I’m sure if you did a Google search about writing, you’d come up with millions of results on how to do it. There would be articles on developing and defining your voice, editing, finding critique partners, and plotting and pacing. And I suppose that’s all valid. I mean, sure. You’ve got to know how to do that.
But would you find an article on how to channel your newfound love of the holiday season into your procrastination process? Likely not.
That’s why I’m writing this. See, writing isn’t all getting your butt in the chair and making magic come out of your fingers into the keyboard. It’s also about procrastinating. I mean, sometimes you just have to reorganize your bookshelf and put everything in alphabetical order. Other times you have to watch every single episode of Monarch of the Glen on Netflix. And still, you may find yourself choosing, for the first time in your life, to vacuum behind the refrigerator. These are all things that must be done, and they are great things to do when you’re putting off writing.
But what if it’s almost Christmas, and you’ve had just enough egg nog to think that you’re a crafter? Well, that’s what happened to me, and why I’m now the proud owner of the gaudiest wreath that $15 and 3 hours can create.
On Friday, I decided I was going to turn these gold ornaments into a wreath. I bought them 4 years ago on super sale after Christmas was over. Since my tree is covered in kitsch of multiple varieties, there has never been space for these. (Also, I started this project while it was super dark outside and my kitchen has the worst lighting ever. I’ve been super great about writing picture-heavy posts with terrible pictures lately.)
So, I went to a craft store and picked up a foam wreath and a hot glue gun. That’s how not crafty I am. I didn’t even have a glue gun.
Fridays are typically date nights, and Chris and I had plans to eat tons of Mexican food that evening at Chelino’s. Before we left, I got started on the wreath, and then we went to eat. I didn’t finish the wreath that evening, because we got home and watched The Babadook (WATCH IT YOU GUYS OMG). The next morning, we got up relatively early for a Saturday, got some donuts, did Christmas shopping for a couple of hours, had lunch, finished shopping, and came home for a few hours before heading off to Chris’s company’s Christmas party. In those few hours at home is when I finished the wreath.
And now, for those of you at home who should be spending their free time on Saturdays working on their novels/freelance writing projects, I’ve got a guide for how to waste that time by making Christmas wreaths.
Step 1: Gather your supplies.
Everything I have here except for the red jingle bells, glue gun and the foam wreath I already had on hand. I’ve been picking up ornaments here and there and have kept them in a giant Rubbermaid tub for the past 4 years, just waiting for a reason to use them. Some of them are from Target and some are from Big Lots. And while I had always planned to make a Christmas wreath, I had no idea I was going to use all these things to do it. A thank you to Alexis for giving me the red sleigh bells that she had left over. They make my wreath super loud and I love it.
Step 2: Glue your big balls.
I tried to make the pattern as random as possible as I went so I didn’t have two of the same kinds of gold balls touching. But that kind of became impossible. And while I’m a perfectionist, I’m more impatient than anything else.
Step 3: Go to Chelino’s.
You can actually go to eat anywhere. But I recommend Chelino’s because I love puerco lindo, chilaquiles norteños, and sopapillas. There is not a food item on that menu that I don’t love. And you really need some Tecate with salt and lime. It really makes the meal. Know that once you consume this food, you’ll be too tired to finish your Christmas wreath. So eat with abandon, and then get home and take your jeans off before the button pops off.
Step 3: Continue gluing.
Putting the rest of the gold balls on the Christmas wreath was awful. It took a long time and if I didn’t hold them still, they started to slide around since the surface wasn’t flat. So I had to hold them there while I waited. This could be because I got hot glue instead of cold glue (they were right next to each other on the shelves and I didn’t think there would be a difference–crafters, is there a difference?)
So, I would glue the balls on and then hold them. Occasionally, in holding them, I would get the glue on my hand and it would burn. Then, I was reminded of the time in the seventh grade when we had to make a model home in Spanish class. The assignment was meant to teach us the names of the rooms and furniture in the house. However, it was a ton of work for something that probably could’ve been completed by making flashcards. Or, if the teacher really wanted some half-ass crafts, we could’ve made collages by cutting pictures out of catalogs.
Anyway, while in Mrs. Street’s fifth hour Spanish portable classroom, I hot glued my hand to a shoe box while trying to make a garage (el garaje). I screamed “SON OF A!” as one does. (Note: I just said “son of a” and ended it there.) I almost got in trouble, but Mrs. Street took pity on my when she saw my hand was literally hot glued to a shoe box.
So, you can contemplate all that while you hold those stupid round ornaments on a round surface while you’re gluing. Or you can watch Gilmore Girls on your iPad Mini and slowly get more and more angry because Lorelai really sucks.
Step 4: Now, you get to put on the little bits.
I had some gingerbread men (GINGERBREAD ‘TIL I’M DEAD), cupcakes, and weird stripey swizzles from Big Lots, tiny gold and brown balls from Target, and some red bells from Alexis–the Alexis who made my golden snitch ornament. (Note: You may not have an Alexis to shop at. I suggest finding a crafty friend and taking their refuse.) I used all these little things to fill in the holes left over from the big balls.
Step 5: Let it dry.
When I had finally finished the Christmas wreath, I had watched several episodes of Gilmore Girls (Does no one on that show know how to employ the subjunctive tense?), had a few Miller High Lifes, (The gold cans matched the wreath!) and a few glasses of orange juice. (Secretly, I love heartburn.) I went to go take a nap while all the little pieces set.
Step 6: Try to hang up this jingley wreath while your poor boyfriend naps on the couch.
There are moments in life when you realize you live in an episode of I Love Lucy, only you’re the swarthy Hispanic one and your boyfriend is the charming redhead. And in this scenario, you’re trying to be sneaky lest you have “some ‘splaining to do.” This was one of those moments.
I was trying not to make any noise while I wiggled this chunky Christmas wreath into a holder that is way too small to hold it. That made some noise. Then, I tried to hang it up on the front door, only to find that the wreath hanger won’t let the door close. But every time I swung the door to try to shut it, it jingled like Santa’s sleigh was about to crash land in the yard. I finally stopped and hung it on the laundry room door–where it still hangs today. Because it still won’t fit on the damn front door. (It also won’t fit in the wreath box I bought 4 years ago either. Or in anything, really.)
And that, my friends, is how you procrastinate for the holiday season. Have you ever made a wreath? What vital tasks do you like to put off doing while you craft?