The gifting has already begun, in fact. We try to wait until Christmas before giving anything ourselves, but a few have bestowed lovely offerings on us and our children already and I do think it polite to open a gift when the giver is present. My dad, who likes to play up the scrooge thing but is a very generous giver, doesn't believe in surprises and shipped us a couple of boxes from Amazon as well. Our kids get so overwhelmed by all the gift opening that I opened the Amazon packages early, removed an item or two that would be meaningful to unwrap and shelved the rest of the items for a rainy day. I even shelved my own gift in anticipation of our long car trip tomorrow.
Speaking of which, I really shouldn't be blogging this evening because we're leaving in the morning for a trip that will encompass twelve days, five abodes, and about thirty-five of our closest relatives and friends. All this visiting during this, our leanest year yet, stretched my gift-giving muscles a bit. I wish I could say that I took a handmade pledge and that I just love handcrafting gifts for people, but I really don't. I'm not crafty and I get frustrated very easily. But, I think I'll call this year a success in that department, anyway, and if the recipients are duly pleased, I may ramp up my efforts next year with some advanced planning.
My gourmet spice mixes were easy enough to mix once I got my bulk order in from the co-op. Robyn was here this week and managed to show even me how to make nice looking labels for the tops of the canning jars. She came well-armed with tools and supplies and I think the results are great. Even Eric was pleased. Each of nine family members will receive four mixes.
Other than those nine family members our gift list is pretty short but I did manage to get together a hefty box of cookies and fudge for a dear friend--a priest whose parishoners really should take better care of him.
Our immediate family has decided to have our own small celebration for Epiphany and exchange gifts then. This saves a good deal of time in wrapping things for Eric and Margaret tonight. I also don't feel as guilty about not even having a gift for Joseph, yet. And I'll have time to finish Margaret's doll.
This is the project that might really sell me on handcrafts. I more or less made up this pattern, the hair, and the stuffing material. I've never made a doll (or anything else) before, but I love how this has turned out. Here she sits, posing with the piece of fabric that will one day turn into a dress for her. The hair is not sewn down and Joseph is quite disturbed at the lack of face, but I think I'll have plenty of time to finish it between the end of our trip and Epiphany and I think the kids will benefit from having their gifts spread out a bit. It is really hard to make this lovable little thing, though, and not be able to bestow it immediately on my lovable little daughter.
I doubt that I'll blog before the New Year. A blessed Advent and Merry Christmas to you all!