This year, I had planned a holiday season full of Grinch-like anti-social bah humbuggery. And then something, I’m still not sure what, came over me, like when the Winter Warlock melts in the 1970 Rankin and Bass classic TV special Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town (photo above) or, if you’re too young or old for the previous reference, when Ebenezer Scrooge runs down the street drunk, buying turkeys and throwing coins.
Unintentional Martha Christmas: Evidence One
First, I decided to make a wreath out of vintage Christmas ornaments I’d been collecting for years. I’d made one wreath before, probably a decade and a half ago when I saw it on the cover of Martha Stewart. I gave it to my mom, she packed it away carelessly and broke it, and it took me years of therapy to get over that, and this time to make one for myself, because I will take better care of it, obviously.
Unintentional Martha Christmas: Evidence Two
I admit to being a closet Martha Stewart wannabe when the holidays come around. But I am far too poor, so I end up doing things like making wreaths (total cost of above wreath: under $20) instead of buying ridiculously expensive ones at shops. I also decided to decorate our front door with fresh greens:
When I’ve done this in years past, I snuck around late at night, wearing dark hooded sweatshirts and carrying a basket and some clippers (like some kind of crafty nature-burglar ninja) and stole magnolia leaves, holly and boxwood branches from the yards of my innocent sleeping neighbors.
But then, about a decade ago, I planted each of these things in my own yard, and for the first time this year, I actually supplied my own front door greenery, including nandina berries from a bush I planted when we bought our Victorian monster house back in 2001. I simply wired all my greens to plain pine roping and a plain pine wreath from Lowe’s (total door cost: under $20).
Unintentional Martha Christmas: Evidence Three
I think being broke makes you creative at Christmas. Also, something is seriously wrong with me because I am making crafts like it’s my job. I’m going to ask my therapist what the hell has come over me. Additional (and particularly disturbing, as I have never done this one before) example of my Christmas mania/psychosis: I made homemade Christmas cards with my kids out of sea glass I collected. ($20 for box of 30 blank cards; not having a lot of friends saved me money on this one)
I’ve clearly been haunted by the holiday spirits a la Ebenezer, because it’s like someone floated me over my own grave and showed me how happy everyone was that I was dead. I’m going to be pulling Zuzu’s fucking petals out of my pocket and screaming “Whaddya know about THAT, Bert!” any second now.
Take the glue gun away! Holy manger-birthing mother of Jesus, I said yes to a Christmas cookie exchange and an ugly Christmas sweater party in the same week. My Grinch reputation is going to suffer; the neighbors won’t recognize me. My heart is growing too many sizes, too fast. Next thing you know I’m going to be hand-making beeswax candles for my kids’ teachers, or ringing a Salvation Army bell next to a red kettle in front of a Wal-Mart.
—Mary McCarthy (@marymac) blogs at pajamasandcoffee.com.