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18 December 2012 @ 10:55 pm
Damn you, Christmas! 1*  
So, I spent last November to May with minimal work, and Mr B has not been working for the last 18 months. This has been less than financially optimal, I calculated how much money we were down over the period: it was a Very Distressing Sum. Happily I charge such an egregious amount for my services that we've been able to keep going without too much stress, but I have been Making Economies.

And, being a crafty type, I thought to myself: why spend a fortune on gifts when I can make them!?

Which is why, a week from Christmas, I have a huge pile of gifts to finish making and a massive blister from hot glue on my thumb. Cold water really does work, though: three hours of alternating water and ice packs last night shrank the size of the blister by about 60%.

I am SEWING the rest of the gifts. Maybe a spot of knitting.

And if you are not in Australia or New Zealand and are yet one of the few people I have been organised enough to get a card to (a ridiculously small number, sorry!), let us pretend we are Italian and Christmas goes through until 12th night, at which point La Belfana will arrive and clean our houses!

* It's ever so likely there'll be a 2 …
quatrefoilquatrefoil on December 18th, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
I usually write the bulk of my Christmas cards on Boxing Day - I very rarely get time to do it before that. I figure that if people want to hear from me at Christmas they'll still want to hear from me in the New Year. And the card only rate goes to the 31st of December (ask me how I know).
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 18th, 2012 12:17 pm (UTC)
That's outrageous! It should TOTALLY go until 12th Night!

I will hopefully get my act together to post you down the thing I have had for you for months. SO CRAP! So underslept! So hard to type without a right thumb!
quatrefoilquatrefoil on December 18th, 2012 12:19 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, my crapness exceedeth all understanding. And I really get underslept.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 18th, 2012 12:42 pm (UTC)
You have SO MANY reasons for what is really quite minor crapitude!
quatrefoilquatrefoil on December 18th, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
Ta. The acknowledgment really helps.
宝井かりん: 大ちゃん - sweet princetakarai_karin on December 18th, 2012 12:15 pm (UTC)
Or, we can pretend we're Russian and our Christmas is in January :3

You're making me worry though, please find time to rest your fingers :/

I'm looking forward to Christmas but dreading it cause I've a condition and am only allowed to eat a limited list of things. Christmas would be filled with family members coaxing me to ditch my proper diet while I try not to snap at them with 'and I'll be the one with a colic not you!' T.T

Haha why am I tl;dring in your journal... Sorry bout that.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 18th, 2012 12:39 pm (UTC)
Not at all! This is the HOME of tl;dr ;-)

Being Russian is an EXCELLENT plan! Alas, I have no Russian family members, but I do have a good Russian friend, so I will ask him for tips.

And I know exactly how you feel: I throw up with pig or cheese and frequently tell people I'm Jewish or Muslim because it's just so much easier than having to go through whole palaver every time. Thankfully, I look Random Foreign, so it's generally fine, and I make guilt donations to Jewish charities and the Red Crescent to make up for my evil. I used to take my own food to family events rather than get into any 'Oh it's all too hard' debates. Damn families!

Fingers fine: I can type with only selected ones :-) I calculated that I've averaged 60,000 words a month for the last four months: I might even try to keep up something like that next year but make more of it my own stories!
maevemistmaevemist on December 18th, 2012 12:30 pm (UTC)
Not sending Christmas cards is my gift to the environment as is having a charmingly brown lawn and a dirty but not so dirty it's feral car.

I used to love Christmas and all of its gift giving opportunities and then this year I have changed employment industries to work in retail, now I wish Christmas would go die in a fire. lol (not really I still love all the bits that don't involve customers.)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 18th, 2012 12:45 pm (UTC)
You are a GOOD PERSON! (And I really wish I had thought of that.)

People who work retail at Christmas should qualify for counselling and all the free cake they can eat!
stellamoonstellamoon on December 18th, 2012 12:51 pm (UTC)
Oh goodness, you've been very busy! And will be even busier yet!

Please share a little bit about what gifts you have made/are making. I'd love to have a handmade-only Christmas sometime. My talents don't lie with knitting or sewing though. I CAN sew, I'm just not great at it and don't enjoy it much.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 18th, 2012 01:04 pm (UTC)
I have finished making the headbands for some of the kids, which were pompoms hot-glued to bands.

Three knitted hats are begun, one will probably be finished in time. Nurssedarry's socks remain unfinished: damn fiddly lace pattern means they can only be worked on when I can focus. Bwahahahahaha!

