Ooops! I almost fell. I'm climbing up on my soapbox!
Now, here I am ... right on the top. Let me relay to you what caused this ascent.
Picture it...me, in Hobby Lobby (can you imagine?) I am walking around and I see a man and his wife getting a buggy. She is talking VERY loudly... she says, "Oh, this is just ridiculous!! I am so sick of these businesses getting out their Christmas stock while it's still summer! Look, LOOK! It's everywhere. This just makes me furious!!"
The husband sheepishly grins and sort of ducks his head. Somehow I think he's been down this path a number of times before...big, loud wife making a spectacle of herself. I wanted to tell him, to get his big boy drawers on and tell the loud speaker to pipe down, but he looked so pitiful I refrained. It sort of reminded me of the Olsen couple on Little House on the Prarie who owned the general store...you know, the one with the spoiled little girl named Nellie? Mean Mrs. Olsen and meek Mr. Olsen.
Enough about that, but it did bring up something that bothers me about her rant. I hear the same comment all the time. Particularly at school. I start planning the school holiday decorations months in advance. I buy everything on sale and hand make almost everything we use. That doesn't happen overnight...AND GUESS WHAT? THE GOOD FAIRY DOESN'T WAVE HER WAND AND "POOF" IT INTO BEING EITHER!! "What? It's not even December & you are already making decorations!!!" (Sigh...grrrrr).
Let me explain, there are people who either (1.) don't have lots of moola to spend and have to shop sales year round in order to give gifts at Christmas OR (2.) who love to handcraft items for friends and family.
Get the umbrella (as the insurance man says) It's getting ready to rain hard cold facts!
There has to be a place where crafters and artists can buy their supplies. Hobby Lobby fills the bill. As does Dollar Tree, Michaels, and several other stores. If you are making your own gifts you can't wait until December 1st to begin.
These remarks usually come from somebody who has NEVER handmade anything for anyone. Once I labored for weeks on a counted cross stitch piece for my mother. I had it professionally framed and wrapped it like it was for Queen Elizabeth! When she opened it on Christmas morning, she was appropriately pleased.
During the holidays she asked me to teach her how to do counted cross stitch and I did. From the moment she learned to cross all her X's the same way, she was never the same. She cross stitched every spare minute of every day. She made a new ornament for everybody in our family every year. Baby gifts, wedding gifts, church welcome gifts, you name, she stitched it.
One day, I stopped by and as we were talking she looked at me and said, "I never realized how much time and effort went into those things you cross stitched for me. I'm sorry."
I said, "Mother, most people don't have any idea how much love & time goes into something made by hand. Thank you for realizing it."
Every year when I pull out those stitched ornaments from her, my heart fills with thankfulness, that she loved me enough to make something for me with her own hands. And guess what??? I'm glad Hobby Lobby had all those Christmas Cross Stitch books displayed in summer so she could get a head start on her gifts.