It’s December 4, which means there are exactly three weeks left until Christmas and only one week left until the beginning of Hanukkah (oy vey!). While there will be the usual weekend holiday and birthday (so many birthdays!) festivities under way, December 4 also means:

1.) I’m going to be performing Handel’s Messiah tonight with my choir

2.) I’m going to be hitting up this indie craft show:

3.) I’m going to place orders for my holiday crafting supplies so I can have my handcrafted prezzies ready to go by Christmas Eve.

Regarding #1:

Like most hip, happening young urbanites, I got into music at a pretty early age. While my favorite stuff to listen to tends toward the arty, rocky, and vintage (e.g. don’t ask me about Hüsker Dü unless you want an impassioned diatribe),  I’ve been singing classically since the age of 10 and have grown to appreciate the classical genre more and more as I’ve gotten older. As for tonight, I’m really stoked to be singing the whole Messiah for the first time. I’ve sung bits of it in the past (I know the Hallelujah chorus like the back of my hand), but never the entire thing. It is a massive, bombastic, and highly challenging piece of music, but I’m ready and excited to give it my best.

Regarding #2:

Tomorrow, I’m planning on getting up early to hit up the Winter Fling craft show. There are a few craft shows going on around my city, but I’m prioritizing with this one because I like some of the vendors and the venue is close to home. Plus, they’re giving out loot bags first-come-first-serve–and I definitely want to get served!

I love indie craft shows, and there are plenty of them around the U.S. and Canada to see and enjoy. I think it’s great to support local artisans and who doesn’t love unique, handcrafted items? I also get really inspired by the innovative creations of other crafters, which motivates me to whip up my own (admittedly, decidedly lesser) goods.

Regarding #3:

Every year for the holidays, I either buy or make my godparents (my uncle Stan and aunt Jane, who are two of my dad’s SIX siblings) something endearing to show them my love. My family is so big on both sides that I can’t get presents for everyone, so I try to put a lot of thought and heart into the ones that I do give out. For my aunt, I usually try something thoughtful and personal; last year I got her a pair of simple, elegant earrings that I thought would really suit her, and a few years ago I knit her a gigantic and colorful scarf that trailed out across my living room as I finished it up. For my uncle, I tend to give him funny gag gifts to placate his rather irreverent sense of humor–which is something he and I definitely share. For instance, last year I made him a stencil painting of Dirty Harry that I modified from this film still:

I painted the canvas neon turquoise and printed the image over it in black, and it looked really cool. He got a good laugh out of that.

This year, I’m going to try my hand at soapmaking after seeing these cool steak and eggs soaps on, which I think would be perfect for uncle Stan. For my aunt, I’ve already picked up this awesome cookbook that my choir made a couple of years ago, and I’m going to make her an apron to wear while she tests some of the singers’ recipes. I’m also planning on embroidering the apron with a kitchy design or two if I can find the right pattern.

Let the insanity begin!