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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

View From The Fence

Wednesday, December 19, 2001

A Martha Stewart Christmas

Christmas is almost here and I haven't finished half of what I wanted to do for the holidays. Where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday I was broiling in the summer heat.I watched all the neat shows on HGTV on how to make homemade gifts and decorations and said to myself, "I can do that." Homemade candy -- no problem. A beautiful, live wreath for the front door -- you bet. A centerpiece for the table using dried oranges -- sure. A hand-crafted candle holder as a gift -- why not? I had it all planned. "Martha Stewart doesn't have anything on me," I thought. What is all the fuss over her anyway?

My first project was to be the candy for my snack day at work. I had my menu planned and even had cute containers to put it all in. Just like Martha. But there was a flaw in my plan; the day I picked followed a night I had a late meeting, so there went that idea. I ended up stopping at the store and buying my snacks. Upon reflection I realized what I bought was probably better than what I could have made anyway.Next came the live wreath. Martha really should have pointed out this would require a trek through wet and muddy woods. Also, my greenery just didn't look like hers. I began to suspect she didn't actually go out into the woods to gather hers like I did. I scrapped that idea and put the beautiful artificial wreath that I already had on the front door. It really was prettier than all that wet, live stuff I dragged home.

"Surely I can make that centerpiece," I said to myself. And I probably could, but I haven't. The one that is sitting there now will do just fine.A homemade gift, my only salvation to my plans. The painting technique they used on TV looked a lot simpler when they did it. Somehow my jingle bells ended up looking more like the dried oranges I had in mind for the centerpiece.Oh, the disappointment I felt! I really wanted to do my holidays like they used to be done -- to keep traditions alive.

Wait a minute I am keeping traditions alive.The snacks were just like my mother used to make. The wreath was similar to the one on the front door when I was a child. There never was a centerpiece with dried fruit when I was growing up, and I don't remember my mother ever making a homemade gift. Boy, is that a relief. I wouldn't have wanted to be the one to let the traditions die out. It seems past generations have done that for me, bit by bit.But if that's true, what is with Martha and all of her fancy homemade ideas? She made it sound so easy and natural. But then I watched the show to the very end. This time I noticed something I hadn't noticed before -- the credits. Why, that faker! She has a whole staff helping her create her ideas.Can you really consider it homemade if someone else makes it for you? I don't think so. It seems Martha and I have more in common than I first thought. It looks like I really will be having a Martha Stewart Christmas. I feel much better now.