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#361 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 06:07 PM
 
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#362 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 07:13 PM
 
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This year my partner and I decided that at our family gatherings instead of giving gifts, we're going to teach everyone something. Now, the challenge is finding something age appropriate, but I think we're on to something. At his side of the family's gathering we're going to do origami. (Sounds cheesy, I know, but we tried it out at Thanksgiving and it was a hit.) At my side of the family's gathering we're going to make pinecone glitter ornaments.

I figure it this way: we're giving them something to do that isn't all about 'getting' stuff, and we're teaching them a new skill, AND they'll have something to take home and hang on the christmas tree that will remind them of the time we spent together. I'll let you all know how it goes!
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#363 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 07:31 PM
 
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Wow!

So many responses on this one, I don't have time to read them.

I wanted to add my $0 Christmas theme. Last year, I vowed to not go shopping this Christmas. I find it amusing when I meet people in the elevator and they ask me if I have my Christmas shopping done yet and I say "I'm not". They don't get it at first, and then I explain that I am not shopping this year. They look stunned. I explain that Christmas has got far too commercial, and I don't like it.

Sooo, my original plan was to do things in jars, ie. bean soup, cookie recipe, dressings, etc., but that has turned out to be too much work for me too. So, instead, I'm putting together some little baggies of chocolates and caramel corn. I bought some cards from a friend of mine that makes them (very nice!), stick some photos in there .... And I'm done!!! That's it. I'll put some money in my son's bank account, buy him some games just to wrap under the tree ..... And I'm done!!! I LOVE IT!

I think this will be Christmas from now on.
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#364 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 07:54 PM
 
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How about bean bags as juggling bags? Maybe with a bag to carry them? all the kids I know love juggling. I love getting something that I have coveted from someone I love, it feels very special. One year I made homemade chocolates and fudge and everyone demanded them the next year!! Cards are fun too..you can paint on them or collage them...it gives me a creative break, and people like my grandma love them because then they have cards to give away that aren't 5 bucks a pop. Oxfam will send a beautiful card to someone entitled A Gift of Peace with a donation of 15.00. Homemade scarves, mittens and socks are the best...I only dream about time to make them however....
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#365 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 08:17 PM
 
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I love the memory box idea as well as the teach them something instead idea.....this thread is amazing!

Who has a GOOD easy recipe for fudge??

lol
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#366 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 08:25 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenner
This year my partner and I decided that at our family gatherings instead of giving gifts, we're going to teach everyone something.
This idea totally rocks! I love it!
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#367 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 08:30 PM
 
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Fudge:

Racheal Ray made some on Oprah. I know the recipe is available there, but I am 90% sure I have it in my head.

melt together 12 oz choc chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 can sweetend condensed milk
Let it set in the fridge in a greased pan. She used a round cake pan, then covered the milk can to go in the center, making a wreath shape, but we just made it in a 9X9. Also, I didn't like it with with butterscotch (everyone else did) so i redid it with all chocolate and it was incredibly rich and creamy! It sounds too easy to be good, but it is, and Racheal and Oprah can't be wrong!
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#368 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 08:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by worldwidewashables
I love the memory box idea as well as the teach them something instead idea.....this thread is amazing!

Who has a GOOD easy recipe for fudge??

lol

I love this recipe fudge

Just make sure that the mixture isn't too hot when you add the chocolate chips or they won't temper and then the fudge won't set up. As long as you follow that rule, it comes out awesome. You can also change it up a bit by adding a little flavored extract (peppermint, orange, almond, etc.) omit the nuts, use different nuts (macadamia, pecan, etc.) or even add mini marshmallows once it starts to cool. Doing it this way, you could make little "fudge samplers" with a piece or 2 of several flavor varieties.

Wife to my DH Mama to my two girls  hearts.gif'03 and love.gif '06 and my sweet babyboy.gif 3-'10 I am blessed.
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#369 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 08:48 PM
 
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Oh, I just remembered what we used to do for my sister and her family! When we used to spend Christmas with them, we would bring some sort of interesting food or dessert that we had discovered during the year and make it for everyone to share. So one year we did a chocolate fondue for the whole family, another year I made sushi rolls, etc.

Also, I don't know what magazine I got the pattern from (it was in 1995), but I made my sister these really simple ornaments. They were basically two pieces of felt blanket stitched together with some stuffing in the middle, and then a contrasting felt thing appliqued to the front. So, for example, i did red stuffed hearts with little yellow hearts blanket stitched on the front. And then you attatch a ribbon loop to the front and put a little decorative button over it to cover the stitching. That becomes the hanger part. They are very cute. I have about 20 of them on my tree.

Jill , mom to Andrew (09/04), Aaron(01/07), and Emma (11/09)
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#370 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 09:33 PM
 
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AEZmama....can you please give us your saltine cracker candy recipe? My sis made those last year and they are AWESOME!! But she lost the recipe. I'd love to make those soon.

