Christmas Preparation is Not Done

… And I feel fine. Okay, mostly fine. It’s been a time this autumn. Not a bad time, just very busy, with a lot of slightly elevated stress and unexpected expenses. Also a lot of joy thrown in there too! We are healthy, safe, and loved and that’s what’s important. Although I try to show people I love that I care, my ability to be fully thoughtful for gift giving and letter/card writing is no longer a consistent thing I can deliver on. At least not right now as a working mom of a young kiddo. And that’s what I’m trying to let go of.

Some of my handmade gifts have not been posted yet. The last posting date for domestic post was very early this year due to a backlog and planned industrial action (which I support). I just managed to get most cards out before that so UK recipients should get them before Christmas and I’m hoping for mid-January for international. The card list was smaller than it would have been because I wrote cards until I ran out of stamps and posted them all by the deadline. I still haven’t started a new stack to take to the post office in town and pay for posting, and I probably won’t manage until the holidays at the earliest.

The story about posting presents gets more interesting because some gifts are still sitting around half made because I am waiting for long-ordered materials to make their way to me. Other gifts are still half made because they’re looking far uglier than imagined and planned! Ha!

And this brings us to this wreath. I pruned/gathered these cornus stems last week, bringing my total of desired components up to one category. The other components are stuck in the post, probably for quite a while. Rather than having a pile of sticks in the parlour long enough to stress out my wife (she’s usually tolerant of plants and projects being meaningfully thought about but staying stationary for around a week), I went ahead and made a done-for-now wreath. My decorative tastes are quite simple, but I had envisioned using twine on the weather and adding a winter ribbon or bow. You know what though? It matters a full zero percent that the wreath feels half made, and having the star shape on my door rates far higher.

So, some of my gifts are ugly, half made and un-sent. This time last year I was still contagious with Covid and it took me months to feel well again. My family is safe, happy and healthy and that’s a privilege. If I didn’t get anywhere near my ideal or even attempted gift and card giving this year, I’m more okay with that than I’ve ever been. I’ll just have to make sure I let people know I’m thinking of them in less well presented ways and on a looser schedule.

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