Ok, so I've managed to put my own spin on this, but anyone familiar with my mom can see the strong influence she's had on my style. May the universe have mercy on me and all who have to deal with me on a daily basis.
Step One. Wait until approx Dec. 18th to start thinking about preparing for the holidays.
Step Two. Realize that preparing requires a lot more time than you have. This is particularly true because your decorations are still in Pittsburgh and you had grand illusions of making a gazillion things yourself. Ha.
Step Three. Take a moment for a small breakdown/tantrum. Then pull yourself together and decide you are going to pull this off.
Step Four. Go to a craft or sewing store and just randomly pick out supplies. Make sure you do not have a clear plan or any idea of how to go about creating the vague ideas you have.
Step Five. Get home and assess situation. You have about 48 hours to make four stockings, a tree skirt, a few ornaments, presents and a December activity calendar. You also have a six month old. How should you proceed? I know! Google: How to make a stocking
Step Six. Realize you have about half of the supplies you actually need. Perhaps you should have looked at these tutorials first and then gone shopping. (Also, please be sure to forget this for the next time you have a project so that you don't avoid multiple trips in the future). Send husband (and baby) out for remaining supplies.
Step Seven. At this point you are down to about 36 hours. Take a break to sort the buttons in your craft drawer.
Step Eight. Repeat step six after googling tutorials for the other projects. On second thought, tag along for the trip this time and pick up a bunch of other supplies that aren't on the list for ambiguous future projects. This should draw the trip out to twice as long as it needs to be.
Step Nine. (And here is where the true "mom factor" kicks in) Pull it the eff off. Seriously. Ok, so maybe you'll make the tree skirt in January (Or December 23rd of next year) - but for all intensive purposes, make a holiday out of nothing. Ta Da!
I got started on the stockings using this tutorial. Of course rather than printing and tracing the pattern I just eyeballed it.
Here are the finished stockings. From left to right: Leo, Me, jb, and Daniel. Daniel's stocking had the misfortune of being the trial run.
Since way before we had Leo, I've known that I wanted to have a calendar, like an advent calendar, to tick off the days in December for our children. Each day there would be a winter/holiday activity for us to do as a family. Like volunteering at a soup kitchen, making snow angels, singing carols, drinking eggnog, baking cookies, etc. I fell in love with some that I saw with little hats and mittens and wanted to do something similar, so I made mini stockings.
And in each stocking there is a little card for the day's activity. There will be 31 stockings and about 40ish cards (we will switch them out each year depending on how busy we are and whether there is snow).
And finally the ornament. I would like to add an ornament to our collection each year. This year I obviously wanted to mark Leo's first year, but I really hate most of the "1st Christmas" ornaments out there. Well, for some time now jb and I have been thinking that Leo's main present this holiday would be a goldfish. He fell in love with Abi's fish when we were visiting and so we figured it would be a great thing for him to have at home. So a fish ornament seemed like it would be perfect to mark this first year.
I also made Leo a present (a ball) but that's already wrapped, so pictures will have to wait until after the holidays. :)