Friday, October 31, 2008

A Hands On Christmas

Although Halloween isn't even past and the Thanksgiving turkeys are still feeling's that time of the year: time to make Christmas lists.

We do not have television at our house. Well, we do have a television but it only plays DVD or videos--no television reception. Yep, not even from the free stations. This seems to cut down on Needitis. You know that disease. The symptoms are whining, fevers, hissy fits, stomping of appendages, crying. The patient believes that only a very specific cure will save her. This cure is usually something involving Hannah Montana (we've never even seen the programme) or glitter or a doll.

Needitis often comes on the heels of a trip to the store. You have to be careful because it is very contagious. Once one member of the family comes down with it...well, you know how it goes. Needitis can strike any time of the year but the height of it's season is, of course, Christmas.

I'm not immune to puppy dog eyes and pleading soft voices (warning: whining triggers an automatic no response in me). So Christmas is a struggle: do I get the things they want? do I contribute to the wealth of industrialists and lead producers in China? do I create storage and cleaning nightmares in my house? how much is too much?

This year I'm trying a hands-on approach. Every year I like to make many of the presents we give. I'm a crafty kind of girl. ;-) But this year Jeff and I are going radical. We have purchased one present for the entire family: a Wii system. It came yesterday and is safely tucked away. That's it. That's all the buying for this little family of six we are doing. Jeff and I will make everything else.

What's on my to-do list? First, I'm making ponchos for the girls. I know. I, who lived through the fashion disaster known as the 70s, shudder at the thought of ponchos too. But the girls love them. We've got a couple that friends have handed down to the girls. Second: play food. Most play food is made with soft plastics that I figure are ripe for causing cancer and containing lead. I'm doing crocheted cookies, felt eggs, pizza with toppings. Jeff is making doll furniture.

I don't have all my chicks in a row yet. I'm still considering other options--especially something for Jeff. But I have got a good start which means that hopefully I will not fall victim to another holiday disease: stressitis.

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