It's all over now and thank goodness! I like Christmas and all but however lovely and joyous it is, it's always a relief to me when it's done. Now, there's just the relaxing and reflecting part to revel in. My oldest daughter is off from school til the year turns and we can all hang out and make things because we want to and not just because we have a project with a deadline on our to-do list.
I think you all know at this point that Stephen and I decided to give only handmade gifts for Christmas this year. We did cave a bit towards the end and put store-bought candy and some other purchased odds and ends in the stockings. And after some skepticism, Stephen elected to include things made with a computer under the umbrella of handmade. (Which I'm glad about because I am the delighted owner of a fantastic new mix CD with some bands I'd never heard of before but now LOVE. Beirut, LCD Soundsystem, TV on the Radio...)
I've made the executive decision to always have handmade Christmases from now on and am even toying with the idea of making a personal policy of exclusively handmade gift-giving. Aside from the benefits I mentioned in this post, there was an additional perk I wasn't expecting to have happen. I don't know about the rest of you, but on Christmas mornings past, we've had bag after ridiculous bag of packaging scraps, plastic casings, and shredded wrapping paper to take out. A family of four--and this year, of five!--generates a lot of packaging waste. But this year? We had hardly any clean-up and only one not-quite-full bag of un-reusable wrapping paper to take out. All the love and none of the guilt! I love that.
In the interest of full disclosure here, I will mention one downside. If you're the kind of guy person who likes to do the vast majority of your gift procurement on Christmas Eve, handmaking everything may not be for you. Because you probably can't get it all done in one day. You know, I'm just sayin'.