You know how people tell you how busy they are at Christmas, with the shopping for gifts and groceries, card-writing, parcel-sending and all?  I just stand there listening to that, and then say to the person, “Yes, and now add replying to orders, packaging fruitcakes, driving to the post office, and making local deliveries daily to that list.”

In other words, YOU aren’t busy; I’m the person who’s losing their mind.  Because as you well know, I love to hand-write Christmas letters, send cards, shop like a lunatic for gifts, wrap them like an artisan, bake cookies and plan meals.  So the month of December has now become truly unmanageable.

I remember how I’d put down the Martha Stewart Living magazine, and then get busy reproducing some of her lovely ideas in the house or yard.  After near nervous breakdowns, Denis would remind me that Martha has an entire staff to do all of that, and I would go, “Oh yeah, right.”  But at least I had the time to give it a good try.

And so, after days of thought, meditation and prayer, I’ve come to the decision I have to stop selling my fruitcakes wholesale to stores.  I mean really, I’m not Mrs. Weston, so why try to make volume, earn 2 cents a cake, and hate what you’re doing?

As you know, I stopped selling to all stores outside of Kelowna, as I thought if I keep the product in stores in town, I can avoid people driving to my house to buy them.  However, people have become so used to the fruitcakes in these stores that the orders locally are large.

So now I’m thinking next year all of these local people will still want my fruitcakes, so will have to come here and pay me the full price for them.  I can adopt a better attitude about people coming to the house, and really, with my on-line repeat customers I can now have a solely home-based business.  Then next year we’ll see if I’m in a similar vile mood.

 I’ve been feeling somewhat better after making the decision that all sales will be retail, hence via me, but I’m quite nervous to tell the stores as it’s going to be horrible for them.  I had a similar experience the other day when I went into Illichmann’s for a large loaf of marzipan.  They now only carry the small, so I felt murderous toward the poor clerk.  Same thing next year with the fruitcakes.

On Thursday night I had a small Christmas dinner party and invited Petra, Larry, Kathy and David, and everyone enjoyed Louie’s antics, especially the way he plays with the cats.  I thought the food was horrible but they had to act like it was okay.

I made boeuf Bourgignone, but by the time we ate it, the meat was desiccated as it’d been in the oven that long!  I said to them, imagine this one hour ago, chunks of stew meat in a lovely red wine gravy.  Most of the time I’m in shock by what’s happened in the kitchen while I’ve been visiting with guests.

Luke’ll be home next week, and he said he could hardly sleep last night with excitement thinking about it.  Mom’s having a gala Christmas party next week that we’ll attend, so that should be great fun.  These things help to minimize the crankiness, though we now know there’s only one real cure: buh bye stores.

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