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Elfin Magic

And this should officially wrap up the numerous posts which have featured the Christmas quilts in all their various stages of completion. They’re done, one’s gone on to its recipient, and that’s that.

I do love them, though. Here’s the “hers” version:

[Special thanks to Kelli for the generous donation of the poinsettia fabric. I actually used it, Kel! Woo hoo!]

and “his”:

Both feature the Elf Stitchettes that were posted over on Wee Wonderfuls last year. I instantly fell in love with the patterns…and promptly filed them away for this year. A girl has to know her limits.

OK, so as you can see, I took the term “free motion” to the extreme when it came to the quilting. I had a loose idea for some sort of snaily, spirally quilting, and then I saw one that Cherri (of Cherry House Quilts fame) was working on. It was so beautiful! So I scrapped that idea, because I knew mine would not come out nearly as perfect. But, you know, you have to start somewhere, so I stuffed down my ego and gave it a go. The boy’s was first [yeah, bet you couldn’t tell], and the girl’s showed marked improvement. See? It’s good to try! And guess what? Neither kid noticed, so there you go.

That’s my encouraging lesson for today: Gifts for the youngest members of your clan are a great place to experiment with new techniques.

Speaking of gifts, something occurred to me last night as I was checking my list for the billionth time. I’m a pretty gifty person by nature. I love thinking of gifts, and making them, and finding fun stuff to go along with the handmade goodies, but Christmas still has sort of a burdensome feeling to it. Do you know why? Because it’s hard to find just the right something for more than twenty people and get it all ready for/delivered on a single day. Sure, you can shop throughout the year, but will they have already bought it for themselves between April and December? Will it have been marked down 60%, which will make you feel like an idiot for jumping the gun? If you give it to them early, will they remember it later? (Not if they’re kids!) And you can’t just provide a token at Christmas with the promise that the “real” gift will follow later in the year, because that right there all but guarantees that you will never find that perfect gift. Oh, that’s the death knell for sure. I’ve given IOU gifts before, and it’s proven to be a curse most of the time. I think that’s for people far more motivated than myself; my brain slides the gift into the “done” category immediately after issuing the promise of what’s to come, anyway.

I’m not looking for any answers here, mind you. It just felt good to get it off of my chest, because it’s been bothering me the past couple of years that the whole gift-giving bonanza was beginning to cause me serious anxiety. Identifying the heart of the problem has made me feel better already. On top of that, I can once again be thankful that I no longer work full-time in an office that has a Secret Santa gift exchange, which is something I came to loathe. Oh, let’s set a dollar limit, yes, wonderful. But no, the idea is not to see how creative you can be for a buck or two. No, you should either pick up some truly random madness from the dollar store, or spend far more than a dollar and then crab about the cheap people who only spend a dollar. And then, on the Grand Prize day, why not opt to exchange $20 gift cards in lieu of gifts? You know, because I want a guarantee that I’m going to like what you give me. (Although, in fairness, you should have seen some of that stuff. Really.) Hey, I have a better idea: Let’s keep our twenties in our pockets and forget it, ok? Bah humbug. And even if you don’t have all that to contend with, it’s complicated trying to decide where to cut off the gift-giving. Exchange just amongst the members of your team? Does that count the executives, and if so, how many? Because there are at least a half dozen for every worker. No, I don’t miss that part of it too much. Joey and I will host our annual “office” party in a couple of weeks. Our CEO will likely inspire us with a toast, hors d’oeuvres will be passed ’round the table, and a good time will be had by all. God bless us every one!


6 responses »

  1. Umm, I feel like the toast will go somewhat like this: “this was a great year for the abc’s, next time won’t you sing with me?”

  2. I love your little quilts – thanks for the compliment about my quilting!

    Happy Saturday,


  3. Congratulations on finishing your quilt projects. They are both very lovely and the recipients will certainly be thrilled with them.

  4. Love the quilts and am ‘in love’ with the stitchettes!

    I have always loved picking out Christmas gifts and (dork alert) even keep an Excel file of ideas year-long. But it can feel really burdensome! There are a few people I could buy 20 gifts for and then there are a few people I feel I never get right. And sometimes it just feels like we’re trading money. My goal this year is to be done with gifts by the 15th so I can enjoy all the other great things about the holidays – cookies, snow, carolling, etc.

  5. I totally get your frustration with the Christmas gifting. I also love the whole gift-giving tradition, I love finding / making the perfect gift as much as I love getting the perfect gift. But I think that’s the whole problem – the “perfect” gift. I put WAY too much stress on myself, and then I start to get resentful towards the people who obviously don’t even try to find something for me that is even remotely like me. And it doesn’t help that my husband’s entire attitude towards Christmas is crap. Things got a lot easier when we stopped doing Secret Santa at work at least, one less stress. Now if I could just skip out on the black-tie office party!

  6. I am madly in love with the green quilt. You made some awesome use of the pointsetta fabric too! WOO HOO!!
    And as for your holiday buying issue? I know you aren’t looking for solutions, but mine are these:
    1. Online shopping. I think I may own about 1/2 of at this point.
    2. Baking with great ribbon and notes to jazz up the gift
    3. Margaritas. oh wait, that is a gift for me…


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