I had an interesting conversation with a friend yesterday about the pressure we as women put on ourselves to create the perfect holiday for our families. This friend is having one of the most stress-filled holiday seasons ever, and yet due to the love and kindness of her family members, she experienced the perfect Christmas day with her family. Perfect in that they were there for one another and had a lovely day together.
The photo above is an example of me going over the top in an attempt to make the holidays a bit more perfect for my family. I found the pattern for this lovely wine gift box at SVGcuts.com. I love their projects and I truly liked the wine box a member of their design team created for the holidays. So I decided at 11:30 pm on Dec 23rd that I should make the box RIGHT THEN for Bethany's stocking stuffer.
Bethany and John became engaged at Biltmore Estate in December of 2013. It was a lovely setting for John to ask Bethany to spend the rest of their lives together. While at Biltmore they also toured the Biltmore Winery, where they discovered a wonderful light white wine that they loved. I decided to purchase a bottle of the wine for them to celebrate their "engaged-iversary" at a later date after the baby comes. So I worked on this box for an hour and a half until, at 1:00 am, I gave up on getting the lid to the box to work correctly and I went to bed.
We opened gifts on the 24th because we are now sharing holidays with the in-laws. Last year we had Christmas day, so this year we had Christmas Eve. When I gave Bethany her bottle of wine she was excited, but assured me that I did not have to make a gift box for her!! I had made the box so that the gift would be better than "just a bottle of your favorite wine". Silly me.
Oh, and before you ask, the reason I was so late starting the wine box is because I was baking, cooking, and cleaning the kitchen before I moved on to the wine box.
Christmas Eve I started baking again as soon as I got up. The plan was for our family to decorate their crazy Christmas cookies, have party appetizers, and then to open gifts together. I did not plan on Aaron being ill and Ian feeling poorly also. So, even with all of my planning and over management of details, it was not the day I planned. It WAS a fun day with so many fabulous surprises and memorable moments, but it did not go exactly as I planned. So the lesson of Christmas 2014 for me is that I need to relax and stop over planning everything, and just learn to live in the moment.
Back to my friend Peggy and our conversation - Peggy's daughter and son-in-law are expecting their second child (due Feb 1). On Monday, December 15 Megan's water broke while she was at the Elementary school where she teaches. To make a long story a bit shorter, Megan has been in the hospital since the 15th. The first week of that time, Peggy had to take time off of her job and stay with Megan. Peggy was needed at the hospital because Megan's 2 year old came down with the flu and his daddy had to stay with him. Dad and the baby were, of course, banned from the hospital until the flu was gone.
The doctors managed to stop Megan's labor. They gave her the meds to mature the baby's lungs and they gave her antibiotics to keep her from getting an infection. They were hoping to keep the baby from arriving before the 27th, when he would have far fewer preemie issues. But through it all, Megan stayed in the hospital, isolated from her little family for the first week, but with the constant support of her mother.
With all of this going on, Peggy still needed to complete her own Christmas shopping. But when your child has something so serious going on in her life, you drop EVERYTHING and go into full-on Mom mode! Peggy decided that everyone would understand if she and her husband gave mostly gift cards as gifts this year. I volunteered to pick up the gift cards, but she thought between them that she and her husband had that covered.
Knowing that Peggy is a paper crafter, a very organized woman, and a bit of a perfectionist, I volunteered to make gift card holders for her so that she could feel better about her gift card giving. She took me up on my offer and I went to work.
In the past I ran a program called "sharing the gift of Christmas". It has been several years since we were involved with the program, but it was not until I spent 9 hours making gift card holders for Peggy that I remembered how good it feels to put everything in your life aside to do something for someone else! Making 13 gift card holders was my Christmas labor of love - which was truly not a labor at all. I wanted Peggy's gift cards to come in festive packages, personalized for the recipients.
The photos in this post are quick photos (read not the best photos) that I took of the 13 gift card holders.
There were five different styles of boxes/holders used. I cut all of the elements with my Cricut Explore.
After I took the photos I went back and added additional doodles to the boxes as well as to/from labels and tags.
I know that the gift card holders were a small thing, but I truly enjoyed contributing to Peggy's family's Christmas.
One last note - Megan is having the baby TODAY. Sometime mid-morning her sweet son will be delivered. Please say a prayer that both Megan and baby are well. The baby is a bit bigger than the doctors thought, so I am hopeful that all will go well today.
UPDATE: Baby Braden was born this morning weighing 5 lb 6 oz and he was 17.75 inches. Mom and baby are doing well. Braden was born exercising his lungs loudly!
If you made it through this long post, you deserve an award!
Thanks for dropping by today.
Are any of you like me and sad that it will be months and months until you once again craft Christmas projects?