When I’m not reading, writing, running a Brownie unit and all of the other assorted things I’ve blogged about, I love to cross stitch. I’ve always enjoyed it, but I really got into it when I was first ill and needed something that I could do on the sofa and would make me feel productive. It is also excellent for keeping the fine motor skills going when you have a condition that makes you shaky and fumble-fingered. And this year, martyr that I am, I have sworn that rather than spend a small fortune in the shops in November everyone will be getting something hand-made.
This might not seem like such a big deal until you start to realise the size of my Christmas list. I am one of five children, all but one of whom are married (or close enough). My husband is one of five children, all of whom are married. I have 10 nieces and nephews, and one more on the way. I also include my fellow Brownie leaders, a few friends and the children of a few more friends. All in all, my list tops out around 50. That works out at about one project a week.
Luckily, I can stitch for ages. I can sit for hours with a decent DVD and stitch quite happily. I can even stitch while I play computer games if I’m feeling particularly co-ordinated. The problem is that I don’t. Since my health started to pick up a very little about 2 years ago I am no longer housebound and that means that I do stuff. And I get carried away. Back in my housebound days I would probably be about halfway towards my goal by now, but nowadays I’m busy doing things and I’m not resting enough.
It’s really frustrating sometimes to feel so much better than I was only a couple of years ago and still have to take plenty of time out to rest, and that’s why this project is such a good move. It makes resting guilt-free. Christmas usually costs a small fortune, and if I can make all of our gifts (or at least a good percentage of them) it will save us a lot of stress in the new year. Yes, I could be cleaning the oven, but I need to make this child’s nameplate as well. Oh dear. What a pity. An afternoon of Marple and cross stitch it is. My bank balance and my spoon balance will thank me in the long run.
Over the course of the year you may get updates of how my stitching marathon is going. I’ll have to be a bit discrete in how much detail I provide, as I wouldn’t want to spoil any surprises if friends and family read my blog without my knowing, but it’s a project I’m proud of.
Have you ever tried to make Christmas cheaper with a pledge like this? How did it work out for you? Let me know in the comments section below.