Metro ServiceHomemade items, such as those created by amateur woodworkers, often make for unique, thoughtful and inexpensive holiday gifts. ■ Metro Service The holiday season is a magical time of year when many people celebrate their faith and express their love and appreciation for their families. Such expressions are often made through the exchange of gifts, which can stretch families budgets. The National Retail Federation reports that retail sales in November and December of 2016 reached $658.3 billion, marking a 4 percent increase over the same period a year prior. For budget-conscious families, entering the holiday spending fray can have lasting effects that cast a pall over their finances for months

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