At this time of year our thoughts turn toward the holidays and I find it helpful to have a few quick and easy gift ideas and reliable recipes to make the season a little less stressful. To dispel a common perception, a knit gift does not have to be fancy, expensive, or take weeks of complicated knitting to be a gift you are proud to give or wear. It's all in the finishing touches.Both pairs of gloves in this post are based on a basic pattern that has used a simple but effective design element to elevate it to gift giving or holiday wearing status. All that is required is a single skein of yarn, a tried and true pattern that has been made successfully time and again, and a few notions in the way of buttons or beads to add a finishing touch or two!Lately I've been thinking about finishing touches and not just in the context of knitting. It strikes me that of late I haven't devoted nearly enough time (truthfully no time at all) to reading good literature, listening to fine music, or devoting my efforts to a worthy cause. In other words, I'm in serious need of some finishing touches! One's self is the most important work in progress we have.The second pair of gloves is a personal pattern utilizing design elements from a variety of patterns. I love to wear something a little fun and frivolous when I'm out and about over the holidays. The contrasting reverse stockinette border and flower embellishment are just some of endless ways to personalize a basic pattern to your taste, just as your choice of yarn and buttons will personalize any pattern. Adding a faus black pearl bead to the flower's center is the final finishing touch.Particulars: Blue Gloves: Welted Fingerless Gloves by Churchmouse Teas; US 5 and US 6 DPN; Mandos del Uruguay - Silk Blend; no modifications whatsoever. However, as I have a tiny wrist, if I were to knit these for myself I would reduce the number of stitches cast-on and probably use the smaller needles throughout the project. These gloves were gifted away to the lovely Dilshani (Rav Profile) as part of a German Shepherd Lovers swap hosted on Ravelry. The second pair of gloves (Brown Gloves) is knit using a composite of several patterns and is very similar to the evening gloves I knit last Winter for Christmas. I used a single skein of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino; US 5 needles; and a small amount of contrasting yarn. I knit the flower using a pattern I found in the book Knit 2 Together. Using resources you already have or that are free on the internet is a great way to find ideas to embellish patterns.Dried flowers in the fading Summer sun are a reminder that time is always passing leaving only traces of what once was behind. Wet felted flower made by following the Tutorial by Ingermaaike. Pistachio and Currant BiscottiA seasonal recipe that I make this time of year is Mary Kay's Pistachio and Currant Biscotti. I like to have a few cookies on hand that go well with coffee or tea. Try serving them on a paper doily ~ it adds a nice finishing touch.I will be away and busy much of the coming months and will be spending less time online, although I will still be knitting and continue to add posts. So until next time, be well and love well and I hope this season of holidays is a time for you to reconnect with what is important in your life.