On Saturday morning I woke up and decided that this was the weekend to "get it together".
This decision by itself did very little to fix things around here, but I got out my Christmas spreadsheet and made a very large pot of coffee, and I took stock of the way things are around here, and tried to do some realistic thinking about where I'm at with this thing.
Joe and I have a completely unrealistic goal of being finished with the shopping by Wednesday - a goal that seemed totally doable when we set it last Wednesday, but I'm starting to understand that one of us needs to commit to going to a store to make it happen, and neither of us have quite faced up to that. There's a cleaning schedule in place, one that should have the house spotless and shining by the 20th. Alarms set to remind me to wrap gifts for 15 minutes here and there, and I planned out when I'll bake what. (The baking thing is getting reined in this year. We didn't eat or give away all of it last year, so even though it's a lot of fun to do it, it's time to check the volume. Sam and I have agreed that even if nobody eats them, we aren't ready to give up gingerbread moose.) I even got the pickled beets done, and three jars of lemon curd, and ran them through the canner.
There's only a little more to do there for the "food gifts" (Peppermint bark, I'm looking at you) but after a weekend of applying myself to the thing, I feel like it's all possible, possible as long as I don't think about the knitting. On November 28th I showed you this.
That was the pile of yarn looking to become gifts, and today it looks like this.
That's a considerable improvement, and I'm not just talking about the tree being up. The scarf? Finished, but for the blocking. Of the two pairs of men's socks I hadn't even started yet, one pair is DONE and the other pair is 1/4 of the way there. (Note to self: PANIC ABOUT THAT.) The little cream and white baby sweater and hat? The hat's halfway done, and the sweater is totally finished, but for two wee buttons that need sewing on. (Note to self: FIND BUTTONS.) The two pairs of slippers that I hadn't even got the yarn for? I got it, and it's wound, but no magic elves have turned up to fix that little problem. (Note to self: SLIPPERS TAKE A LONG TIME TO DRY.) There's a little red sweater in there, and the back is done, but a back alone doesn't make a sweater - and there's still a pair of men's socks unfinished. So, taking stock?
1. Finish red sweater. Two fronts, two sleeves and a collar.
2. Finish blue and white baby set. Sew on buttons, complete the hat. (Remember it has six hours of duplicate stitch.)
3. Finish the socks that are only 1/4 of the way there.
4. Finish the socks that have only 1/4 of the way to go.
5. Knit two pairs of French Press Slippers and felt them.
Doable? No way to tell, but I can tell you this: I could really use some elves who want to make gingerbread and scrub the bathtub while I knit... and that brings me to:
Gifts for knitters: Some Sort of Time Machine.
You've probably noticed that your knitter likes to knit. You might even have noticed that they like it a lot better than all of the other stuff they're supposed to be doing (see above re: bathtub scrubbing.) I could be projecting here (but I am pretty sure I'm not) when I say there's nothing your knitter wants more than a few more hours in a day to knit - and I know what you're thinking. "Hey Crazy Lady who watches too much Dr Who, there's no such thing as a time machine", but you'd be wrong. You can be the time machine for your knitter. An awesome gift, as we come down to the wire, or you run out of money, is your time, given freely to your knitter. A written commitment to doing some of the things that your knitter likes less than knitting to give them time to knit is an amazing gift. A little note that says "I will be YOU for six hours" or "This coupon entitles the bearer to four undisturbed hours of knitting while I do chores they hate" or "This magic note can exchange 1 hour of cleaning for 1 hour of knitting" is going to be make you a rock star of gift giving. Don't forget to use your best handwriting, and wrap it.