Starting in November, I start scouring craft magazines and blogs for all of the Christmas gifts and projects I am going to make for friends and family.
“This year will be different .This year everyone on my list will get a beautiful handmade gift. This year I will be organized. This year my table and home will look like the cover of a Martha Stewart magazine,” I think to myself.
- There are embroidered hoops with cute little sayings, adorable apron ideas, tote bags, purses, pajama pants, and baby outfits for friends with babies to be made. My Pinterest feed becomes clogged up with ambitious projects and starts to look like a Tater Tots & Jello link party.
- And of course I also plan to make handmade cards for everyone with my trusty Silhouette machine I have used like three times.
- I pick up plain glasses at the Dollar Tree, planning on hand painting lovely winter scenes on them to put on my completely handmade table filled with hand sewn napkins and place mats which I also have planned to make.
- I buy supplies to make beautiful handmade ornaments which I will lovingly make with my well behaved, excited children.
- I plan the Christmas dresses to sew.
- I go to JoAnn fabrics on Black Friday at six in the morning and tussle with women in mu-mu’s over flannel fabrics to make Christmas pajamas for everyone. Something I have never done and always thought sounded like a great idea. Right.
- I will make Catholic projects to do with my kids, an advent calendar, and an advent wreath which will be lit every Sunday night like all of my friends on FB do.
So how did it go , you ask?
The road to crafty holiday hell is paved with good intentions my friends.
Flash forward to around December 20 when I realize I haven’t made my gifts yet. Well maybe two or three things, A tote bag, a floppy antlered reindeer doll that looks so bad I can only give it to my own child, and precisely one pair of pajama pants. No napkins and the glasses are still stuffed in my closet waiting to be painted while the flannels sit in my linen closet, mocking me every time I open it. The kids were fighting and crying over their handmade ornaments and I put everything away in a grumpy huff.
I feel guilty , knowing I can’t possibly get around to all of the projects I excitedly planned back in November.
I have to give myself credit and say I did make the wreath and calendar. But the calendar had such little stockings…..and well… I keep forgetting to put little goodies inside them! These stockings were too small to put goodies in!
And the advent wreath? We only lit it once so far since we have been going out to eat every Sunday night, when we are supposed to be having warm and cozy family dinners at home on my handmade table linens I have yet to make. But tonight is the last night to light it so there is hope for my redemption yet!
And the cards? I caved during Black Friday and ordered my cards from Snapfish during the half off sale. And even though I stocked up on all those cute flannels at the Black Friday sale at JoAnn, the thought of actually having to sew up all those pajamas filled me with dread and much biting of fingernails, so on a quick pop in to K Mart to buy some Borax for the snowflake making project I have yet to make with Gigi, I filled my basket with cheap made in China pajamas for everyone I was planning on sewing for. Yes,I felt guilty. Caving into the mindless consumerism of Christmas. But the pajamas were cute, 100 percent cotton flannel, and 40 percent off the already low K Mart price! And guess what? I felt so relieved……
So here is a new idea.
If you are like me and get waaaay too ambitious and beat yourself up for not being a holiday handmade wizard, why not just say,” Forget it!! I am only one person! And I have kids who need to be tended to and a house that needs to be cleaned once in awhile and a body that needs to get itself to the gym after eating all of those goodies that other people seemed to find the time to make and send to me!”
Why not start extending the Christmas spirit to yourself and give yourself a break ?Instead of slaving away at your craft table, take your kids rollerskating like I did yesterday. And foolishly enter the adult only race, assuming you will win because you are an ex half pipe street skater like I am, only to realize there is a roller derby chick in the race, work your hardest to keep up,and fall in front of everyone at the rink.
And remember, Martha has a TEAM of people making those things and how many people actually make anything they pin on Pinterest anyway ?
And Merry Christmas.