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Though I was never able to convince my mother of the idea, I happen believe that a gift certificate is the ideal gift. These little slips of paper (or plastic as is often the case these days) allow the giftee to choose the object of their desire rather than what the gifter thinks they want. So if you've got a foodie friend who's been pining over classes in making cheese or artisan meats, Chrissie Zaerpoor at Kookoolan Farms in Yamhill has just announced a virtual laundry list of upcoming classes from Basic Soft Cheeses to Blue Cheese to Charcuterie for Beginners. I've attended a class and they're informative, not to mention tasty, even for those of us who are more interested in consumption than production. Check out the list of classes, or call 503-730-7535 for more information.
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And, last but not least, what better way to let someone know how much you care than giving them the gift of health? Kristin Jackson of Take It Outside Fitness is offering gift certificates for group classes, personal training, or lifestyle and weight management either in her studio or outside in the fresh air. I've taken her classes for awhile now and found them not only affordable but downright fun. She's able to gear the workout to your ability level, so if you're fit or not you'll get a good workout and have fun at the same time. To quote The Monkees, "I'm A Believer." Check the website for gift certificate details.