“Why do you do these things to yourself?” I was asked last week, when I was an an event where I mentioned I’d forgotten to bring a project and I was rather annoyed by that since I had a million and one advent projects on the hop.
At first I laughed it off. “Do you even know me?”, because this is something I do every year. I burn out during blogtober, I go to ground in November, I burst out of the gates at the beginning of December ready to Do All The Things. I get to mid December and wonder whyyyy I decided to do so much.
And I know it seems ridiculous – this year alone I have no less than ten festive projects on the go. To me, Christmas wouldn’t feel like Christmas if I wasn’t making like a crazy person. This year especially, with the children being older and with declining enthusiasm for mummy’s advent activity calendar, I find filling the gaps with my own projects helpful. In conversation with a friend during the week, I realised part of it stems from a deep desire to have a normal, boring, crafty, fun Christmas. 2022 was The Year The Plague Came To Visit. 2021 and 2020 were obviously high alert years in the early stages of the pandemic. 2019 was Burn Baby Burn, with Black Summer raging in full force, and our own property directly impacted. 2018 was the final year of Santa photos and not only was it insanely busy, but logistically it was also our hardest year, and I slumped across the finish line completely wiped out.
That brings us back to 2017, six whole years ago, being the last year Christmas felt vaguely normal, when stress was “Will AusPost get my parcel here on time” and not “what brand of the apocalypse will we find in our stocking this year”. No wonder I’m a manic crazy crafting lady this year.
Of course, nothing is ever as simple as “I wish we could go back to that time”, because of course we can’t. The seismic shifts of the last few years have marked us, as individuals and as a society. We’ve grown and changed, and the burn out is real. If I’m busy making all the things though, I can pretend for a moment that everything is still the old normal.
It probably doesn’t hurt also that it’s a nice tangible way to help me procrastinate on all the things I should be doing. The cabin still needs cleaning. The fridge needs rearranging to make way for the Christmas groceries. The rug needs shampooing and the school room still isn’t fully unpacked. House guests land in five days. Santa comes in six. The to-do list is growing by the minute. I might just finish another block of my Christmas quilt first though before I make a start…