Out of all the comments yesterday, the best advice I heard was "don't try to catch up" and you know what? I'm not.
The whole point of the Christmas Spreadsheet was to make this last week before Christmas lovely. It wasn't to get a lot done, or to make more cookies than I ever have before or to do anything like that at all. It wasn't volume based, it was sanity based. The goal was to make the last few days before the holiday everything I love. Cozy and warm, with time to enjoy the things that I do it all for. Watching the power of the spreadsheet get trampled under the tiny and unmerciful feet of a noro virus (and yes, knitters should get to rename that) made me think, for just a few days (and they were slightly dark days) that now I wouldn't be able to do those things I like. I would be back on the crazy train - and then it hit me.
I get to pick. Not everything, I mean - I'll still have to wrap gifts, but I can ask for help. I still have to bake, but I can just do the part of the baking that's fun. There's less time to knit, sure, but I can drop several projects because you know what? There's a whole week left, and you guys are right. There's no difference between December 25th and December 31st, especially for adults. I'm going to keep trying to finish a few things for people I know will care (because they are young, or because they are just like that) and I'm going to recognize that this year, all this family has that's different is less energy and ability - not less time. I get to do what I want with the same amount of time. So, the really cool extra things I was doing that were going to be amazing and everyone would love? They're now 12th Night gifts. It's all going to be fine... it's still going to be a lot of hustle, but we'll be fine.
This being the theory, and armed with buckets hand sanitizer and no end of washing up - we went ahead with our annual gingerbread production. Christmas wouldn't have been the same without it, and I realized that when, on the day traditionally allotted for said cookie management I got a text from Sam at 8:30am that said "GINGERBREAD DAY!!!!!!!"
Note to self: This is important to the family. Okay. Then we're doing it. We did less than usual, but we still nailed it.
We are strict gingerbread traditionalists around here - so we do all the classic Christmas shapes. Stars, trees, reindeer, persons, Santa...
sharks (we had some very young helpers)
sheep - decorated like swatches...
and what would Christmas be without the mighty Canadian Gingerbread Moose, Lord of the cookies?
Today I'm using my limited energy to take Hank on our annual holiday excursion, and some other stuff won't get done instead, but it won't matter - because stuff like hanging with Hank? That was what the spreadsheet was for.
Gifts for Knitters (I'm not trying to catch up here either. That way lies madness.)
A knitting bag. Knitters love knitting bags. Love them. Even if they have one, they would probably like another one, and keep in mind that most knitters I know aren't super interested in carrying two bags. That means they're probably going to want to use their knitting bag as a purse (or man-bag) and that therefore, the bag should be able to go anywhere a purse can, style wise, and should have room for their regular stuff (wallet, keys, etc. and there should be a separate compartment for keys, because getting your keys tangled in your yarn sucks.) You can get almost any bag that doesn't have velcro (velcro is, as I have said before, yarn's natural enemy.) Here's some suggestions. I love the look of Offhand Designs - a cool vintage look, if that's your sort of knitter. Namaste always ranks high. I've got a few, and these are quite purse-like, but a few of them also make pretty manly knitting totes, if your knitter happens to be that sort. (The Boardwalk in particular, hasn't a single emasculating feature, no matter how picky you are.) The Tom Bihn Swift is a classic, relaxed looking bag, and I always get compliments on my cork one.
Jordana Paige is always good, I have several of them, but my new favourite is the Cezanne. It's got all the cool features of all their knitting bags, including that they all look as chic as any purse, none of them are a dead giveaway as a knitting bag - but the Cezanne has the extra bonus of being a bag you can carry cross-body. If your knitter is an urban knitter, and on and off the subway and through crowds and riding their bike, then that means that a bag that goes across you and doesn't fall of your shoulder all the time is darned handy. Plus it comes in orange, which is a deeply personal perk. Your mileage may vary on that colour.