Now that Christmas is over, I find myself reflecting on how it went this year. I should correct that, as Christmas is not over, the season has really just started..but the big day is over. Here are some observations:
Wrapping as I shopped was one of the best choices I ever made. It was nice to head into the last two weeks before hand and be able to answer "Yes." to all those who asked if I was ready, and had I finished shopping, and when answered yes, asked if I was done wrapping also. There is nothing fun about staying up until all hours wrapping on Christmas Eve. Forgetting what you bought and being just as surprised as the kids when the open the package is so much more fun.
There is such a thing as too many cookies. In my own defense, we host a Christmas Party, a birthday party, and attend two family functions all within a 2 week time span. I enjoy baking cookies, and might have gotten a bit carried away. Though it was nice to be able to send a batch into work with the boy, and wish all his fellow co-workers a Merry Christmas. Note to self, next year, not so many cookies.
Not everyone enjoys handmade gifts. I actually learned this last year, and have shortened down my list of people I will spend my time creating gifts for by a whole lot. I planned to surprise the boy with the above scarf (he got a big saw for Christmas that costs a whole bunch of money and I wanted him to have a surprise or two), but he foiled my plans by having the nerve to ask me to make him one. I was so baffled about how to handle it that I just told him. He loves it. (It's knit in Knit Picks Decadence.. (baby alpaca) yarn, in the color chocolate on size 11 needles. It knit up fabulous and is warm and yummy. I used the Men's Cashmere Scarf pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts). He is worthy of my hard earned free time that I have little of. The only other thing I hand crafted this year was for my favorite SIL. I made her this scarf and a matching hat. She was gifted with them last night, and I think she liked them a lot. It's hard to tell sometimes. I know she loved the scarf, but the hat was a little big. My SIL has a small head which I wasn't aware of, and I wasn't smart enough to find out what her head size was. I made Knitty's Coronet in size small, using Lion Brand Wool-Ease (to match the scarf) on size 8 needles. If I had to go at it again, I'd switch down a size on the hat body.
Next year I'm going to think out my gifts ahead of time, and start crafting them in January. I found I don't like being rushed to finish something, as much I may enjoy the process of what I'm doing. It makes me put it down and move onto other things. I also am going to stick to my plan to create my Christmas cards during summer break. I sent store bought cards this year, and it made me unhappy every time I thought of it.
And last but not least.. I am going to create a spot to list ideas of things I'd like for Christmas. I did that with the boy this year, and it worked fabulously. He liked not having to think to hard about what to get me (though he threw in a bunch of surprises that were spot on, bravo!) and I liked receiving gifts I enjoy. My family is a whole different situation. Even though I sent out a list in early December of stores in the area if anyone wanted to use gift cards, we still received some to stores we don't have around here. It was a beat your head against the table kind of moment. The kids set up a website every year and it works great for them. So why can't I do also? Maybe it will help certain people who always seem to be at a loss as to what I like out. And there is always the birthday thing....