I love making homemade gifts for Christmas.
It just seems like the right thing to do.
I never seem to have enough time, though.
Every year I have such high hopes that I’ll start early.
Like in July.
Then when August rolls around, I think,
“I should get some stuff done NOW, because once school starts, it’s going to be so busy.”
But in August there’s too much vacationing, and swimming, and such.
So then September comes, and with the buying of the school supplies,
And getting ready for new classes and teachers,
No preparation for the holidays gets done.
And this is how it goes.
So I get to December.
And I start thinking about all the people that mean so much to me.
And I realize I can’t buy gifts for all of them.
But I want them to know how special they are to me.
So a homemade gift would be just the thing.
Because I can put a little of myself into it.
And let the recipient know I really care about them.
But it’s December, people.
And everyone knows how crazy things get in December.
Who in their right mind would start a bunch of homemade projects at this late date?
Ummm….that would be me.
This is how it goes down.
I get an idea.
Then I say to my husband,
“I think I’d really like to make such and such for all these people for Christmas!”
I say it real cheery-like and hopeful…like I can get it all done.
He looks at me with a worried expression and says “Really?”
He’s such a good husband, because I know what he’s thinking is,
“You are crazy, woman.
Don’t you remember last year (or the year before)
when you tried to make a thousand homemade gifts
And it all ended up in unfinished projects
And much weeping and gnashing of teeth?”
That would be me (weeping) and him (gnashing of teeth).
But he doesn’t say all that.
He just says “Really?”
So this year I tried to explain it to him.
Why I like to make homemade things.
How it’s a tradition that’s been passed down.
My Mom always did homemade things.
It’s a value that I hold.
It means a lot to me to be able to do something for my friends.
He looked at me all understanding and said “Okay!”
I’m not really sure he said it like that, with an exclamation point,
But that’s how I heard it, I think.
So I need to set this up by telling you that the neat idea I found this year
was on the Martha Stewart website.
That should have scared me off.
Because Martha I am not.
But did it?
No! It just energized me more!
(Can you sense my enthusiasm?)
Secondly, this project included using a candy thermometer.
Candy making is a tricky proposition.
Seriously, someone should have said,
“Erica, back away from the thermometer.”
Because a project like that is just asking for trouble.
If you know what I mean.
But I already had it in my mind what I was going to do.
And plus, Martha had such cute ideas for packaging.
I was hooked.
To be completely honest, I have to say that Martha’s recipe turned out terrible.
I made a whole batch.
Lots of butter, sugar, and pecans were tossed
when the whole thing turned into a gritty mess.
But I was not going to back down.
So I found a new recipe and soldiered on.
And what do you know.
We had success.
Just look at those lovely little candies.
And all lined up in their little box.
I told you the packaging was cute.
First batch of homemade gifts done.
No gnashing of teeth.
You realize this only fuels my fire.
And I am thinking of what I should make next.
I haven’t told Van yet.
I don’t want to scare him.