DIY Christmas 2016: the Tragedy!! (3 Tales of Utter Woe!!)

part one | the so-tragic backstory

. . .

So, this is the tail end of a story so far back I’ve mostly forgotten where it started.

(And if C had blogged better last year, this story would be broken up into shorter chapters, not to mention YouSmartPeopleOfTheInternet waving red flags at me with a severe reality check).

But let us just call this the “Educational Christmas of 2016” (of which we shall not repeat, ever).

2016 was a crazy year— not just for me, I know.

But to recap the highlights, I spent about Jan-to-May reworking a personal passion, then I published it.

That alone was pretty earthshattering (for me, at least). But, never one to rest on my laurels and not so much with taking healthy “Me!Time” breaks between my projects– especially when excitement-fuelled adrenaline and sudden victory cheers had my creativity muscles so lean and fit!!!

I then (foolishly) turned my attention to my finished (but not-yet-finalized) manuscript and, between May-to-July, that became a real published book!

Whoa. I know, right? What kind of ‘roids was I on?? Go me!

So, we’re already talking two major publication accomplishments in the same calendar year (which was, in reality, just the completion of several previous years work-in-progress) but, as they say, publishing your book is only the first step.

It wasn’t ‘love, marriage and a baby carriage’ but that famous mantra isn’t far off the mark. Something like: first comes book, then comes blogging, then comes website and promotion and reviewers and fans, and probably a giveaway or two and posting on Facebook time to time helps.

Well- about midway in this tale, there came A Fateful Day (DUN-DUN-DUNNNNNNN!)  when Auntie C was Skyping her adorable and prodigious niece Ada Do (and her father).

And, while Ada usually dominates the conversation, she had to depart & was getting into her nighttime jammies as “Auntie C” was chatting with  “Daddy” & told him, “she’s having a book published; here’s a preview of the cover art; it’ll be soon” (blah-blah, woof-woof).

Well, the newly-jammied-Ada climbs in Daddy’s lap to say goodnight to Auntie C, and Daddy promptly informs her that Auntie C wrote a book (thanks for that, Mikey!)

Ada, who at 4 years of age, firmly knows the entire universe revolves around her!!!! Her irresistible little face scrunched up in a grin as she squee’d, “You wrote me MY OWN BOOK, AUNTIE C!! ALL FOR ME!!!”

Now what kind of beloved “Auntie C” could possibly say ‘no’ to such an earnest and utterly darling idea??? I have a HEART beating in there, you know!

(Besides, could you possibly say ‘no’ to this little face? Thought not. Flynn Rider can’t keep up!! *beams*)

Oh BUT …. Auntie C!! When will you LEARN not to make promises to a highly intelligent four-year-old who always remembers exactly what you say and parrots it back to you verbatim . . . when you-yourself cannot even remember what you had for breakfast this morning???

So, this lovely idea for a child’s picture book starring all my plethora of little relatives was born and it sounded so easy in mid-May to make this amazing handmade Christmas gift . . . and, you can probably guess the rest, Life happened.

(Or it sat up nights plotting exactly how to make me the biggest liar ever for Universal Comic Effect!!)

Yeah . . . the back half of 2016 = not nearly so victorious as the front half! With that Hindsight 20/20, I now look back like, “um … so you actually committed to THREE publishing projects in the same calendar year and you didn’t see this going badly, C??”

But then, as a truly horrifying climax to this chilling tale of epic failure . . . there was That. Moment. Of. Reckoning.!!!

Auntie C is empty-handed for Christmas: mid-December, terrifyingly clear this handmade picture book-thing isn’t gonna happen  . . .

. . . and here’s the educational bit: if empty-handed two weeks before Christmas with seven nieces and nephews, DO NOT DECIDE THIS IS THE TIME TO DIY YOUR CHRISTMAS GIFTS!!

Oh surrrre! That probably sounds obvious to you readers out there NOW, snickering into your lattes and just waiting for this tale to go oh-so-horribly wrong! Best as I can excuse my panicked (Anti!)logic was probably like, I promised a homemade gift, therefore ALL my Christmas gifts MUST BE HOMEMADE or the ‘Broken!Promise’ gods will hunt me down FOREVER and SMITE ME!!!!!!!!!! All my Baby Loves will be in therapy for the rest of their lives thanks to this one devastating Christmas disappointment!!!!!!!! I WILL MAKE EVERY GIFT THAT EVER WAS IN TWO WEEKS, AND PINTEREST WILL BOW DOWN IN AWE TO ME!!!!!! . . .

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s spot on.

Also, this is my ridiculously lengthy excuse for why I have sporadic photos of the gifts I made, snapped indiscriminately at points between frenzied gift production and wrapping, and now I kinda-sorta blocked most of it out of memory banks like a coma.

There were many more 3-hour supply trips to the craft stores in which much of the time was spent circling the parking lot, contributing 93% of Ozone depletion just from my idling fumes, and dueling with other last-minute-gifters with switchblades for a parking space the size of a Jello box, and nights of gift assembly ’til 2AM the last week of December than I care to recount here . . . . . . .

{ continued in part two }

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