Rebecca, single mama to intact Junebug 6/01, Daughter of the King!
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#371 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 09:48 PM
 
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Last year I gave cookie mix in a jar, you just layer dry ingredients in a jar (can even be an old Ragu jar) and then put the recipe on cute paper. The receiver of the gift just adds wet ingredients and bakes...add a ribbon and you're done. Can be any kind of cookies....

http://www.cooksrecipes.com/holiday/...ar_recipe.html

Also, if you have a CD burner, you can make a CD with family pictures and give them as gifts....Andrea
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#372 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 10:49 PM
 
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Subscribing. Thanks!

Shane - Homeschooling mom to three boys (12, 1-, 8) and living the open life with my husband.

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#373 of 625 Old 12-05-2005, 11:56 PM
 
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GREAT THREAD !!

NEED HELP..........I can't find the instructions on how to make those I SPY BAGs that was talked about in early post. Can anyone help me ??

Also.... CHEAP GIFT TO MAKE.......... Hot Socks !!!
Directions........Clean white sweatsocks. Can be decorated on the outside with Iron Ons, Fabric or permanant markers. Fill with rice or with Flaxseed. Add a tiny bit of oil, or lavender herbs. Sew the end closed.

Great to ease aches and pains, necks, stomach, etc. Can be microwaved to heat (be careful) or frozen for cold.

Great thread with cool ideas.
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#374 of 625 Old 12-06-2005, 03:57 AM
 
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Samantha, Mama to Elizabeth, September 24, 2004
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#375 of 625 Old 12-06-2005, 11:58 AM
 
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There's a link to instructions for the I Spy bags somewhere. I think its around pg. 14. It is at the top of one of the pages, so it shouldn't be too hard to find, its in the first couple of posts. Hope that helps.


ETA: OKay, I was wrong. It is post 333 or so --pg 17

Jill , mom to Andrew (09/04), Aaron(01/07), and Emma (11/09)
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#376 of 625 Old 12-06-2005, 12:30 PM
 
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I just wanted to add something regarding the hot socks -- my son (3 1/2) loves his for getting into the cold car. He puts it in his lap and warms his hands. It's one of his favorite things these days.

Last year my son made pancake mix in a jar. I think this year it will be bean soup so that it's not another sweet.
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#377 of 625 Old 12-06-2005, 02:50 PM
 
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I am pretty much knitting all of my holiday gifts this year. I have a good yarn stash so it is nice to get through some of it....although I have bought some yarn for making hats but still I am spending MUCH less than I would have otherwise and my family gets homemade gifts.

Sarah - wife, mom to Riley 7/9/03 and Jacob 7/15/05 and Hannah 1/5/11 a successful vbac.gif
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#378 of 625 Old 12-06-2005, 04:46 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarasprings
I just wanted to add something regarding the hot socks -- my son (3 1/2) loves his for getting into the cold car. He puts it in his lap and warms his hands. It's one of his favorite things these days.

Last year my son made pancake mix in a jar. I think this year it will be bean soup so that it's not another sweet.
Great idea for the car! Thanks!
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#379 of 625 Old 12-06-2005, 05:19 PM
 
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Thanks so much for all the great ideas! You mamas are so creative!

Keep them coming, I love reading them. These will keep my daughter and I busy for months.
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#380 of 625 Old 12-06-2005, 11:55 PM
 
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Last year I put together spa baskets - little jars of sugar scrub (sugar, oil - almond or even canola - and a few drops of EO), bath salts (epsom salts and EO) and added crocheted squares for exfoliating cloths - I just made little squares out of unbleached cotton yarn (of course you could knit these too). They were a big hit. Everything was stuff I already had on hand. You could also add an eye pillow - scrap fabric, a rectangle or oval, filled with rice or flax seed and a few drops of EO.

I also like the idea of putting together a 'natural home' basket - you can make some room spray with water and EO (I'm starting to see how important my stash of essential oil is to gift-making !) and a carpet freshener with baking soda (and/or borax) with yet more EO, and even a furniture oil (almond oil, lemon juice, and yep, more EO). For home stuff, I like the combination of lavender and rosewood.

This year I'm making a lot of felt things - ornaments and pins, and if I can squeeze in the time, slippers. I had a few wool sweaters, bought a few more cheap at the thrift store, shrunk them down. For the ornaments, star and tree shapes, layered and stitched together with a few glass beads at the top - for the pins, same idea only flower shapes - different shapes of petals with green leaves backing them, glass beads in the center. If I can get to the slippers, they'll be really simple, a couple of layers of felted wool, and the bottoms will be suede, from a grungy old leather jacket of dh's - I cut it apart and will use the inside of the jacket (which is suede) for the bottom of the slippers.

