Yep! That jolly old guy with the white beard and fancy schmancy red suit with fur trim is approaching. If your house is like ours, he needs some help getting the job done and that’s where my time crunch starts.
Every year I swear I am going to be ready with time to spare and things will be “just right.” I just know this is the year that the door decoration will be super eye-catching (and it will be up before December 24th, honest). I know I will have baked plenty of cookies and made all the Christmas candy (this is big in our family) weeks ahead of time. Oh, and all those fantastic, unique and custom-handmade-by-me gifts will be packed and wrapped (creatively, of course) days before the holiday. My cards will also all be mailed by that humorous deadline the Post Office always tells us about. (And who says our government can’t tell jokes?) Oh yeah, I’m also going to be 25 lbs slimmer by Christmas! It will be the perfect holiday this year!!!
Isn’t it fun to fantasize?
Seriously, I have been working on the gift list for this year and trying to decide what each person will be getting from us. (Our life is further complicated by a huge number of Fall and December birthdays.) To make it even more difficult, I have always preferred to make the gifts myself. This does not always translate into a more economical approach but it does come across as more personal. My family has always stressed this and I’m happy to say I see both of the next generations trying to keep the “personal” aspect in it - whether they make the gifts themselves or at least give some real thought to what they give. Since The Big Guy and I always make a cross-country trek in the Fall, I also try to have many of the gifts for that part of the family ready so we can simply transport them in the back of our van as opposed to doing the shipping dance with the Post Office. So, the push is on.
I’m entertaining ideas as to “something special” to make for the older folks on the list - you know, those in their 80s and 90s who really don’t want a lot more knick-knacks, etc. They don’t need a lot of clothes these days and can only use so many lap afghans, etc. Due to the many diet limitations, I have also eased up on the homemade goodie baskets for them, too. What to give, what to give - that is the question !
My cousin and her gang recently created a great gift for her Mom who turned 90. I’m thinking of adapting this idea for someone on my list, too. They made a Memory Book. Yes, it is just a variation on scrap booking so it shouldn’t be too hard to design and create. What they did, was ask each grandchild (now all adults) and great-grandchildren what their favorite memories of their Grandmom were. The older ones listed their ten favorites and, for the most part, related them to time spent at her home. The little ones were more limited and included such things as “She always wears sparkly jewelry” or “She smells good.”. When possible, the memories are written in the kids’ own handwriting. Of course, they included photos of the kids with Grandmom and, even better, included pics the little ones drew of her! They bound them all together in a manageable sized photo album that she keeps on the coffee table. My aunt is so proud of this gift! She shows it off to everyone!
In the one I’m considering (for a different lady in the family), I’m thinking of including specific questions for each to answer. (We’re dealing with a mostly adult tribe for this one.) Things like favorite meals, favorite comments, phrases or sayings we associate with her, best vacation memory involving her, etc. I’m even considering asking each to come up with three words that best describe her. From past experience, I know it takes a bit of time to put these gifts together, so I hope to firm up my plan this week and get busy on it as soon as we get back from the beach.
So, what are you already working on for the holiday crunch time?