Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Xmas in February (not the Lou Reed kind)

Darlings. I am most unavoidably aware that I have been whatever-the-opposite-of-prolific-is for some time now. See, I have been refusing to post anything until I explained about Christmas, and the onslaught of craziness that preceded & ensued from this one little day. Which was a big day. But just one day in the scheme of things ... ohhhhh, the confusion!!!

Let me explain.

I had decided that, as my dear Dad was coming to visit from SA for the first time ever, I would put heart & soul into Christmas. It would be the Christmas that all other Christmases knelt before and wept at; the Christmas that lauded proudly over all the other little Christmases, patting them patronisingly on the head; the Christmas that would justify humanity's cruel replacement of all other yuletide festivals over the centuries with this one, single shindig.

In short: this Christmas was to kick ass.

{image source}
There would be handmade cards, tree decorations and advent calendars. Rob's family would come to our house for the day, and the whole feast would be made from scratch. Wine would flow, bellies would be full, the house would be aglow with the lights of a thousand fairies (or should I say the fairy lights would be aglow with the wattage of a thousand power plants? global warming be damned, it's my CHRISTMAS!! (see above, re: cruelty)). Most importantly, it would be a DIY event. Everyone would get a handmade present. Preferably only handmade presents.

Making Christmas decorations during conference calls ... 

To this end, I compiled this list (I'm editing out those not yet finished so that the giftees - who read this blog - aren't completely robbed of the element of surprise):

  1. Mum-in-Law: framed family pics; monogrammed pyjamas; >incomplete<; novelty Xmas earrings
  2. Dad-in-Law: framed family pics; DVD boxset*; gardening book*
  3. Gramps-in-Law: brushed cotton shirts; monogrammed slippers; framed family pics
  4. Sister-in-Law: framed family pics; clutch bag; Vogue 1170 dress; CD*
  5. Nephew (4yo): Gruber monster from Mollie Makes; interactive world map*; atlas
  6. My dad: monogrammed slippers; scanned family pics on USB stick; Dietz lantern; trip to Edinburgh; trip to west end; winter coat*; long johns* (tee hee); miscellaneous warm things for Northern Hemisphere winter
  7. Lauren: >incomplete<; infinity scarf; slippers with stuffed bunnies; mezzaluna & chopping board*; infused olive oil
  8. Rose: >incomplete<; dip-dyed t-shirt
  9. Shelley & Marty: Beanbag; >incomplete<; infinity scarf
  10. Willow (Lauren's ickle niece): dress
  11. Matthew (Lauren's ickle nephew): coat
  12. Andrew (Lauren's sister): >incomplete<, dip-dyed t-shirt
 *non-handmade presents, duh. As many of these would be thrifted/vintage as possible, with  some exceptions. Like long johns. That would just be weird, a la: 'Hi Dad, thanks for coming thousands of miles to visit us -- here is someone else's used underwear. Merry Christmas'

WOW. Even typing up that list took ages.

How did I do, do you ask? Well.
Some of the cards. I miscounted and made nearly 40 instead of only 30. 

It took nearly 3 weeks to just make the Xmas cards and some of the ornaments I had in mind. The advent calendar nearly missed the 1st of December, and we only managed to get the last of decorations in place about 10 minutes before the family were due to arrive on Xmas morning ... so it did not go according to plan.

The result of the 1st day of car boot fair shopping for materials for this insane endeavour!
As Rob was entirely un-reluctant to point out, this is because 'the plan' was freaking mental and totally over the top. He, however, has become accustomed to the totally over-ambitious nature of my plans and remains calm and helpful and reassuring and (oddly) optimistic for 99% right up until the moment where I lose my shit. Then he points out that he did suggest we took things a little less seriously, brings me a cup of coffee, and gets stuck in. Wonders occur. Things work out pretty much OK, and the world keeps spinning.

Stop making me pose for pictures!
Okay, I'll be cute for one more ... 
In this particular context, the world kept spinning through the following workarounds:
  • I realised 3 days before my dad's arrival that the presents would never be finished in time. Several were (and still are ... *blush*) near completion, but there just wasn't enough time to finish them all, or even some of them, properly. So we bought some presents were there was a shortfall. There was no angry mob accusing me of being a horrible consumer-driven spendthrift. I guess they must have been attacking someone else that day.
  • The 17,000 unmade ornaments & decorations (which I had made in my mind and my Xmas Planning File) were not missed by anyone.
  • There was still wayyyy too much food, even though some of it was cold (stupid vegetables) and some of it was nearly inedible (stupid homemade bread).
  • There was enough chocolate to last until after my dad went back home in mid-Jan. Chocolate makes everyone much more malleable.
  • I apologised profusely to those whose presents did not materialise and promised to deliver on completion.
This last bullet point is my explanation for the posts to follow over the next few weeks. I have decided not to post anything, or start any new projects, until I've completed this Christmas list. Some headway has been made and I can now start posting ... so bear with me! :) :)
The amazing Sharpie art of laineylamonto {imagesource}

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