Happy crafting to all !
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#381 of 625 Old 12-07-2005, 10:46 AM
 
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last years thread but it should be revived.

i am making salt dough and then making ornaments.

one of them is if you paint your childs hand and make a handprint on some flattened dough, upside down. you can add antlers and eyes with a black permanent marker and you have little reindeer. they come out oh so cute!!

courtney

Courtney and Cree, baby made 3, added one more then there were 4, sakes alive, then we had 5, another in the mix now we have 6!

A Momma in love with her Little Women-Jewel Face, Jo Jo Bean, June Bug, and Sweet Coraline.

 

 

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#382 of 625 Old 12-07-2005, 11:10 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenner
This year my partner and I decided that at our family gatherings instead of giving gifts, we're going to teach everyone something. Now, the challenge is finding something age appropriate, but I think we're on to something. At his side of the family's gathering we're going to do origami. (Sounds cheesy, I know, but we tried it out at Thanksgiving and it was a hit.) At my side of the family's gathering we're going to make pinecone glitter ornaments.

I figure it this way: we're giving them something to do that isn't all about 'getting' stuff, and we're teaching them a new skill, AND they'll have something to take home and hang on the christmas tree that will remind them of the time we spent together. I'll let you all know how it goes!

I LOVE this idea! How wonderful! I think kids would love to do some kind of woodworking like making a birdfeeder or something like that. How neat!
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#383 of 625 Old 12-07-2005, 01:47 PM
 
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My husband always puts together a book of his poetry for me on holidays and special occasions. It is very sweet. Sometimes he takes them to kinkos and has them bound for a couple bucks, they look great and are inexpensive. We were thinking of combining some of his poems and some of my artwork (mostly mandalas) to make similar books for our close friends and relatives. We also were talking about making a special childrens book for the kids.
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#384 of 625 Old 12-07-2005, 02:21 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerry
Fudge:

Racheal Ray made some on Oprah. I know the recipe is available there, but I am 90% sure I have it in my head.

melt together 12 oz choc chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 can sweetend condensed milk
Let it set in the fridge in a greased pan. She used a round cake pan, then covered the milk can to go in the center, making a wreath shape, but we just made it in a 9X9. Also, I didn't like it with with butterscotch (everyone else did) so i redid it with all chocolate and it was incredibly rich and creamy! It sounds too easy to be good, but it is, and Racheal and Oprah can't be wrong!

my sister made fudge. you can add nuts and marshmallows or whatever. she also used some of those rasberry chips (ghiraldi chocolate i think) and that was good and sort of clasyy hi end stuff.

Courtney and Cree, baby made 3, added one more then there were 4, sakes alive, then we had 5, another in the mix now we have 6!

A Momma in love with her Little Women-Jewel Face, Jo Jo Bean, June Bug, and Sweet Coraline.

 

 

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#385 of 625 Old 12-07-2005, 07:08 PM
 
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I wanted to pass this coupon along to those looking to stretch their holiday $

JC Penney Portraits No sitting Fee, Free 8x10, All sheets 3.99 ends 1/21 http://jcpenneyportraits.com/offers/...teroffer.shtml


I took DD for photos today and got an 8X10 for DH & I, 5X7s for each set of grandparents, and wallets for the aunts/uncles and great grandparents. It cost me $8.40 total. I'll look for inexpensive frames as well and voila, an inexpensive personal gift with DD's cute face and minimal time/hassle for mommy.

Wife to my DH Mama to my two girls  hearts.gif'03 and love.gif '06 and my sweet babyboy.gif 3-'10 I am blessed.
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#386 of 625 Old 12-08-2005, 03:23 AM
 
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This is such a great thread! I am so glad all the posts from last year are still here!
Here is my list of things we are making:
My seven year old dd is crocheting her dad a hat. She is also crocheting her older sisters necklaces and bracelets out of craft wire strung with beads - they look really cool! She spent a dollar on findings. For her baby brother, she is helping me sew fabric blocks from scraps from my stash.

My thirteen year old is making her Grandma C a set of cloth napkins and napkin rings. Little brother and sister are getting sock monkeys (she made one last night after looking at the "funky monkey" thread in the crafting forum. She also has a small budget that she wants to spend buying them each a new toy. We're still trying to figure out big sister. Her freind across the street and she traded some pants that they are embellishing/embriodering for each other. She wants to make sock monkeys for her friends also.

My sixteen year old is buying everyone the expensive presents this year! She is so sweet and has really thought these out! For littlest sister she made a spy jar from this thread with some rice we dyed fun colors. She is also making her friends journals (bought at the dollar store and covered with Jones Soda labels).

