Despite putting up the Christmas tree and having the Christmas cards addressed the weekend after Thanksgiving, this year really turned into the last-minute Christmas.
We did have some events that severely cut into my prep time, though: a late night weeding party at work; two Christmas parties on the same night; playing the piano for every Saturday night and two out of three Sunday morning contemporary services; rehearsal for the Christmas concert; the Christmas concert; babysitting for my nieces for an entire weekend; participating in two cookie exchanges; helping the DCE paint 200 Christmas tree ornament; snowstorms causing last minute schedule changes... the list goes on.
So I found myself on the morning of Christmas Eve with no present for my mother. Of course, she is one of those people who says that they never want any Christmas presents, but she goes overboard buying presents for everyone else.
The plan was to go out Christmas Eve morning to Michael's or Walmart and buy her supplies for card making, but it had been snowing for practically 24 hours straight. I really did not want to go out -- especially since the snow blower is broken and we have to shovel by hand.
So I tried to figure out what I could do for a present for my mother without leaving the house. Something I could complete by 5:30 pm when I would devote the rest of my evening to playing piano for the Christmas Eve service.
Then it hit me -- I had a blank calendar in my craft stash. I could make her a 2009 calendar and decorate it with family photos! I'd done one a long time ago and it was fun and she loved it.
So I sat down at the computer to start sorting through a year's worth of photos to figure out which ones I could use. It didn't take long to figure out that there was no realistic way I could select, crop, print, and cut up enough photos to get this completed by my deadline -- let alone come up with 12 different (and fantastic) designs for the calendar. (one for each month of the year)
Feeling discouraged, I went back into the craft stash and -- this time I hit the jackpot! I found an old 6" x 6" scrapbook that I put together at a workshop a couple of years ago. We put together the pages -- stamped, glued embellishments, etc. -- but I never put any photos in it! All I had to do was print out photos (fewer than I would need for a calendar) and glue them down!
Hot diggity daffodil!
I was on a roll. Because the pages were only 6x6 (as opposed to a 12x12 inch calendar) I could get more photos on a sheet of photo paper and it would use less ink, etc.
My first two pages printed without a hitch. But then I ran into a digital photo enthusiasts nightmare. My printer started jamming every time I went to print on photo paper. Regular paper worked fine, but the photo paper was getting chewed up at an alarming rate! And this was my good, expensive photo paper too! (I can't bear to use cheap photo paper. You have to use the good stuff to get good prints.) Anyway, 6 ruined sheets of photo paper later, I had my photos.
Then, in what can only be described as a Christmas miracle, I found myself with a two hour block of time to cut the photos apart. It was great!
Hannah needed to be at church at 4:30 so that she could be a puppeteer in the 5:00 service. So I ran her up to church taking the photos, the album and a roll of adhesive and I glued the photos in the album in plenty of time for my 7:00 service. (I even got to watch my daughter attempt to work a puppet and do Bible readings. I even took photos from the balcony!)
So mission accomplished! I would have a wonderful present for my mother when they arrived on Christmas Day.
Christmas Day my parents telephone.
They are concerned about the weather and aren't coming until Sunday........
(Hey, maybe I'll use the extra time to scan in the pages so you all can see how they turned out!)