It's here. I've put off thinking about it until I can't anymore. It is the holidays.
I've been so busy with 6th grade homework and 6th grade issues and just trying to hold it all together and I've temporarily lost my ability to look forward to anything...well, anything but quilting. So, I've absorbed myself in my quilting and just tried to do my best to get through the rest of it, refusing to acknowledge that the hardest time of year is yet to come. And, now the holidays are upon us and I forgot to take the Turkey out of the freezer this morning and I've only got a few Cmas gifts under my belt. I am truly unprepared.
There was a time when I competed with Martha Stewart at holiday time. I could make everyone a homemade gift, whip out the perfect meal for 25, serve it with the perfectly polished silver and every serving piece you could imagine on an immaculately white, starched table cloth. Every light twinkled, every ornament shone. The handmade stockings were hung in front of a clean fireplace and the dogs all got a fresh haircut. There were fresh jams and jellies and real fruitcakes (no, not the candied fruit. real fruit and soaked in rum for a month).
Now, don't get me wrong. I've never pretended that I did all this stuff to make other people happy. I did it because it made me happy. But, at some point, what makes me happy changed. I didn't plan it. But, it happened none the less. I went from wanting to do all this stuff for others to just wishing they would chip in and send me to a hotel for a few days.
Handmade, Homemade, those are words I'm not even going to think about this year. I've always toed the gift giving line, but this year, I think I'm going to make the final concession: gift cards. I held out as long as I can, but apparently, I made a huge mistake last year, after the stock market near crash and 40% of everything I owned went away in the blink of an eye and for the first time (at least the first time I knew about), my gifts were not deemed worthy. And, as much as I'd like to just say "Nuts to you!", and as much courage as I've tried to gather to say something only slightly more polite than that, I've decided to take the good old reliable solution and "throw money at it" to make this particular problem go away. I haven't made so much as a batch of jam.
Oh, I'm still planning to shop for Sydney, although I have to admit that I am not excited about it after the really hard year we've had with her. And, I'll shop for Rob even though he has everything I can think of to buy for him. I have a snowman block that I can finish and send my MIL. I made a batch of holiday ale for my co-workers. And, I always come up with something fun for my best friend. I found some really simple ornaments in a quilting magazine the other day and I think that if Rob will help, I can probably pump out a few of those. Everyone else, and you know who you are, should think about what you'd like to buy with your Target gift card.
Curmudgeon, Scrooge, bah! humbug! When did I go from the perfect holiday person to someone that just wishes it was January already? Oh, I know...it was sometime around when I got chastised because last year's gifts were "cheap". Or, maybe it was around the time my kid decided her new parents needed to be punished for what her old parents had done. Oh, oh, no! I know. It was when people stopped appreciating all the really cool stuff I was doing for them because I enjoyed it and started wanting something else. Yeah, that must have been when it was.
Wow! You cannot imagine how good it feels to get that off my chest. I've been carrying it for a while. I'd say quietly, but I'm sure it's come out in some unintended ways. Sometimes I just need to share what I'm feeling to change it. Who knows, maybe I'll even use some of that sugar I've been hoarding and make a little batch of jelly.
Y'all take care and I hope you are planning a wonderful holiday for yourselves as well as for those you love. Remember, it's about you, too. I'm certainly going to try to focus my thoughts that way. Lane