This year I had decided to make most of the Christmas gifts for our family. Mr. I is still at the age where he counts the presents under the tree, but the older kids all wanted to tone down the gift card exchange this year. One, it gets boring. Two, it's expensive. And three, what's the point? And they are also growing up to not see the holiday in a materialistic way, but to bless others. Wouldn't all the money we spend on things we don't need be better put to use feeding a child in Africa, or starting a business in Nicaragua? It really makes my heart feel good that my older kids have grown up to be loving people that care for others more than themselves.
On the other hand, I do like to show my love to my family with things I make with my own hands. When I make things for others, I am also reminded to pray for them. It means more to me to give something I made to another person rather than just pulling something off a store shelf in a mad rush to give them anything. And so I had a goal of making something for each one of the family, which with three sons, five daughters and daughters-in-law, and one grandson is a pretty big job. (Hubby says he doesn't want anything.)
So I had plans to sew, knit, and crochet gifts. And then life happened. Emergency room visits, hospitalization, illnesses, migraines, a birthday baby quilt that took a little longer than expected to make, and the busyness of life slowed me down. I was getting a little worried. But today I turned elf girl and made and wrapped two gifts! Of course, these were the fastest ones to make, but it's a start.
So often I get discouraged by the enormity of a task. I spend too much time dreading it, worrying about it, or just plain procrastinating. "Oh, I wonder if someone wrote on my Facebook page in the last hour?" "Oh I need to do some errands." But if the task is broken down into steps and the fastest things are done in the beginning, it seems to give me an extra push to do the rest. Sometimes when the to-do list is really long I'll prioritize, doing the most important things first. But one of the priorities is to do something early in the process that can be finished quickly and give me a sense of accomplishment.
So Elf Girl got out her sewing machine today and even though she broke three needles, she got two presents done. And tomorrow there will hopefully be more!