how exactly does one hand make a Christmas tree? Hand pick a pine cone, hand dig a hole and harvest it with a hand saw?

I guess I know what I’m getting for my sister-in-law this year.