And the remainder will be library bags for the other kids, with either decals or patches to make them individual and silk flower hair thingies or brooches for the adults. The men are going to look LOVELY!
Pureblood Princessraitala on December 18th, 2012 01:00 pm (UTC)
Hmm, now I feel a bit guilty about not letting you write a comfortable 30k 'page turner' and forcing you to write every waking hour for the last two weeks. But not that guilty. Have you seen The Hobbit yet?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 18th, 2012 01:09 pm (UTC)
Ha! That pain has been over for DAYS! A week, nearly! I've even broken out you-know-what to crack on with.

Though I am blaming you for the slight tendonitis in my other thumb :-P

Not yet, it's not out here until Boxing Day. ARGH! SO LONG!

Nennenenne on December 18th, 2012 02:54 pm (UTC)
Here Christmas lasts until the 13'th of January. That's the day all the Christmas decorations must be taken down. If not there will be poverty in the household for all of the new year. Just pretend to be Norwegian, we allow even more time than the Italians.

Also ouch! *blows on blistered finger*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 20th, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
I knew there was a reason Norwegians were some of my very favourite people! In good news, the thumb heals swiftly! Cold water and ice at first really did do the trick.
Hueyphoenixacid on December 18th, 2012 03:58 pm (UTC)
*pats your finger*

Good luck with the cards! Hee!
fragrantwoods: long frakking dayfragrantwoods on December 18th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC)
I love the idea of crafted gifts, but the reality...I did scrapbooks one year for two grandmothers. I thought I would tear my hair out/lose my mind/injury myself with fancy scissors/glue my fingers together.

Bless Esty, my go-to for handmade, personalized gifts. Although it's not free, I figure I come out even in what I would have spent in materials and aspirin.

I'm all about celebrating the spirit of the Russian Orthodox Christmas, for the extra days. The Italian version sounds lovely, too!

blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 20th, 2012 01:57 pm (UTC)
Scrapbooking is easily the evilest craft, so fiddly! And yes, Etsy is fab! But I have so much fabric and yarn I need to make into things, so I don't mind the plugging away at it, just need to buy some industrial-strength gloves!

Late Christmases are the best ideas. We do live in multicultural countries, after all!
Catherine17catherines on December 19th, 2012 12:09 pm (UTC)
Commenting merely to say "Yay, Befana!".
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 20th, 2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
My fave decoration when I was little was a Befana who lived on the tree. She was very old, and I fear she has been kidnapped by one of my evil cousins. But I thought it was terrific that she stopped by after Boxing Day and did the cleaning. Best Idea Ever!
dylansbuzz: James bite wristbanddylansbuzz on December 20th, 2012 12:25 am (UTC)
I'm still hoping that somehow, house elves are real and willing to travel in exchange for warm socks, perhaps a tshirt and Xbox privileges when kid is at school.

I need to mail my cards tomorrow; its been ridiculously busy lately, but a few will get them on time. And writing this, I realized I've never had your address to SEND a card. That seems wrong.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 20th, 2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
It's my cunning way of alleviating guilt at being so crap at sending cards myself! ;-)

And yes! House Elves! They would be even better than typing elves! Massive hugs to you, I was going over to comment on flist posts after this but am actually falling asleep, so will try again tomorrow. Mwah!
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on December 20th, 2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
ouch to your finger! hope it's gone now and won't get infected!!! One only realizes how much one needs a certain finger when you can't use *stares a bit at thumb*

And doubly ouch for Mr B's past 18 months! Didn't realize that Australias economy was bad too. Our news are swamped with Greece and Italy and Spain, I literally cannot hear those country names anymore.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on December 20th, 2012 10:21 pm (UTC)
The Aus economy is pretty robust, but print media is a bit of a dodgy field at the moment and I refuse to work for a lower salary than I deserve (I literally went without money rather than allow publishers to get away with offering stupidly low amounts, because the whole 'Everyone's having to cut back' excuse is bullshit when it comes to CEOs and publishers salaries.) I realise this might sound self-defeating, but I refuse to be a part of devaluing my skills. I had enough coming in from writing to cover the bills, even if I did have to write 8000 words about sheds ;-)

Mr B was made redundant because his government department could not manage a fishbowl, and then he didn't start looking for work for 15 months, at which point people were slow to employ him as 'you haven't worked in a long time'. He is just a giant computer-game-playing slug. Started work yesterday, thank goodness!

Thumb doing well! It looks as though it will scar, but the skin stayed closed, so it's all healing in under there.