I now only have 5 Christmas gifts left to complete. There are 27 days until Christmas. I may be able to make it, but 2 of those 5 gifts don't have to be actually finished, as they are for my children, and they aren't that interested in the gifts anyway. They may be belated Christmas gifts. I do have some travel time coming up, which should help complete at least one of those final 3 and get started on another one.
I'm taking a cue from the Yarn Harlot this year, and I've made a Christmas Planner spreadsheet. Sure, it may sound a little Type-A, but it helps tremendously. I've got my gifts in there, my food, my stockings (we do old-fashioned ones, and I like to make sure everyone has one - they actually come out more like gift bags, but one of these years they might actually be in stockings, or shoeboxes, as in days of yore), and my Christmas card list. I can keep all the pieces together this way, and hopefully just use it year after year, unless someone moves. It's easier than manually transferring all the names and addresses to a new planner each year, and it will also be easy to do a mail merge for labels for the cards. Yes, I know - it's not exactly handmade, but let's face it - how many people actually send out Christmas cards anymore? I don't get all that many (not that I ever did, but I did get more than Charlie Brown) and most people would rather send an email than an actual card or letter. I'm not doing the whole "Family Letter" thing - to be honest, there haven't been that many changes in the past year to write about. Maybe one year, if we have a HUGE year full of massive, major, life-changing events happen. But for now, everyone just gets a picture of the family with Christmas wishes.
The presents for my kiddos are quilts. Here's the interesting thing: I'm the first one in 2 generations to do this. The last one who actually quilted by my knowledge was my great-grandmother, after whom I'm named. Go figure - I've picked up a lot of her stuff. I've been working with my sewing machine, which is about 8 years old, and although it was expensive at the time (over $300 on sale), it's a cheap machine. I have to keep the tension on 0 in order for it to work; otherwise, the thread is all screwy on the back. But, it does what it needs to in order for me to start these quilts. I'm learning as I go, mainly because 1) no one else in my family does this and 2) I could take a class if it weren't for 2 big deciding factors - time and money. I could possibly squeak out the time, but the money is another issue. Perhaps one of these days I can take a class, and then I'll figure out all the things I've done wrong. Or maybe, I'll wait on the rest of the quilt tops until after the first of the year, take a class, and then complete them. I started on the one for Princess, and I can tell there's some issues with the pieced blocks - squaring them up will be a trick and a half. But, if I can make some mistakes, learn from them, and fix them, then so much the better. I like learning experiences.