During the year, this usually amounts to no more than the occasional hiccup in my work schedule and of course, I do want to make time for my family and I enjoy catching up with them very much; but despite that, I must admit, when the slippery slope towards December looms on this bearmaker's horizon, she can't help but worry how to make time not only for Christmas (believe me, that's the easy part of the equation!) but also for the many family birthdays and pre-Christmas visits forming a significant element of her (very large) family's December/January calendar.
Unlike those of salaried status, I can't conveniently lay claim to paid holiday leave and a nice cosy office to tuck myself away in during daylight working hours - somehow, even to my ears, it would sound so much more credible to be able say 'oh dear, I'll be at work that day,' rather than 'sorry I'll be busy making a teddy bear that day'! As you know, my workroom is at home, with very much an 'open door policy'! Unfortunately, I don't have a team of helpful elves at my disposal, so credibility issues aside, if my Christmas bears are to be ready for Santa's Sack, I need to work right up until the last possible minute before Christmas Eve, to ensure the smooth running of my bear business during this, my busiest time of year.
So yesterday I decided it might help to plan my personal calendar for December by using a spreadsheet detailing all commitments ... once I'd entered all relevant data, I was shocked to see that in the coming four weeks, there are only ten working days, yes TEN DAYS, available to me to complete my 2008 bear work! Not to mention the fact that I still have my Tax Return to complete and file during that time too! (I promised myself it would be filed before Christmas, so filed it must be!)
So my question is this: please tell me, what is the magic formula for a bear artist trying to balance her December act without offending anyone? All suggestions gratefully received. By the way, I'd be truly grateful if you could work a little sleep each night into my schedule too! Sherry anyone?