...I caved and started to knit some beaded ornaments as gifts.
Once I pre-string the beads, they knit up quickly. You can find the pattern details on Ravelry here. Are you making any Christmas gifts? How are they coming along?
How are your holiday preparations going? This past weekend, I was feeling so far behind. Normally we put up our faux Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving, and the other house decorations shortly after. But this year, we wanted a real Christmas tree (I love the smell of pine!) and decided it was best to wait a few weeks so the tree wouldn't dry out and lose all its needles by Christmas.
Yes, those are trash bags under the tree, skillfully clothespinned to the base to keep Tim out of the water bowl. Cats! The tree skirt will go on over them tomorrow.
The plans were all set to get the tree on Friday night, but it rained. Thankfully, we had a dry spot on Saturday to pick one out, and by Sunday night, I had the lights on. Tomorrow night we hope to finish decorating it, and then we'll address our Christmas cards. At least the shopping is finished. I like to start early so I have time to enjoy everything. I'm not sure what happened this year.
The minilights have been a real challenge. I used to be able to swap out the dead bulbs and make the light strings work. But in the past year or two, I've had whole sections of lights go dark, and changing the fuses does nothing. I found a website on how to repair the lights -- I'll spare you the details -- but generally it seems they are designed to fail and be replaced. I'm now researching other options; there are C7 and C9 lights that look like modern versions of the old, iconic lights people used to use in the 1950s-70s. The individual bulbs screw in and out, and the set looks sturdier than the minilights, especially for outdoors. Have you tried these sets -- do they last more than 1-2 years?
As you continue to enjoy the season and all its fun with your family and friends, please don't forget the animals this Christmas. I know we are barraged with requests for help; there are so many deserving children & families, soldiers, and medical charities that it can be overwhelming to know what to do. But if you have a pet, or your life has been touched by an animal, I hope you can donate a bag or a few cans of dog or cat food, a few toys, or even some used towels and pillowcases for your local shelters. Many also need laundry detergent, dish soap, and paper towels, which cost next to nothing. Rescue groups in the NY/NJ area are in desperate need of supplies; shelters were destroyed, and many animals were found homeless after Hurricane Sandy. Thank you in advance for anything you can do to make a difference for these wonderful pets.
This girl is clearly spoiled now, but we think it will be Lexy's first real Christmas this year. Last year, she probably spent Christmas outside, huddled under a bush somewhere. The Santa Kitty has got her back, and he'll be giving her a huge pack of toy mice to play with...shhhhh.