For many of you this is the busiest time of the year in your shops, but for the first time in recent memory I have no long list of holiday gifts to build.
Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Christmas music playing now for, what, since the week before Halloween? Yepper, in case you missed it, the holiday rush is on. For professional woodworkers and hobbyists alike, although days are shorter outside, inside the shop the hours seem to pile up to meet the demand of projects that have to be completed in time.
In past years I’ve had numerous projects to finish by Christmas day, but not this year. Not a single request from any relative (including my wife, the most immediate relative I live with). True, I haven’t yet learned whose name I drew in the annual Christmas gift exchange for my wife’s family, but I never decide on what form that gift will take until I get the name. But I have some general works-in-progress, one of which will work fine no matter who the recipient turns out to be. But outside of that, my list is empty. I haven’t even bothered to dust off the “Santa’s Workshop” sign I typically hang on the shop door right about this time.
What this means is that I have a lot of December shop time that’s entirely mine. With that in mind, I’ve decided to do something I’ve never been able to do before: Make toys for my grandson. Never been able to do that because I’ve not had any grandchildren till now. Well, little Jed was around last Christmas, but since he was only two weeks old making toys he could play with then wasn’t really practical – his main concerns at the time were figuring out what all this “air” stuff was and trying to hold his head up. But with Jed turning one this month, I’m going to indulge myself in full-scale toy production.
I’ve had that “Santa’s Workshop” sign I mentioned for nearly 15 years, and have hung it up every year while making gifts for the holidays. But with my entire goal this year being to turn out toys for a little boy who has been very good this year, this is the first time I really feel like Santa.