Holiday Countdown Has Begun

Holiday projects are prime time for brushing up on some skills while churning out the seasonal cheer.
Holiday projects are prime time for brushing up on some skills while churning out the seasonal cheer.

It’s official. Halloween is behind us and crops are coming out of the fields. Home Depot has the artificial Christmas tree display up right now, so the harbingers are all around us: December holiday season is right around the corner.

You know where I’m gonna take this, don’t you?

Aside from higher heating bills and my need to put the mower back into drydock, this time of year reminds me that I’ve got to get serious about my holiday project list. My wife wants me to build some sort of decorative frame for her to hold her earrings. The kids could use some fun little boxes to store their odds and ends. One of these years I should make something nice for my mom and mother-in-law. Yep, it’s time to put on the elf hat and get busy.COUNTDOWN2

If you’re reading this, you’re in the same boat as I am. You’ve got the talent, you’ve probably got the materials and, at least for now, you’ve still got time. (I’m talking to myself as much as lighting a fire under you here…)

So, what will it be this year? If making those gift projects seems like a chore sometimes, maybe this should be the year we look at it differently. Let’s consider it an opportunity to brush up on some woodworking skills we’ve been neglecting for a spell. I for one would like to do some more turning. I made a bunch of little bowls a number of years ago, and the recipients really appreciated them. What they don’t know is that I had a ball cranking them out. And, I had an iron-clad excuse to spend lots of time in the shop while sharpening my bowl-turning techniques.

COUNTDOWN3Our November/December Dovetail Jig review reminded me how much fun it can be to rout dovetails if you have a nice jig to do it with. Once things are dialed in, it really doesn’t take long to zip through one joint after the next. And, imagine how much your loved ones would cherish anything you make with dovetails in it. That’s a bet-the-farm-on-it-no-brainer. You could probably even convince your household CFO to let you buy a dovetail jig—but you didn’t hear that from me…

Maybe you’re still stumped for good ideas. That’s where a blog like this could come in real handy — but only if we share our elvish schemes.

So friends, give it up. What are you planning to make this year? How do you get inspired to get ‘er done by December 24? Would you care to share some project ideas that have worked well in the past? Maybe some gifts were a bust. Help the rest of us avoid making the same mistake!

Let’s compare lists and get cracking. Because, like it or not, the clock is ticking…

Catch you in the shop,

Chris Marshall, Field Editor

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