Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wound up while winding down

Hello world,
I am not dead, I just happen to be drowning in Christmas preparations.  My dining room table is covered in wrapped presents, unwritten Christmas cards, stamps, ribbons, and so on.  Rather than bemoaning the chaos at length, I will tell you about the one clear-cut Christmas success this year.

Our Christmas tree is up, and has been since December 1st.  This, I count as a huge victory considering we came to a stylish solution that also happened to fit my ethics (don't want to kill a tree just for decorative purposes, also don't want to support the petrol industry by buying a plastic tree and having to store it the other 11 months of each year.)  I wrestled with this problem of what to do about a tree, and didn't have one for almost 10 years as a result of my ethical dilemma.  Last year Belle-Mère brought us two real trees because she thought it would make me feel more at home, and I felt pretty guilty as I watched them die, though I appreciated the sentiment that was behind them.  This year, I had an idea.  We drove to the closest bit of forest and walked around, looking for fallen branches.  At first boyfriend didn't quite get the idea:

(approaching me carrying a branch) "Here, this one's good looking, don't you think?"
"Yes, it's ... hey, wait.... this is... did you BREAK this off a LIVING tree to bring it here?"
"Yeah, well... it was kind of the whole tree.  It was young."
"DUDE!  Not the point of coming here!  Go put that thing back on the ground where you killed it."
"But it's already dead now, are you telling me I killed this thing for nothing?"
"Yes.  Now stop killing trees and help me find stuff that's dead already."

It's rather minimal, and we both like the look of it.  I like that when Christmas is all done we can remove the decorations and put the branches back in the forest.  Easy, and guilt free.  No fallen needles to deal with either!

As for the rest... oh my.  Where, oh where is my motivation?  A week and a bit until Christmas, and I haven't sent out the parcels for my family yet despite having finished all my shopping for them in November.

I've got a ton of sweets to make after already having made a bunch, and between this sort of work, work at the hotel, and the general social obligations of the fêtes I'm just feeling a little like I would rather put my feet up, and do nothing but drink tea, be massaged and sleep during my days off.  Even my new chocolate moulds haven't been enough to get me really excited.  It will get done, of course.  The family parcels will make their way out, the sweets will be finished and delivered on time, but I'm really hard-pressed to feel great about this all at this very moment, as I battle along in the alcove of doom (and procrastinate here on the internet.)  It's just not possible to gracefully handle all the sweet-making in that little space without something being sacrificed along the way.  And given that I'm not the kind of girl to sacrifice the quality of what I make... It's my holiday cheer that's been worn down instead as I swear and contort my way through making sure everything is just so.

Fortunately it will not always be like this.  We have decided upon the room that I will convert into my atelier.  A dedicated space where I can really work, rather than fight my way through.  YAY.  2011 is already looking so very much brighter for this.

So, this week:  Final sugary push in the alcove.  A crapton of stuff to do, and somehow it'll get done.  Hopefully at some point I'll stop and take pictures.  How are you faring in this final stretch of the year?

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