I am making my dh a coupon book and a footcare basket- more on that later. I'll get him a cool travel mug too. For the girls I am modifying "found" clothes from a clothing exchange we do twice a year. Oldest is getting an old 80's style black lace straight skirt made flouncy by adding in conical panels of a vintage black, blue and purple print from a shirt at the same exchange. I'll spend 50 cents on some ribbon for little bows at the top of the print panels. 13 yo is getting a patchwork green and black velvet skirt from some of my old clothes. 7 yo is getting an embellished jean jacket. Baby boy is getting matching longies, hat and booties from an old stripy GAP sweater.

As a family we made advent jars for friends and neighbors. These are won't work for everyone here, but they are a big hit with our Christian friends. We cut "Christmas" pictures out of junk mail and magazines abd just glued them onto the lid of a used pint jar, then slathered it with glue to give it a modge podge type look. While these were drying, we printed out a scripture for each day until Chistmas. Working backwards from Christmas Eve, we rolled each into a little scroll, tied it with red craft yarn and kept going down the same piece of yarn until December 1st. Then we put in 24 chocolate kisses in Christmas wrappers and closed the lid with the yarn tail hanging out. Then we tied on some salt dough ornaments and delivered them on the first. Everyone LOVED them.

For extended family we are making gift baskets - Everyone is getting a papermache bowl filled with individual goodies.

The school teachers (2 of them) are getting "busy bowls" for their rooms, they will have the spy bottles, some play dough, some gak and some chocolate (for themselves).

My bartender cousin is getting ornaments made from the shot glass collection my hubby found in the barn attic from the last tennants and frozen cookie dough.

Uncle D (the fisherman) will get some sugar scrub, some fingerless wool gloves made from a felted sweater and a log of chocolate chip cookie dough.

Aunt D (the writer with a British mum) will get a book (gently used) about keeping the muse alive, some lemon curd, scone mix in a jar and box of nice tea.

Uncle R and Aunt D will get a joint basket with some wine glass baubles and matching napkin rings, some fancy pasta and some pasta sauces.

Cousins C&C will get a cruet with some flavored olive oils and vinigars, some garlic cloves and "spice mixes."

Dad is getting a "foot care basket" like DH. Sugar scrub, scented olive oil, a spritz bottle with tea tree, witch hazel and peppermint, a shaker with scented baking soda and a package of nice sox.

My mom is hard - any helpful suggestions would be great!

Step Dad is getting these cheesy plastic Dale Earnheart cups from WalMart ($1.50 each) filled with his favorite cookies.

FIL is getting a scented rice pillow/warmer for his RV.

MIL is getting homemade candles and candle holders.

All the Grandmas are getting homemeade candy.

Dh's bachelor freinds are getting frozen cookie dough logs.

That is not $0, but it is less than $100 on 40 presents and a lot of fun. I love giving GOOD presents. This thread really inspired me. Thank you all so much!
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#387 of 625 Old 12-08-2005, 11:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XM
:LOL

In my family, its kind of a competition between me and my sister to see who can give the gift that makes mom cry more...



yeah in my family too. boy where the notes i gave her after i had my baby good. tears everytime!

Courtney and Cree, baby made 3, added one more then there were 4, sakes alive, then we had 5, another in the mix now we have 6!

A Momma in love with her Little Women-Jewel Face, Jo Jo Bean, June Bug, and Sweet Coraline.

 

 

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#388 of 625 Old 12-10-2005, 03:01 AM
 
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What a lot of creative ideas! We don't celebrate Christmas anymore, we celebrate the Winter Solstice instead, and we believe in making gifts for loved ones (though, with a 'spirited' 3.5 yr. old & an 11 month old, it will be interesting this year...).

I just loved the Bread Club idea! And the tick-tack-toe idea, too. What I decided we would do this year, is make beaded necklaces for their grandmothers & beaded keyfobs for their grandfathers. I bought multicoloured wooden beads (small) and supplies at a discount store, along with these little mini picture frames that will hang in the centre, holding a tiny pic of our two boys. It was very cheap and I'm sure ds #1 will love making them with me.

Here's another idea: instead of bread, how about neck rubs? Everyone loves getting those!
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#389 of 625 Old 12-10-2005, 08:57 AM
 
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I found this online and I thought it would make a really lovely gift for that 'hard to make for' person:

http://www.creatinghomedecor.com/spiritjar.htm

The example says it's done to remember someone who has passed on, but I am thinking you could make really pretty designs using this method - maybe stars, or a rainbow, or even buttons? It might be pretty on clay flower pots, too?

I am having trouble finding little items for this and for the I SPY bags - what did you all use?

flowersforyou.gif

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#390 of 625 Old 12-10-2005, 01:41 PM
 
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I haven't made an I Spy bag yet, but it's on my "to do" list for next year.

I've been scouting out small items and found that my local flea markets and antique shops have small items (usually old Cracker Jack and cereal premiums) and I also found some decorative buttons at JoAnn Fabrics that might work as well.

--Kari
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