When visions of sugarplums and handmade gifts & cards start dancing in your head, it's easy to get carried away and find yourself drowning in projects and pompoms mid-December. I am determined to avoid tears & tantrums this year...
- Stock up on entertainment. Whether you watch shows via Hulu, Netflix streaming, or on an actual television, now's the time to stockpile your favorite wintry movies and episodes. My craft-time lineup includes the holiday episodes of NewsRadio (S3E10), Arrested Development (S1E8, S2E6), 30Rock (S2E9, S3E6, S4E8), and Will & Grace (S4E12 featuring Parker Posey!), "A Colbert Christmas", "The Ballet Shoes", and "Save The Last Dance" for its accurate portrayal of Chicago's brutal winters.
- Compartmentalize. I'm trying to give each project (cards, snow bottles, party crackers) its own box or tray so the supplies for each project are grouped together, rather than mixed up and multiplying before my very eyes.
- Be realistic. It's so tempting to think, "I'll be done in an hour!", but try to estimate how long each project will actually take. If you're making 30 cards, and they each take 5 minutes to make, 5 minutes to write in, and 1 minute to address & stamp, you're looking at 5 1/2 hours of work. Pace yourself accordingly.
- Make it festive. Crafting is so much more pleasant if your home is (reasonably) straightened and brightened up with festive sparkly lights or bowls of winter fruits.
- When in doubt, mull. Keeping a pot of spiced cider warmed on the stove will make your house smell lovely and you feel cozy. Once the projects are done for the day, a mug of hot spiked cider can be an excellent reward.
Image: Tess Wilson