If it wasn’t for the last minute…

Every woodworker has this fantasy.  You may think you don’t, but believe me, you do…

The Christmas morning fantasy

It’s early on that special morning during the holiday season. Cup of coffee in hand, gathered with your pajama-clad loved ones, you wear the sly smile of someone who knows something that the other people in the room don’t. There’s a special someone there, looking for the gift marked for them, but they looked perplexed.

“I don’t see a gift here for me.  Did you forget?”

“Oh, no. There certainly is a gift for you. In fact, I think you are going to remember this year’s gift for a long time to come.”

Taking that someone special by the hand, you lead them into the next room, where there is a gorgeous hand-crafted (insert name of woodworking project here) you spent six months creating, proudly displaying the (curly/figured/waterfall) grain and showing the (high gloss/subtle luster) finish you spent (weeks?) working on.

There’s an audible gasp, a huge hug, and then you are the person of the day, famed in song and story for years to come.

There’s a reason why I called that a fantasy – it has never happened to me. Why? Because I am a terrible planner. All of the grand projects I have thought about giving to my wife, kids, friends or others that would require months to build come to my mind about two weeks before the big day… leaving me smacking my forehead in disgust.

The Last Minute ElfBut, hey, that’s cool. In fact, projects that are a whole lot simpler in design and building techniques can be just as impressive as those grandiose ones, but require only a fraction of the time and materials.  And, with dates certain on the calendar when they have to be delivered, easier can save your sanity during the crazy holiday rush.

That’s why I am launching a new woodworking effort this year – the Last Minute Elf. From December 1 – 7, I am going to present a few simple ideas for projects that can be built in a small amount of time but can offer a big impact.  Just as I have done with Get Woodworking Week for the past few years, I am asking for some help with this project from some of my fellow bloggers – as well as some of the big players in the woodworking world.

The best part?  Everyone I have pitched the idea to so far is on board!

What am I looking for?  If you have an idea for a simple project that someone can bang together in a reasonable amount of time using a reasonable amount of wood, I’d like to see it. Maybe you have recipe for a quick-drying finish that can help you play beat the clock.  Maybe you even have a heartwarming, funny or just crazy story about a gift you received or gave during the holidays.  Write it up and let me know where we can find it. I’ll link out to your blog or article from here, just like I did for Get Woodworking Week. Oh, and if you are playing along, be sure to use the cool logo for the event!

Wake up, you lazy elf!

I’m hoping that we can spread the word about this effort, encourage some people to try making gifts for their loved ones, and maybe provide a little bit of relief for the procrastinators among us.

I see you out there.  I can recognize those who work just like me!

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