The other countdown is the clock ticking by each day as you get revved to complete your planned handmade gifts. I employ a tool that I don't use enough - hyper-organization. This tool's range goes from list making to project bag organization to the tools that hold my yarn.
My first step this year was to make a list of the things I want to make in their entirety and then break each of those things into their most basic steps. This way, they are more concrete ideas and I get credit for every little bit of headway that I make (I am one that needs gold stars and pats on the head when I done good).
Then, I break it down into what has to happen each day.
The above list is only a sampling of what I need to and plan on completing this holiday season (there is a whole other set of lists for top secret gifts and sewn items).
Now for my gold star of sorts: I am participating in the Knit ALong (KAL) for the Advent-Calendar-Scarf 2011. If I am a good girl and finish my gift making at a reasonable time(and dinner making, house cleaning, child loving, etc.), then I am treating myself to a 24-32 rows of lacy bliss. The designer generously releases a clue a day over 24 days. I am making mine in Brown Sheep Legacy Lace; 2 skeins are very affordable and easily fit even into a very tight December budget. The good news is that she is in Germany so the next day's clue goes up at a reasonable time in the evening in our time zone; so, on a particularly productive evening/day, you could get a little ahead.
Happy Holiday Needling,