So. It's that time of year again. I know this because the tinsel has been chucked around the shops for weeks, and already it has been made very clear to me that I am going to make a bad fist of it once more.
One of my more familiar failures is gift-wrapping. I came from a family of thrifters, a family where to write on an envelope was considered wasteful - it could be used again! We were like shady businessmen, continually exchanging our birthday and Christmas cards in unmarked envelopes. I have on more than one occasion received a gift from a relative which was never taken out of its original paper bag. As a result, I have no talent for the clever giftwrap. It's one of the reasons why one of the great perks of Blogland - the craft swop - holds so much terror for me.
A few weeks ago, I crammed some lumps of fabric into an ill-fitting recycled envelope and sent it to Helen. In return, a beautiful arrangement of items arrived - carefully chosen and tissue-wrapped. There were fabrics, and buttons, and lavender, and Christmassy loveliness. Ribbons had been used. I thought back to my envelope, and hung my head in shame.
No matter. I have Tabiboo's Christmas ball tutorial, and my new Christmas fabrics, and have taken a quick break from my endless Liberty quilt piecing to make something spherical and festive. In just a few hours, we will be allowed to buy sherry (Mr Coffee and I have an eleven-month moratorium on buying it, simply for self-preservation). I can make a stab at the season, even if I don't get it exactly right.