We are often reminded of how commercial Christmas has become. Combine this with a longing for a simpler time and memories of childhood Christmases on the farm (and possibly an unhealthy addiction to craft fairs) and the conditions were prime for my wife to make that exciting decision: WE are going to MAKE Christmas presents and decorations this year!! Now I will admit, my first thought was “YAY! CHEAP!” Actually that was my only thought. Had I gotten past that initial response I may have realized her emphasis on the WE part of this plan.
The first step, of course, was to find suitable antique and vintage ideas that could be made out of materials readily available from our yard… that and any one of the 17 dollar stores in town. The ideas portion of this adventure in marriage involves a little site on the internet called “Pinterest”. If you don’t know what pinterest is, here is a brief summary: Your wife spends 237 hours on the computer and then you spend your entire summer making lawn ornaments out of stuff you previously would have taken to the dump. That’s all you need to know, trust me – its an evil site.
As the planning discussion continued on I found myself gazing out of the window at the forest, paying just enough attention to my wife’s voice to nod if the talking paused. Somewhere between longing to be struck by lightning and wondering if I could make it out of the country before she noticed I was gone it came to me: the easiest and cheapest commodity that we have access to is wood. Trees, to be exact.
In very short order we found ourselves scrolling through thousands of pictures of santas, snowmen, ornaments and wreaths that could be made at the expense of our friend, the tree. After pointing out to my wife that there would be stumpage fees, permits and possibly a federal environmental review required to harvest enough wood to finish this project list, WE were able to narrow the list down and avoid clearcutting our entire yard. You will note I keep using the term “WE”. This points out how much involvement I had in helping, by doing what I was told, when and how I was told to do it. Using “WE” also implies that there was so much fun to be had that it must be shared by more than one person, but perhaps “WE” could be mistaken.
Armed with my trusty chainsaw and a complete outdoor survival kit (which means I had my dog and a couple of Snickers bars) I headed out harvesting from natures craft supply store. (Sharp readers may notice the subtle change from “we” to “I” now that the hard work has begun, but I see no reason to elaborate on that). For those safety conscious friends of mine, rest easy – we had a comprehensive safety plan in place including check in times, GPS tracking and route planning. Apparently she wanted to know immediately should anything bad happen while I was out harvesting. Whether this was genuine concern for my well-being or simply for insurance purposes has yet to be determined. I assured her that I am a complete chainsaw expert however, so I can only assume she was worried that I may run across one of the Werewolves or Chupacabras that have been known to frequent our property. It did not take me long at all to have stacks of logs all over the yard, branches in the garage and strips of bark in my closet.
We are now in a “rest period” of sorts where we get to admire the collection of potential projects without actually building any projects. I cannot wait until the final days before Christmas when we can stay up all night frantically playing adult arts and crafts after a month of setting records in procrastination. I am envisioning a hot glue gun massacre that may well go down in history. As with most of these situations, the full details will be available in the court transcripts. If it comes to this, let it be known that I have absolutely ZERO intention of strangling myself with ribbon, even if the investigators claim it looks accidental or self-inflicted.
So far, the number of hours spent on this fun “together” time project has been quite astounding. In fact, I worked out the math and it may have been simpler to put that amount of time into a minimum wage job and just buy everybody a car. Apparently that is not “the spirit” though, so I hope you enjoy your wooden snowman as much.