23 days till Christmas

and i have not bought one lick of a gift. haven’t even thought of one thing to buy. i don’t have a really large family, but it’s big enough to set me back a bit if i was really interested in going into major credit debt. which i’m not. so i’ll probably get the ol’ creative gears a’churning and figure out something to make for everyone. i’ve done it before and i wear myself out every time.

please, someone, help me stop the madness before it begins!!

see, a few years ago i came up with the genius plan to have a “crafty Christmas.” don’t ask why i called it “crafty,” i actually hate being considered crafty and would much rather be referred to as artsy. crafty sounds like i’m an 83-year-old woman busily knitting away in my wooden rocking chair by the fireplace with five cats at my feet. oh, and let’s not forget that i have a knitted blanket (that i made myself a month ago using ten different colors) placed nicely across my lap.

anyway, this crafty Christmas was all about everyone making gifts instead of going out to overcrowded malls, spending tons of money, and experiencing mounds of road rage on the road and at the register. this whole idea actually caused some stress among those in my family who really couldn’t think of a thing to make. like my poor s-mom (my step-mother).

not only that, it turned out to be a little expensive (for me anyway) because i kinda went buckwild up in michael’s when i thought, “hmmmmmm… i’ll make soap and bath salts.” but who knew that freakin’ soap required so much to get rolling? honey, i bought cute molds with asian symbols, and plenty of clear glycerin soap blocks, and all kinds of fragrances. i won’t even start on the packing. this junk adds up!

the salts were cheaper of course, but still, they needed to smell like something, right? so that meant more fragrance. and you can’t just give folks a hand full of salt and call it day. the salts have to actually live in something. so that meant buying all kinds of glass containers. cha-ching!

the following year i took the whole “spa” thing one big step forward when i had the bright idea to make the women in my family handmade books of bath recipes. oh yeah, i went out of my flippin’ mind that year. first of all, i came up with this entire “book making” process myself. it’s pretty intense. i’m sure there’s probably an easier way to do it, but mine included buying small pieces of canvas, loads of paper, and rope. plus, a whole bunch of other d00-dads to give the books some punch. maybe i am a bit crafty.

then there was the year that i did small paintings and crafted flower vases from newspaper, cardboard and acrylic paint. don’t ask. i got it from some craft book.

finally, after my son was born i figured it would be easier to just bake cookies. i bought martha stewart’s holiday cookie magazine which has tons and tons of great recipes and i got to baking. only i came up with another genius idea to name them “dutch’s dozen” which of course meant that i had to give each person in my family a freakin’ dozen cookies.

did i mention i made chocolate chip, oatmeal and snickerdoodles? yes, i further complicated the situation by offering multiple flavors!! then i made cute tags with my son’s picture on it, blah, blah, blah…

i was cookie’d out for quite a while afterwards and didn’t want to see another cookie for a long time. plus, it made me just wanna slap martha for having me believe that this would all be so daggone easy.

last year i tried chocolate bark and even though i had never actually eaten bark before, something told me that it wasn’t quite right. probably because it didn’t look at thing like the picture in the recipe i was using. how do you screw up bark? i dunno. and should i even try to mention the turtles? oh, they were ugly. thank goodness i had more of martha’s cookies as a back up. to be honest though, i set the bark out our family’s Christmas gathering and they all thought it was pretty good. probably because they hadn’t seen the picture in the recipe i was using.

so what in the world will mama come up with next? maybe some candy covered apples or sticky, sweet popcorn. maybe if i can scrounge up enough glass jars i can make them all something really useless beautiful like snow globes. (i’ve been wanting to use that strikethrough feature for a while now. so yay!! i feel like an official blogger now. you know, you’re not an official blogger until you’ve done the whole strikethrough thing.)

anyway, don’t you think everyone needs a tea box snowman?

7 thoughts on “23 days till Christmas”

  1. …yesterday I bought $35 worth of containers at Michael’s. I couldn’t resist the plastic Chinese take-out food containers that are pre-printed with little candy canes and Santa faces. At a dollar a piece, that means I musta bought 100 freakin’ containers. Oh, and I have no clue what I’m gonna stuff in the suckers, so I’m already stressed at the idea of needing to either bake something or buy something small enough to fit in them. Oye vey. I got your meme, ooooh I’m in search of a big hard meme to tag you back with! [evil laugh]

  2. I tell myself that I’m going to make things each year and each year, while I can come up with a gazillion ideas, I can’t come up with one person that would appreciate my talents (ha!). I love making soap though, yet haven’t in years. Bath salts are super easy and I did those for my SIL’s wedding shower.

    This year I’m considering trying glass etching. The pre-teen nieces are getting a bit tough to shop for (and pricier in their demands, er requests) so I thought that maybe mirrors or glass trinket bowls would be fun. Maybe. Dunno yet.

  3. Hey, I just ran across this website called lotsofkids.com, and while you don’t have lots of kids (or do you?) you can find quite a few holiday gift ideas that wont set you back substantially. Like making glycerine soap, or snowman soup, or brownies in a jar, etc., etc., etc.
    I also saw a great show the other day that featured the book ‘Kid Concoctions.’ It had great ideas to create wonderful toys and such for children, all for about $1 a piece. I’m soooo gonna make the Splungee ball!

  4. I have a snowglobe obsession, even though they are useless. Love them.

    I do the same thing with knitting, thinking “oh, I’ll save money & make so-and-so a scarf,” and then spend $40 on beautiful yarn, when I could have bought a scarf for half that, and I only end up using the yarn half of the time. I do have a beautiful stash of yarn, though.

  5. kat… i really wanted to try glass etching. seems like such a cool project.

    ms. kitty littered… food is good! when you get it right. 🙂 sometimes i do and sometimes i don’t! haha…

    leah… i have two kids and honey, to me, that’s lots!

    oz… don’t get me started on knitting (or crocheting for that matter). when i was pregnant my plan was to knit the baby all kinds of goodies. i bought needles and yarn and two, yes two!!, stitch ‘n bitch books. honey, i have yet to knit a darn thing. 😉

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