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At the half

NaBloPoMo is half done, can you believe it?

While my posts this month have been, um, less than inspired – how many ways can one say one is tired of sneezing, coughing and blowing one's nose, after all? – I haven't yet felt like I needed to use one of the daily NaBloPoMo prompts. I've looked at a couple of them, but when I tried to formulate a thought worthy of committing to blog, it felt too much like an assignment.

Easier just to tell you how tired I am of sneezing, coughing and blowing my nose. Heh.

(My son has informed me he's going to collect a dollar from me every time I use "heh" in an e-mail to him. Heh. I like "heh" better than "haha," "LOL" or smiley faces, but he, apparently, does not.)

I've been thinking about Christmas the last couple of weeks. How could you not, when every retail outlet has been stocked and decorated since before Halloween? Maybe next year will be the totally handmade Christmas of my dreams, but it ain't gonna happen this year. I have lots of ideas but, of course, not enough time to even order supplies, let alone make the cool gifts I'd love to give.

I will be making doll clothes for my four-year-old granddaughter's dolls, and she also wants pajama pants. I have the fabric and pattern for those, although I suspect she'll still reach for a nightgown if she has a choice. She's a girly, girly, girly girl who loves wearing anything that twirls or has ruffles.

My grandson's newsboy cap is more than halfway completed and I actually think it will fit and look quite handsome on him. I'll post a picture when it's done. suggests that if you want to have a handmade Christmas, you should obviously plan ahead, and offers these suggestions:
  • Make a checklist of all of the things you’d like to make.
  • Mark a calendar with each project‚ allotting it a certain length of time for completion.
  • Gather up all of the patterns and supplies that you’ll need for each project in advance‚ so that you’re not running to the hobby store at the last minute.
  • Be realistic. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to finish too much.
These are things I probably should have done on September 15, not mid-November.

I felt this sense of disappointment last year, and the year before, and have for several unfulfilled years. What I should do is make one (or more) gift per month all year long. By the time December rolls around, I'd be done. But it never seems to work out that way.

How about you? Do you give handmade gifts for the holidays? How do you manage your time in order to complete everything on time? Do you (as I have done) wrap a photo of the item along with a promise to complete it before the end of January? Or do you ask for suggestions and go to to do all your shopping in one swell foop?


Anne M. said…
Much as I love Christmas, the whole gift thing has lost its allure because it's become so expected. My family draws names and we buy one present for one person - which works since we don't have little ones at present. And my friends and I make donations to the food bank instead of exchanging gifts.

That said, the only way you could possibly do it and stay sane would be to have a calendar that's realistic. You know how long it takes to knit/sew the things you have in mind, so you can BE realistic in setting up a calendar.

On the other hand, make one kewl thing a month, something that you love making, and find someone who will appreciate it come Christmas.

I'm looking for Christmas stocking cross-stitch kits so I can make one for my almost-nephew-in-law. That will take me 6 months to complete, easy, so I'm planning to start in January so I have time to procrastinate :)
denise said…
Handmade gifts...uh...not this year. I started a cross-stitch picture for my brother and sister-in-law several years ago. Got well into it before I found an error that was oh so very, very uncorrectable without ripping out more than half of what I'd done, put it down and have only stitched a small amount on it since. Some friends tried to convince me that a mistake adds character to the piece, but I'm not sure I can get past it.

Meanwhile, I rushed around like a house afire to find a pattern for a cross-stitch baby bib back in October when a colleague's wife had a baby...number of stitches so far...ZERO. Just can't seem to get started. Perhaps my crafting days are behind me...

To your question, Debi, in the past couple of years I have used Amazon and other on-line retail outlets extensively to do my Christmas shopping. It's more convenient because I can have things shipped directly to my Mom's house in PA and I don't have to mess with shipping it myself. But I still like to get out to the stores and really "shop" as well. Only problem is, the more I do of that, the more I end up buying for myself...I'm bad that way.

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