( I wrote this post last week but somehow didn't get around to posting it at the time.)
At this time of year I have lists. Many lists in my head. Things I want to make. Presents. Cake. Biscuits. Knitted coasters. There doesn't seem to be a beginning or end to this list. Where the time was supposed to come from I don't know. Some items have been duly ticked off the list. Advent calender done. Cards done. But the undone list is far greater. I have to confess that I've started avoiding christmas making blog posts. Kind of crazy when that is what I've been posting about too. Don't get me wrong, I love christmas. But I think I'm suffering from a little case of christmas guilt. However, simple and guilt don't go too well in a sentence together.
I sit here typing at the end of a long day. Teachers gifts were baked. Wrapping paper stamped. Cupcakes for concert supper iced and wrapped. A rushed dinner and a school concert to attend. Dishes are piled in the sink and rice is all over the floor. I hear snoring in the next room and I'm tired. I haven't done tomorrows advent calender note. My mind is starting to feel numb despite the coffee.
Which makes me wonder if a handmade christmas is really making our lives simpler. Probably not. On one hand there is immense joy in seeing what a little time and creativity can produce. For we didn't only give them stuff, but we gave them something made with our own hands, hopefully to be treasured by the recipient. On the other hand, these handmade items take time to make. Time that we may not have. Precious time that might have been spent with our family members.
I think what I'm looking for is a little balance. I need to know where to draw the line. Where to go the extra mile and make something, and when to fall back on something bought. In an ideal world we would have time to make all these handcrafted items. But we live in the real world where there is work to do, kids to take to school and houses to clean.
So I'm going to try to go easy on myself and do what I can do. Knowing that time is precious, but should also not be rushed. Remembering to spend time on the things that really matter. Sometimes that doesn't mean making something. Sacrificing sanity for the sake of making everything is not worth it in the scheme of things.
This year the reality is that the handmade presents are a little few and far between. There were some, but time didn't allow me to do all I wanted. But what I did buy was from local small businesses, which I did feel good about. A little money injected into the local economy can't be a bad thing. With a few online purchases thrown into the mix, because you can't get everything in town.
I feel like a kind of load has been taken off. For now I can concentrate on getting a start on the christmas menu. Keep it simple, I keep reminding myself.
Does anyone else struggle with this handmade christmas dilemma?