Danielle looked at her scorched fingers, destroyed table and arched her aching back- would she ever finish? After losing her job two months ago at Cracker Barrel, Danielle refused to let her lack of funds ruin the Christmas season. As host to the annual Christmas party for all of her friends, Danielle relied heavily on prefabricated decorations to instantaneously transform her modest loft into a Christmas wonderland. Things would have to be a bit different this year.
“I’ll just have to get creative”, she had announced to P.W., her obese tabby cat. P.W. (short for his christened name, Paper Weight) responded with a doubtful look before going back to meticulously cleaning his front paw. “Don’t give me that look, I’ll just start small and work my way up,” Danielle said, typing “Homemade Christmas Decorations” into Google. After scanning through a gazillion ideas, she made a list of the décor she thought she could handle.
Not being the craftiest person on the planet, ok, so she had once set fire to the art room while making a reindeer out of popsicle sticks, Danielle was determined to put all that behind her and create lovely decorations herself. Printing out the design for what appeared to be a simple project, Danielle gathered the supplies she would need and sat down, ready to turn a few foam trees into Christmas trees with hand-fashioned rosettes made from tissue paper streamers. Three hours later she was still on row two- this was going to take forever… and hot glue was officially her newest nemesis.
Pushing her chair back in frustration, Danielle looked over her list and felt like crying. There was no way she’d be able to tackle everything she had listed; she couldn’t even complete a simple craft of gluing paper flowers to a dumb piece of foam. She would need an either battalion of elves if she had any hope of getting lights up on the roof, throw together the stovetop potpourri, decking the mantles, windows and tabletops with garland and greenery, making the wreath for the front door, purchasing and wrapping gifts for her friends and family and creating a centerpiece for her kitchen island. Ready to give up and cancel the party, Danielle’s pity party was suddenly interrupted by a knock at the door. P.W., now fast asleep on the stack of mail covering the dining room table couldn’t be bothered to raise his head as Danielle raced to answer the door.
“Hey Danni, what’s shakin, bacon?” Caleb, Danielle’s best friend whisked inside before Danielle could manage a reply.
“Ugh… Caleb, I’m having the worst day,” Danielle groaned dramatically. “I have all this stuff to make my decorations this year, you can stop snickering you jerk…” Danielle gave Caleb a good-natured punch in the arm before continuing to explain her dilemma.
“Hmmm, Sounds like you bit off more than you can chew,” Caleb said as he inspected the barely-begun rosette tree. “Well, why don’t you go take a hot shower and put something on, I’ll take you to dinner and we’ll try and figure out what to do with all… this,” he said as he motioned to the pile of crafting supplies Danielle had heaped on her floor.
“Alright, maybe I just need to get out of the house for a little while. Give me like twenty and then we can go grab a bite at that diner you love,” Danielle waved her friend over to the couch before heading back to her bedroom to jump in the shower.
About half an hour later, she reappeared, already feeling a good deal better thanks to a long shower and putting on something other than sweatpants. “Sorry it took me a little longer than expected, I couldn’t find my black boots and, what the hell?!?” Danielle looked wide-eyed around her apartment and could barely believe her eyes.
“What do you think?” Caleb said from behind her, a mischievous look in his eye. “I did good right?”
“How… where… Oh my God, Caleb… it’s… amazing,” Danielle said breathlessly. Somehow, in the thirty minutes Danielle had been indisposed, Caleb had managed to complete everything on her list, and now, her apartment looked like it could be on a Martha Stewart magazine cover.
“I got bored and saw your ‘to-do’ list and thought I’d give it a go. Turns out all the stuff you had listed only took like a few minutes tops and before I knew it, ba BAM! It’s like Christmas threw up in here! But in a totally awesome way… right?” Caleb looked around at his handiwork and smiled smugly at Danielle. “Don’t worry though, I left your tree thingy for you to do… I mean, I’m only one man, albeit a ridiculously handsome and crafting-wizard of a man. Come on, you’re buying me dinner,” he said and grabbed Danielle’s arm and pulled her towards the door.
“I’m still stunned! I can’t believe you did all this… for me. How can I ever thank you?” Danielle bit her lip to stop the tear threatening to slide down her cheek.
“You mean other than dinner? Hmmm… well, I’m sure I’ll think of something,” Caleb coyly replied since he knew exactly what Danielle could do to thank him- agree to a first date, something he had been planning since the day he met her.
The Not So Fantastic Reality:
The above story was inspired by the following tidbits I encountered today:
ONE: Another day filled with Christmas and crafts (does it get any better?). In addition to the 23rd trip to Michael’s Craft Store this week, Andy and I set to work on our own Christmas projects. Unfortunately, the project I really had my heart set on completing today was the only one that wasn’t finished. I have these two foam trees that I have been just dying to decorate so I was all geared up to makes some rosettes from tissue paper and cover them both in the cute flowers. Yeah… I got one and a half rows done before throwing in the towel. Oh well, I did manage to make my Christmas wreath, Andy threw lights up on the house in like two minutes and I created a stovetop Christmas potpourri that’s simmering away and filling the whole house with yummy smells. Looking at the small little foam trees, I can’t help but feel like it shouldn’t take me longer to create my beautiful trees than to put lights up on an entire house- then again, I’ve been wrong before.
Love & Squirrels.