I always try to make something special around Christmas time, and this year was no different. It actually had quite a few handcrafted things. There's something special about receiving something that someone spent time and energy creating. It took forethought, and a lot of time, and that is something that a lot of people don't do nowadays (yes, I just sounded like I was a 60 year old grumpus).
The first thing I started working on was a crocheted blanket for a sweet friend. My first idea was to crochet her a pizza slice snuggie, sort of like those mermaid tales, but a huge pizza wedge. Super fun, but after looking at yarn prices for this larger project, it was going to cost around $80 just for the yarn! Seemed a little steep for me, so I went with a watermelon blanket instead. The yarn was cheaper, but way less bulky, so it seemed to take FOREVER to crochet up. I carried around a yarn bag and crocheted every time the kids played on the playground, it was fun for me to finally see it start taking form. I made it quite wide, and probably should have made it longer but I ran out of gumption (and yarn). Turned out great as a snuggie blanket on the couch!
My next project for Christmas was a desk re-do for Mallory. She BEGGED for a desk for her room. Her room didn't have that much space, so we needed something on the small side. As luck may have it, we went to a garage sale a few weeks ago, and she had $10 burning a hole in her pocket. She said that she was going to find a desk for $10 at the garage sale. I told her, not likely, but she was adamant in finding one. We pull up to the garage sale, and guess what? There was a child sized desk right in front of us for $10. It needed some love, so we agreed that if she bought the desk, I would fix it up for her for Christmas. I chalk painted it white, changed the hardware and was planning to modpodge fabric on to the top. Well, the fabric on top turned out to be a horrible idea, so that extra fabric will (eventually) be turned in to a pillow. The top was painted white to match the rest of the desk. Mallory loves it, she is such a crafty person and she loves to make things for others as well. She has already put it to good use and has spent much time sitting at her desk and has made a goal to make bracelets for her whole class at school.
My last project started a week before Christmas. I think I am one of those people that works somewhat well under pressure. So, with most of the other projects done/under control I decided to start a t-shirt quilt for Greg. I had been meaning to do this for some time with all of the t-shirts collected from our baseball teams from Germany. I also used all the VBS shirts we have received the past few years. This is how we spend our summers: Germany and VBS! I did Greg's quilt differently than any other I had done before. I did it in large sections to create more of a "quilted" look, and it actually worked up very quickly. Since I wanted it to be a surprise, I could only work on it while Greg was at work. This might be the only time where it was helpful that he works so much! I wondered if he knew what his surprise gift was, he was definitely shocked! It was nice to give him something that he wasn't expecting. I feel like we are at that age/stage of life where you just get your spouse what they ask for or need. It gets harder and harder to surprise them with something unexpected, so it was a nice gift to give!
My garage is almost empty of all the projects, I still have one more out there to be completed over Christmas break. For our 12 year anniversary we upgraded to a king size bed. We didn't want to rush a headboard purchase, and Greg was sure that I could make one! Well, I tried to tell him no I don't have time, but when I got the headboard wood for free I gave in. I still need to buy the fabric to cover it and to repaint the wall in our bedroom, but now that project seems doable since I am on winter break.
Before you think I have it all under control and am queen of projects, let me share my Christmas shortcomings. We baked cookies for Mallory to sell to raise money for Salvation Army, and by the time Christmas actually came around, I was so burned out that I baked NOTHING for my own family. I think Santa just got brownies out of the box and some carrots. I felt bad, because the kids begged for gingerbread men to decorate and I just didn't have the desire to bake anything. Also, as I was perusing Facebook a day before Christmas Eve everyone was posting about all the yummy meals they were preparing for Christmas Eve, breakfast for Christmas and Christmas dinner. You know what we had for Christmas dinner? Leftovers! Oops!
It's all about balance, right?? Now that the crafts have slowed down, maybe I can start feeding my family something other than pizza and hot dogs! 😅