People tease me about being organized.
Okay, so I'm a little beyond your run-of-the-mill "organized."
Truth be told, I have OCD tendencies. It's typical for someone with GAD. I've always been like this. My mother has the same thing - which is why we can't be in a room together for more than 30 minutes. It is our genetic cross to bear.
Anyhoodle, Christmas has always been a bit of an issue for both of us.
My mother starts Christmas shopping in January for the next year. Her Christmas cards are addressed at Halloween.
Me? Long about, oh, NOW, I start obsessing over Christmas: Christmas shopping, Christmas cards (the fact that I blew off Christmas cards last year was HUGE), Christmas baking, Christmas decorating. Baaahhhh!!! Too much to do!
Note to Hobby Lobby: the fact that you start dragging out Christmas trees on July freaking Fifth does not help people like me.
The responsibilities and - dare I say it? - chores associated with a traditional American Christmas celebration are enough to drive even the least obsessive person past the brink of fresh-baked, twinkle-lighted, Rockwell-esque insanity.
Mid-June marks the beginning of, "Oh SHIT, Christmas is right around the corner! Wasn't it JUST Christmas? What happened to St. Valentine's Day? And Easter? Did I miss them? Ohshitohshitohshit...I need to start working on Christmas projects NOW!"
I kid you not, I had that EXACT thought/panic attack yesterday.
This year's stress is partially self-induced. Not just because this is my own little problem in my own little head. No. I've compounded the already touchy issue by deciding that I am going to give hand-made gifts this year, whenever possible. (The guys won't get sewn/knit goodies, because I am not yet talented enough to crochet Home Depot gift cards - but I'll get there).
Last year, thanks in small part to the fact that I spent Christmas Eve with my (only) two cousins, and I bought small gifts for them - but due in LARGE part to Hubster's rapidly breeding family - I spent Two Thousand Dollars on Christmas.
Remember that we have no kids, and Hub and I didn't buy for each other last year. I spent TWO GRAND on immediate family and all their children. My MIL refuses to draw names for adult gifts, so we have to buy for every sister and BIL, and their children, and now their spouses and children. And the "Steps" - don't forget the step-parents.
I swore in January that Christmas 2009 would be either 1) Handmade 2) Hard Candy or 3) spent on the lam in Mexico...but that was before H1N1.
So, I've spent the last several months collecting sewing patterns for aprons and market bags to make for the family womenfolk. You don't want an apron? Tough shit. Regift it.
According to The Plan, I'm going to use up a large chunk of my fabric stash - in which I've invested thousands of dollars over the years - thereby freeing up room in the spare bedroom for an actual bed, AND avoiding the spending of fresh cash on store-bought gifts nobody really wants or needs anyway. How the hell many candles can you give a person?
The Plan is perfect. It's nearly ev-il in its perfection.
Except for one, small, detail: I have no free time.
Because I tend to obsess, every minute of every day is consumed with the Big Job, helping Hub with our business, blogging ::grin::, housework, yardwork, cooking/canning/freezing and errand-running. I don't "do" free time.
So let's review: I now have patterns, fabric, a plan and six months in which to execute Operation Handmade Holiday from Hell.
I should sell squares to you all, so you can guess the date on which I'll SNAP and run blindly, wildly, through Stein Mart, snatching up random tchotchkies to throw at people on Christmas Day. I could take a percentage of the winnings and apply it toward Xmas 2010: The Holiday From a Padded Cell. In which I do all of my shopping online....
PS - If any ONE of you comments that I'm missing The Reason for the Season, I will hunt you down and beat you to death with a Yule Log.