Don’t panic early

When I first decided to open the Christmas spreadsheet today, I thought it was going to be pretty bad. I carry over the spreadsheet from one year to the next, and I do a little work on it before I put it away in the new year. I change the deadline on things that were too tight (the whole thing, essentially) and carry over anything that people really loved (ice lanterns! Advent calendars!) and take away anything that wasn’t a hit. (Jars of pickled beets. Turns out that only I really loved those.) It’s intended to make it so that I can learn from the year before, and not… you know, do something like make 22 jars of pickled beets two years in a row when they weren’t beloved by all. Then when I open the thing in early November, I know just where to start.

Well, I appear to be missing most of November, I think I misplaced it in an airport somewhere, and so I knew I was getting a late start. I was prepared for it to be pretty ugly in there. I thought I would open it, take a look at the things that I had to do, go upstairs to The Long Range Planning Box (where I put things that I make all year) see what I was missing, and then make up a knitting list, and try to get a grip.

Turns out that things are not bad. They are terrible.  Horrific. What-the-hell-did-I-do-all-year-and-what-was-I-thinking kind of bad. All the socks (except for one pair, I am a lunatic) in The Long Range Planning Box are one size, and it’s the wrong size. (Upside, they fit me – they’re just no good for gifts for anybody else in the family, except my mum, who ironically, has asked for slippers.) I would have sworn there was a pair of mittens in there (looks like I gave those away) although there’s a few hats – one of which I don’t recall knitting at all. After the heart pounding adventure of comparing the box to the list, I ended up with a pretty intense list. I need:

3 hats. Four pairs of socks (3 of them size large) two little sweaters, one small shawl, a cowl, and a pair of dress mittens. Oh. And slippers.

I also need to go through my stash and patterns and figure out what, er, those projects will be and what I’ll knit them out of, and then I’ll have to sit down, add up how many hours of knitting that is, and see…. Let’s not go there. I’m not going to panic early. The whole point of the spreadsheet is to increase happiness and relaxation, and freaking out about the thing is not who I’m going to be, and besides, maybe it’s not that bad. (I just laughed out loud in a slightly hysterical way that I’m glad you couldn’t hear.)

Mark my words knitters, in 2016, I’m doing one Christmas present a month, or something like that. I heard of a knitter once who arranged two gifts per year for every person on her list – and had them both ready by their birthday. One for then, and one for Christmas and maybe that’s the answer.  For this year, all I can do is knit like the wind, prune the list, and I’d cross my fingers and hope for the best, but it’s really hard to knit that way.

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends, enjoy your day, and if you need me, I’ll be the lady deep in the stash, clutching a crumpled spreadsheet and a half knit sock, and trying to make a Christmas out of it all.

Crap. I think I better buy a tree.