I love Christmas … the lights that light up Main Street, the smells of Christmas baking, the excitement of wrapping up secrets and putting them under the tree. I love just about everything about Christmas … except the commercialization of it.

So when doing my shopping, I try to look for things that haven’t been mass-produced with very little thought as to where these products will end up. I like gifts that will have meaning for the person receiving it.

Handmade gifts tend to be very special gifts. I still have the handmade doll my grandmother made for me when I was 12. The fact that she also made dolls for all the other granddaughters didn’t matter (there were seven or eight of us at the time). She didn’t make any two exactly alike.

With Christmas getting closer, the pressure to find the perfect gift increases. But what is the perfect gift for a farmer?

Sleeping in on a cold winter’s day is a wonderful gift for someone who would normally be up and in the barn doing chores. Or, warm weather would be great for someone with livestock out in a pasture. The cold weather can take its toll on the health of both humans and animals alike.

Even being able to take a winter holiday and not worry about the farm would be a welcome gift for most farmers. But these aren’t things that you will find while out shopping.

So what do you get if there is a farmer or gardener on your list?

Well, I don’t have that answer, but a gift that can be used on the farm or in the garden would probably be a good place to start. Something as simple as a good pair of warm gloves that can be used while doing chores, or hand tools for house plants.

Even a gardener’s journal to track planting rotations and other pertinent information would be a wonderful gift. I enjoyed the one I received last year (thanks, Josie).

Sometimes the simple, practical gifts won’t work, especially for someone who has “everything”. Handcrafted gifts are usually very beautiful and unique. In the Yukon, we have an abundance of handicrafters and artists.

There are also lots of craft sales to go to in the time approaching the Christmas season. You may not find the perfect tractor or farm tool, but there could be gift ideas a gardener would like: items with pressed flowers, products made from locally produced fibres, preserves from local berries … the list is endless. Some artwork that would appeal to a gardener is stained-glass flowers, pottery or landscape paintings.

Check out the local papers for craft fairs. Not only will you find wonderful gifts, but you will be supporting your own community, which is a gift for everyone.