I spent as much time as I could this weekend, quilting that little Christmas tree quilt.  I need to finish by next Sunday, so one week for a bit more quilting, binding, sewing on a ton of buttons, and then we can ship it in time for her to enjoy before the big day. 

I got the border added.  The pattern called for a narrow inside border, but in the name of expediency, I did just one red border. 

And, the back is a plaid that I had enough of to cut one long piece from.  That was another time saver.  I quilted a very loose "wind" pattern in the white background, and then quilted the tree in the ditch.  Whatever I do in the border is going to be quick and easy.  Maybe even straight lines.  I'd leave the borders unquilted but they make the edges of the quilt "wavy".  Three parallel lines of quilting would take care of that.  Or something lose and curvy. 

Or some pine trees.  I've thought of a ton of things I could do in one of these.  Snowflakes in the background.  Pine boughs in the tree.  But, I would have had to start in October to do all the things I could have done, like a loose zig-zag over a gold cord for a garland. The possibilities are endless, so I'd expect to see another one of these in the new year. 

We shopped most of the day on Saturday.  We shop early in the morning, before the crowds, while everybody else is having coffee and snuggling in during an infrequent cold morning.  The three of us managed to pick up several gifts.  In our family, we pick most of our own gifts.  Most of the gifts we unwrap on Christmas are things we need.  Clothes, socks, kitchen tools, shoes...lots and lots of shoes.  It means there are always a lot of packages to unwrap.  And, we also try to surprise one another with a little something every year.  We tend to forget what we picked out, so we get surprises when we see things again.  Lots of people say there's no fun in that.  We laugh at those people as we walk past them in the return lines.  Because if we pick it ourselves, it's always the right size and color and just what we wanted. 

I say I don't mind the crowds.  I hate waiting in line, but other than that, I don't think I mind being among the other shoppers, looking for just the right gift...although I think people should leave their damn dogs at home.  When we took Syd to work, we went into the store she works in and I got my fill of crowds.  It was afternoon, and we saw all the crowd I was ready to deal with for this year.  I'll go back to being the guy waiting around outside the door for somebody to come unlock it while everyone else enjoys their coffee.. 

Rob spent most of yesterday wrapping gifts.  I spent a big part of it in the kitchen, making this week's dinners; tortilla soup, a chicken casserole, meatloaf and a cinnamon coffeecake.  Then, he napped and I quilted and we complained about how bad our backs hurt and then it was dinner and TV and bedtime.  Another weekend worked through on our way to the upcoming workweek. 

Everybody have a great week!  Half the joy of the season is anticipating and preparing for the season.  I gotta keep reminding myself of that.