Thursday, December 11, 2008

As special as it's going to get.

I did the All Day Holiday baking thing last weekend so I'd have bread to go with all the jam I canned this summer.

Because I'm giving jam (and pickles, but not with bread you know) as gifts and you can't give jam without bread because they need one another to make sense. Is what I've heard anyway. We never have bread in our house and I've found that a spoon is as good a companion to jam as any bread BUT WHATEVER. The greater world puts jam on bread and so I baked bread for the jam. To make it right.

And this is where, I believe, the curse of "Specialing up" the holiday gifts began.

See, last time I did this Jam & Bread gift deal for the holidays, I went a little crazy custom designing and printing and cutting out and labeling my blackberry jam for all the world to see. And then I custom designed and printed and cut out and labeled the breads, too. And then I started to go slowly insane from all the extra special work I was creating for myself.

So this year I decided to give myself a break and buy some ready-made labels and just write the stupid "Blackberry Jam" thing on there with a regular pen and try to BE OK with it. Sure, the labels aren't all the same and, yes, people might have seen these labels on sale at Michael's so they know that I didn't special design them or anything, but that's just going to have to be OK because if I have to sit down at my kitchen table with a sheet of custom special designed labels to cut out with my shitty scissors then I'm probably going to stab myself in the eye to stop the pain.

I can get very dramatic.

So, I'm still trying really hard to BE OK with the store-bought labels with my ballpoint scribbles on them and I'm going to try to resist the urge to "special up" the jams any further by wrapping their tops in fabric and coordinating string.

I continually take this "specialing up" thing too far and it has to stop somewhere so I've decided HERE is where that will be. To keep me seeming sane - at least to those who don't come too close.

And I purposefully haven't gone into my fabric stash to see if I have any light blue fabric because if I were to find any in there, I'd have it cut and wrapped around those jars of jam pretty damn fast and then tied with my red and white string (thanks Lera - it's so cute!) and then the "specialing up" would have begun to slide down the special slippery slope and you know what happens then...

Did I mention that my holiday wrapping theme this year is light blue and red?

Because it is.

Because the specialing up of the holiday shit began without my conscious knowledge. That's the only way I can explain how I ended up with something as ridiculous as a holiday wrapping color scheme and a gift containing 2+ (Don't forget the recycled gift tags! Lunatic.) homemade things in a house where we openly loathe the holidays.

I might as well cover my house in net lights and start the snowman inflating on the front lawn at the rate I'm going.

I need supervision.


  1. I have to say, I need to spend more time specialing things up. I'd say my packaging could really use some inspiration. And I'm on the hunt for some great labels. Where did you find those?

  2. This is funny to me. I just sent the Christmas box to my family. It was basically a big box of shit I canned this summer--salsa, jam, and pears. The things that are labeled have my own EXTRA-SPECIAL, fancy-pants labels--inkjet labels. Yup, the color coded ones you buy at Staples. Because stupid Ball doesn't sell stupid pretty labels separately with their stupid jars, so I had to grab what I could at the grocery store.

    Yes, I am classy.

  3. I LOVE having a holiday wrapping theme. It makes the pile of presents just look so fantastic. And then I get to enjoy looking at them sitting there until Christmas. Usually though, my kids end up wrapping something in something old and random and it throws the whole thing off. Just one more reason not to have kids.

  4. I think "Be OK" should be the official theme of this here holiday season. I know it's the big mantra in my household, where today I decided to "be OK" with the fact that my son's Sunday school teachers are getting half the gift I'd intended. And the wrapping? Meh. I'm trying to "be OK" with that as well. See? It's good!

    Oh, and I would be more than ok if I rec'd homemade jam and bread, custom fancy-labeled or not, you'd better believe it.

  5. Oh, man! I wish I was on your list!! I think blue and red is a great color combination.

    (My word verifcation is "tarty." lol)

  6. What great gifts--you rock. I wanted to let you know that I bought THE garden gloves for my mom for Christmas, per your recommendation. And, per my usual shopping routine I bought, ahem, some for myself too (my shopping goes more like, "one for for for for me..). I'm already madly in love with them.

  7. Oh, one more thing, seeing as one comment here said "meh" of wrapping. I had to laugh this year because every frickin' box I wrapped AND opened was just a box. Some didn't even have ribbon. Here you go, good enough. Remember the days we used to make perfect folds and use wire ribbon and take special pride? Sigh...


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