A few days ago someone noticed that on Ravelry, in my notebook under "made for" I frequently write "the long range planning box", and they wondered what that was. The Long Range Planning Box is a box I keep under my bed, in which reside all of the things that I acquire throughout the year for Christmas. I’m trying to be the sort of person who has all the shopping and organizing done early, trying to lighten my load during the season, but truthfully it’s a pretty small box and I sort of suck at it. Still, as I find little stocking stuffers, and as I knit little things through the year, I tuck them in there to get ahead.
Today is the day I open that box, and I’m already excited, and that’s a mistake, because I’ve lived this moment before. I get ready to open the box, I get my spreadsheet out, the one that has each person I’m giving a gift to on it. (I compare the spreadsheet to the ones from the years before, to make sure I don’t give the same thing by accident. The year I wrote the pretty thing pattern I gave away a bunch of them, and then a while later I think I gave someone another one. There are worse things in the world than owning two luxurious little things like that but it bugged me and I am just weird enough to need a system.) I get a box or bag for every person who gets more than one thing (I don’t know how it works at your house, but here we buy the things for the stockings and then Santa swings by and loads it up. We like to help him where we can so that he has the energy he needs for helping families who aren’t able to buy presents – which totally explains why you might find your stocking stuffers in my bedroom in mid-December if you forget which bedroom you’re in and for some reason get caught rummaging through my closet like the little sneak you are. It’s not like there’s no Santa.)
Once I’m all organized I open the box, and I take the stuff out, and I look at what I’ve got. I fill it in on the spreadsheet, and put stuff in the bags, and then I can sit down with the spreadsheet and see the real way things are. Am I missing socks for someone? How many hats do I need? Do I need boxes? When I’m done I have a list of what’s left to knit, and who it’s for and I can start the last minute sprint. It’s the day of reckoning- and here’s why it’s a bad idea to be excited about it. Every year when I open the long range planning box, a wave of disappointment hits me like a truck when I see what the sum total of a year of planning ahead looks like.
I immediately vow to do better in the coming year, and really I do try, and I even think I succeed, right up until that moment when I open the box again the next year and it turns out I’m still me. You would think I would learn, but I don’t, but I always think I have, so hope springs eternal.
So I’m going to open the box, and I’m going to deal with whatever’s in there, and then I’m going to make a plan. Wish me luck.
(Happy travelling to all my American Friends. Safe journeys home to all of you.)