On A Mission
November 13th, 2008 by Sonja

Or maybe two or three.

I made a decision last year sometime.  I don’t remember when it was.  But I remembered it this year and I had time to make good on it.  The decision was that I would make our Christmas gifts for extended family members.  I think the decision began sometime around “Make Something Day,” but by then it was too late for me.  Especially since I had 35 people in my house that day.  And it took me … uh … weeks to recuperate.

This year is different.  We’re not having a big, ornate Thanksgiving.  The day after LightHusband is taking the LightKids to go play paintball with one of his compatriots at work.  Most importantly, we are not painting the house all autumn.  On the other hand … this means that the house is all wrecky.  And making me slightly insane.

So I have spent the last several days pouring through tutorial websites, blogs and magazines finding cool things to make for my nieces, nephews, siblings, in-laws, out-laws, etc.   There was a condition though.  I had to have most, if not all, of the materials on hand for the project.  And it has to be fairly simple.  In other words, these gifts have to be made out of stuff I already have and not take too much time or energy.  There will be a few things I have to purchase (like some plastic mesh to make a fabric garage & doll house).  But for the most part, I will be able to make these gifts with stuff I already have.

Then I spent an inordinate amount of time organizing myself.  Making lists of what I would make and in what order.  I’m using Evernote to keep track of all the websites and people/gift recipients, and I’m using Things to keep track of the when and how.   If you’re also interested in making your gifts this year, start with Sew Mama Sew.  It’s a group blog and they’re doing gift tutorials every day this month that link to other blogs, which (of course, branch out to others.  For even more inspiration, they did this last year, so if you click on “November 2007” you get even more ideas.  Everyday they have gift ideas centered on a particular theme (such as teachers, or books or cold weather) with tutorials, gifts to buy that are handmade, patterns to buy and then homemade food recipes (like homemade marshmallows! yum!).

Mission number two involves the hockey team (what else?).  We’re traveling out of state about 12 days before Christmas to play a couple of games.  This involves a hotel stay.  I usually organize some activity while we’re in the hotel to prevent large groups of young women from roaming the corridors in the evening teeheeing and making too much noise for the other guests.  The girls don’t seem to understand that no one else wants to hear them.  So for this trip I’m organizing dinner out and then a Christmas party back at the hotel.  I thought it would be a good idea (based on some discussions last year) if the Christmas party were to involve some sort of charitable activity/donation to a local shelter.  So I have to call them this morning and find out what we might be able to do for them in that situation.  That’s just an extra wrinkle in my planning/organizing.  I’ve found a bunch of fun games for the tween/teen set that can be played in a hotel setting.  We’ll be having fun.

Mission number three is to return to my old tradition of making plum pudding this year.  I use my Welsh great, great grandmother’s recipe handed down to me by my grandmother.  I dropped it for a couple of years because I was having such a difficult time finding suet, among other things.  But I think I can find it again this year.  So I’ll be making my plum puddings in a couple of weeks.  Ready to go for Christmas dinner.  YUM!!

UPDATE:  Eureka!  I found the suet at a small local butcher shop about 7 miles out of town.  When giving directions, the man told it was next to some antique shops and he said, “But you have to spend more here than on antiques,” in a gravelly southern accent.  I cheerfully assured him I’d rather have some good beef than an antique (never mentioning that this close to DC they’re likely to be overpriced junk in any case).  I’m going to pick it up this afternoon.  And dig out my grandmother’s recipe to get the rest of the ingredients this weekend.

In all, though, my missions seem to be taking me away from the computer.  In addition, I’m trying to do more reading and I have some quilts that are slowly being pieced as well.  So if you don’t see me very much around here, don’t worry.  I’m still here.  Just trying to be faithful to my missions and get them accomplished.  You’ll prob’ly see more of me in the New Year.  As I stay off the roads while LightGirl learns to drive!!!

5 Responses  
  • brad writes:
    November 12th, 200810:53 amat

    re: Mission #1 – praying you find no ‘imp’ in the middle of ‘simple.’ amen? amen!

    re: Mission #3 – i’ll be making a delectible steamed cranberry pudding with cream sauce for the holidays. hooray!

    re: Mission #2 – you are amazing. sure your name shouldn’t be LightYearsAheadMom?

    rock on! and see, we random thinkers don’t have to reassemble everything in sequential order just because it is there …

  • Lyn writes:
    November 12th, 200811:20 amat

    Well, I think you’re wonderful for doing all of those things. Have FUN. I can’t believe your daughter is old enough to learn how to drive – times flies by! If you have trouble locating suet let me know and I’ll post some over to you.

  • LightMother writes:
    November 13th, 200810:20 pmat

    Yikes…let her father teach her – he did a good job teaching you.

  • Sally writes:
    November 14th, 20088:06 amat

    Good grief Sonja, I am exhausted just reading that list, being a non-crafty person myself it makes me feel quite inadequate to read all this busyness!

    Hope it all goes well, that out of town hockey tri sounds wonderful, have fun!

  • Christine Sine writes:
    November 19th, 200812:36 amat

    Sonja I agree with Sally – how on earth do you manage to do all of this? Thanks for the good suggestions though. I love the Sew Mama Sew website. I gave up making plum pudding years ago but I still make a good English fruit cake and loads of Scottish shortbread courtesy of my Scottish grandmother.

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