Pine Cones and Desperation

Last November, I embarked on a crusade to create all of my holiday gifts by hand.  In the short time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, I created three afghans, a shawl, two scarves, a hat, five lampwork necklaces, three pairs of lampwork earrings, a wine bottle fountain, about twelve dozen cookies, insomnia, anxiety and a killer case of carpal tunnel.  In hindsight, that crusade would have been better started in, well… July.

Last year was not a stellar year my household, financially speaking, so when I pitched the idea to my family about handmade goods only, it seemed like a budget-friendly thing to do.  As I made my twelfth “emergency” trip to the craft section at WalMart for more yarn, charging past the home goods section with the color-coordinated blankets and pillows for about 1/3 of the price of I had spent on yarn, I had to think of some other story to tell myself.

This is what I came up with:  Christmas isn’t about inexpensive electronics and mass produced clothing and home goods.  It’s about showing your family and friends that you love and value them enough to spend your time and energy to create something from you heart.  It’s most definitely not about saving money.

So back in September, with my memory and carpal tunnel faded by time, I pledged to create all my 2010 holiday gifts by hand.  But now it’s November.  Again.  And once again, I’ll most likely find myself power-shopping at my local craft store two days before Christmas, smelling the cinnamon pine cones and desperation. 

In addition to my handmade pledge 2010, I’m adding another layer of anxiety by participating in a holiday sale at my grandparent’s church, http://www.strosechurch.org/, encouraging others to at least buy handmade (www.buyhandmade.org) if they aren’t crafting it themselves. 

Heck, if everyone takes the “Buy Handmade” pledge, my jewelry business might really take off.  Then Santa might be able to afford that new that new Blu-Ray player I want.