Huffman makes a point of ensuring that no one who visits her during the Christmas season leaves without a memento.
“Nobody comes to the house without leaving with something,” Huffman’s friend Cecelia Mull said.
Huffman sees the act of giving as a continuation of the traditions of her childhood. She grew up in a family of French-Canadian heritage in a New York town along the Canadian border. Huffman fondly recalled the way people would go from house to house and receive gifts, frequently food.
“This is part of my life, Hon,” Huffman said. “This is our French family. We always gave part of our love. It was always something that we had.”
Huffman said her parents instilled a sense of the importance of Christmas in her early on.
“To them, Christmas was very, very special because that’s the only time that the families got together and when the families got together then they stayed together,” Huffman said.
Mull said the process of decorating and making crafts at Christmas is a form of therapy for Huffman, who is divorced and is estranged from her children.
Huffman herself agrees with that assessment.
“I’m thankful I’m still able to do this, still able to move around and do this work,” Huffman added.
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