November 19, 2009

Mary K. Clift shows workshop attendees unique ways to decorate packages.
Mary K. Clift shows workshop attendees unique ways to decorate packages.
For many people, finding enough money to fulfill all their holiday obligations is challenging even in good economic times. Tough economic times make it even more difficult.

During a recent workshop, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension agents and local specialists showed participants how they could make their money go farther during the holidays.

Holidays Unwrapped II was a daylong workshop that was open to the public. Extension Homemakers and family and consumer sciences extension agents in the Pennyrile area began planning the event about a year ago as one of their two annual seminars, said Nancy Hunt, Crittenden County family and consumer sciences agent and planning committee member. 

The UK Cooperative Extension Service and the Pennyrile Area Extension Homemakers Association sponsored the event.

"We're just like the rest of the world in that the economy has impacted all of us," said Laura Wilson, Lyon County family and consumer sciences agent who served on the workshop's planning committee. "We hope participants leave here with creative ideas that allow them to enjoy the holidays while conserving resources."

Horticulture extension agent Kelly Jackson describes how to make holiday decorations from landscape materials.Participants attended two general sessions where presenters offered ideas on gift wrapping and sewing. In addition, they chose two of the four breakout sessions. The sessions were taught by agents and specialists from around the area, UK and Kentucky State University. They discussed topics such as stretching money during the holidays, renewing holiday decorating trends, card making and making decorations from materials found in home landscapes.  

"People don't realize that they've got things at home that they can use to decorate with -- things they may otherwise throw away," said Mary Hobgood, president of the Lyon County Extension Homemakers and a member of the workshop's planning committee.

Darl Henley is an Extension Homemaker from Crittenden County. She came to the workshop for new ideas for the holidays and plans to share what she's learned with other Homemakers in her home county.

"The items they've shown us are absolutely beautiful," she said. "The speakers were informative and knew their topic. I've learned so many things I can use."