You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2010.

WordPress is encouraging bloggers to increase their post frequency with an experiment in blogging motivation. They’ll provide tips, themes, ideas, suggestions, and inspiration, hoping it will result in increased blog activity.

Good timing, because I’ve decided I want to blog more. Rather than just thinking about doing it, writing and filing snippets for future use, I’m starting right now. I will be posting on this blog somewhere between once a day and once a week for all of 2011 (keeping my options flexible in case crazy times return).

If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll encourage me with comments and likes, and good will along the way.



I remember a lot of winter holiday traditions growing up: there were those in our own homes, those in our friends homes, and those we *wished* were in our homes (AKA TV Land). Did you do any of these?

  • Thanksgiving turkeys with feathers made by tracing your hands
  • literally decorating the turkey (ascot, funny nose and glasses, etc)
  • paper snowflake cutouts (we reinvented the ‘how-to’ of them every year—now we have Google)
  • the annual Advent Workshop at church making wreaths, candle centerpieces, reindeer-topped pencils, pine cone bird feeders, etc and caroling
  • caroling around the neighborhoods and nursing homes
  • driving around looking at the lights and displays
  • decorating (and eating!) cookies
  • making ornaments with glue, glitter, pasta shapes, etc (totally non-edible)
  • making and decorating graham cracker ‘gingerbread’ houses (also not really edible) (but if the pieces of candy fall off ‘on accident’, they are usually okay to eat)
  • making glue dough pins and magnets as gifts (this recipe is closest to what I use, but there are other good ones, too)
  • decorating freezer paper to use as gift wrap
  • finding *the* tree
  • decorating with sounds, sight, and smells
  • singing the Christmas Cantata and Christmas Eve services
  • watching their eyes light up when they open your gift

When my children were little, I incorporated as many as I could, as best I could. I had mixed results throughout. If only I had access to blogs back then! Hearing the trials and tribulations of other parents also trying to create positive memories would certainly have helped me feel better! Blogger Swistle recounted a Gingerbread House Fail on her blog that had me truly ROTFLMAO. I dug out a photo of a proud first grader with his graham cracker castle (he still dreams big!).
Graham Cracker Castle

While out walking the dogs in our nearby woods, I came across a fully decorated tree in the middle of the forest. It was delightful!

We’ll be decorating our tree this weekend, and hope to get it tomorrow. Between the time we get it home, and clear out the space we put it up at, it will probably be stashed the same place that last year’s tree was:

(Yes, we do have two bathrooms!)

Honest. It hasn’t all been mad cleaning, resume researching, and job search mania. My main sanity and coping activity (outside of music/singing) is knitting.

I have a photo of the recent charity knitting I have done that I put on this post, but it’s gonna take a while to load, so I put it below the text so you would have something to do while you waited for it.

(please wait for it)
I numbered them for some reason.
1 ) Kermit is modeling a blue and white stripe scarf
2 )  The Star-bellied Sneech is sporting a plain vanilla roll brim hat
3 – 6 ) Blue buddy, skunk, polar bear and rubber ducky are modeling more hats in various sizes, sporting one or more leaves or flower on top
7 ) His Pigginess is lounging with a super-soft angora and mohair blend scarf
8 ) The rectangle is an ascot-style scarf with removable flower
9 ) There are matching mittens
10 ) Test knitting is great for making a pair of cotton dish clothes
11 ) I love this cowl/hat combination (pull drawstring to close up cap top)
12 ) Bamboo-silk blend yarn is a dream to knit for this lace-trimmed chemo cap

By this time you should see the image.
It was worth waiting for!

Lest you think I am Mother Theresa reincarnated, every one of those donated charity items gets me another raffle ticket to win an Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom. I *want* that loom. I have serious competition for it, unfortunately!

This is not all of my knitting. A few projects got frogged. There are various stealth projects both completed and in the works (Christmas is coming in less than three weeks, people!), and there’s the stuff I knitted and delivered without taking pictures. (gotta work on that)

So… what have you been up to?

Post holiday sales are great for scarfing up super deals on holiday decorations, paper supplies, cards, ribbons, boxes, lights, and fancy ornaments. I love diving in and discovering grand ideas for new projects, and future must-do planning. Often, I find these events tell me things—things like, my eyes are bigger than my time available, and, concept and execution time lines are perilously different, yet I stride into the fray again.

I prowl the stores with the biggest discounts, searching out the best deals that I can use for the *next* holiday, feeling smug and righteous in snagging outrageous discounts for what I’m sure to need next year.

Three years ago I came across a stash of photo frame greeting cards. What luck! For a fraction of the original price, I got a couple sets of holiday photo frame cards with envelopes. I stored the treasures away with the holiday materials, secure in the conviction that I had the whole holiday card thing set up for 2008.

Except—I forgot I had them, and sent other cards out that year. When the ‘after’ sales commenced, I pounced on still more of them, forgetting that I already had a stash.

In 2009 I rediscovered the double stash and realized that:
a) I had no appropriate/current photos to insert
b) I had no time to collect more before it was beyond useless to send them

Here in 2010 I have been reviewing several of my stashes, attempting to be honest with myself about whether to use them, toss them, or share them with someone else at the annual church rummage sale, eBay, or Freecycle. Again, the holiday photo frame cards were unearthed. Again, no acceptable photos were found.

I gave the camera to my 5-year-old grandson over the Thanksgiving weekend. He did get a few memorable images but alas, not quite suitable for a holiday card (missing heads, fuzzy, etc)
Liam checks the lens

Liam self portrait

grampa carves the turkey

playing innocent

I have concluded that, like some of my other ‘grand ideas’, this ship has sailed. I need to accept that, while I like the idea of photo cards, it just ain’t gonna work for me. Again.


Therefore, it is time to make the holiday cards that are
a) not obnoxious over-achieving braggart epistles (we get too many of those as it is)
b) indicative of our differing faiths and convictions (agnostic/Christian)
c) do-able within budget and time constraints (no budget, but more time than than last year)

E-cards are an option. They are just as labor-intensive as the printed, signed, and mailed versions, but can be delivered instantly, thereby allowing me a few more days to work on them. A split of paper and electronic is most likely.

I love everything leading up to the grand holidays. I love the food, the music, the crafts, the smells, the carols, the knitting (surely you knew that knitting would be in here, yes?), making holiday ornaments and gifts with the kids… don’t you just *love* the holidays?

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