This holiday season, please, stop killing yourselves. If you need an excuse, please please PLEASE, make it your gift to me. Stephanie is knitting mittens for an army, Alison always expresses her love in stitches, and I know that more than a few of you reading are scrambling to find a way to get all of those gifts knit, crocheted, woven, or sewn.
I know you want your loved ones to feel loved. Believe it or not, your loved ones want you to be happy, too. (And if they don't, they should.) Knitting yourself into a repetitive stress injury- or madness - is not in the Holiday SpiritTM. Trust me. We have 19 days until Christmas, 16 days until Yule, and 14 days until the first day of Hanukkah. Time is a'tickin'.
Some suggestions from me, the Grinchiest Elf on the block:
- Amazon.com. Everyone buys stuff there, and a $25 gift certificate is usually more well-received than a gift made with love. Also, it's near impossible for me to make something for *less* than $25.
- Bake, and use butter. A few extra pounds will also keep your loved ones warm! BONUS: You can finally justify buying a bucket of butter, like this one:
Enlist the young people in the family- they'll enjoy it and not realize that they're participating in a whitewashing-the-fence-type scam. Chase it with a brisk walk after dinner, and admire the decor on the homes in your neighborhood. We have a set of neighbors who never cease to amaze me with how much Holiday SpiritTM they have. Especially after a few mugs of Glühwein. (Our family gets into Holiday Spirits a whole different way, if you get my meaning.)
- Put together s'mores kits (scroll down, totally worth it), but make the marshmallows from scratch, and use the Smitten Kitchen recipe. Andrew and I were asked to recall a favorite memory in birth class last week, and it's remarkable how much we enjoy something as simple as making s'mores in the backyard with friends.
Remember what the intention of the holiday season is really about. I was in the car with LittleJ last week, and, as usual, I asked her how she would feel about our gift to them (the kids) being baking and decorating gingerbread men. Also, doing it earlier than Christmas, since my mobility is getting more and more limited as the Countdown to SharkBean looms nearer and nearer.
[Side note: The "kids"? Only three are under 18 at this point. When did they get so OLD?]
LittleJ, at 16, pointed out that it's not about *when* we do the baking. It's about the doing the baking. We could all take a page out of her book.