It’s a Holiday!

Christmas has come and gone, and 2011 is quickly approaching.

I could not be more pleased.

The house has been full to burst the last few days with family. An Uncle, Aunt and two cousins from Kansas, Grandma and Grandpa, Sister and her Boyfriend, Brother and his wife (and for a moment his wife’s parents), and a small dog have brought cheer and a lot of traffic to the Shelton home. On top of the extended family I’ve been commuting every day from Lacey in order to spend time with my family as I am currently cat sitting for a friend.

It has been really nice to see all of my family, but has also been lovely to have a calm apartment to come “home” to after such rambunctious days.

Cat sitting will be concluded tomorrow, and then I must go home and overhaul my basement. It was destroyed in the Homemade-Christmas-Apocalypse. On that note, let us switch to presents.

Presents, presents, presents.

I love giving presents.

I love getting presents.

So all in all, Christmas is great for me.

Unfortunately this year the big Grinch named tuition decided to come knocking and take all but two of my dollars. I was rather silly and neglected to take photos of anything I made, so you will just have to use your imagination. I made some jewelry and accessories for my mother, sister, and sister-in-law. For my brother, I wanted to make him something fun, useful, and personal. I was also a little tuckered out by this time so I didn’t want to make anything too complicated. Ties, vests, bags, and many other items were discarded as not fitting these criteria but eventually I came up with something quite delightful. I would make my brother handkerchiefs embroidered with his initials.

For everyone else I took a gorgeous golden satin and made little gift bags with a gold ribbon drawstring, and each bag had the giftee’s initial on it in a unique color. I then baked cookies to put in the gift bags. I baked chocolate chip cookies, but discovered halfway through the process that dad had used up all of the chocolate chips in his zucchini bread. Not one to be defeated, I found some Hershey’s kisses and chopped them up into bits. There were not quite enough for the batch of cookies so I had to make a very difficult decision.

I always keep a bar or two of Trader Joe’s dark chocolate in my desk drawer so that when I am hormonal or especially cravy I have a delicious remedy near at hand. This chocolate is precious to me. But for the sake of Christmas, I sacrificed an entire bar of that heavenly treat. I took the bar downstairs, unwrapped it carefully without ripping the outer sleeve, and then proceeded to violently chop it up with the largest knife I could find and toss it into the cookies.

I hope that my gift was appreciated.

So that is what I gave.

As to what I received…

*I would like to take some time now to say that I am extremely blessed, and I have a most generous family who loves to show love through gifting. I do not know what your Christmas traditions are like, but we Schnabels love to give give give.

Let us start, as is proper, with the stocking first. I love stockings. I would say I love them the most, but I think I love all gifting equally. But there may be just a little extra jolly sparkly magical joy contained in stockings.

In addition to Christmas cheer, my stocking contained lots of candy (most of which I donated to the communal bowl as I am trying not to consume much more), and the usual gum and mints and mentholated chapstick. Then, things got  a little bit more interesting. I pulled out a tiny tube of airborne and a bag of cough drops. That made me laugh. There was some Trader Joe’s dark chocolate (so my sacrifice was replaced, but I didn’t know it was going to be at the time!). There was also a heavy glass bottle. I know my parents so I knew it was not alcohol, but I purposefully did not pull it out until the very end. My mother put a bottle of olive oil in my stocking. I guess the theme this year was things I use regularly?

Now for the rest:

There was a large box under the tree wrapped in metallic candy cane striped paper with my name on it. I wanted it to be  a  mixer, but I knew that the dimensions were just a tiny bit off. It was actually something I have wanted for as long as I have wanted a mixer, and it will be a huge help to me. I was given a four-spool serger. This will make making clothes so much easier. My parents also gave me a beautiful rolling bag to store the serger in.

My Kansas relatives gave me cute snowflake knee-high socks, and a padded prayer journal.

My Sister gave me old clothes and bath supplies and fabric. I am excited to root through it all.

My Brother and Sister-In-Law gave me a lovely edition of four Philip K. Dick stories in one. I’ve read two previously, and loved them, so I am excited about the collection.

Then, my Grandparents went crazy with the gift-giving as well. First off (which I actually opened second), they gave me a giant cutting mat which completely covers my cutting table they gave me last year. I was delighted on receiving it, because the tiny mat I had before was a nuisance. I would have to constantly move it around under my fabric in the middle of cutting. Now, I can simply lay out a pattern piece and cut away. This, in itself, was a huge gift. I also received another box from my Grandparents. This one contained embroidery software, so that I can design my own embroidery designs. This is also extremely generous, and I am so overjoyed and humbled to be entrusted with these things. I really need to get better at sewing…   They also gave me two double-needles which I am excited to try out, and I was lent a rolled hem foot. I am so excited about this as well–it will make finishing certain garments so easy.


Needless to say I am overwhelmed by the wonderful presents I received on Christmas. I have enjoyed my relatives’ company and cat sitting, but I am looking forward to the rest of break so that I can get a chance to use everything.

One of my goals for this semester is to figure out some merchandise that is cost-efficient to make which I can sell on Etsy. We shall see what I come up with.

Now I’m off to finish reading Committed. Before break is over I have a lot of reading and practicing to do, and not much time left to do it in.


a lucky


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