The happiest day of the year for me isn't Christmas or my birthday or the first day of school, when all those pesky kids stop running errant through the neighborhood all aclamor with a lack of real responsibility. No. The happiest day of the year is the one when that crotchety UPS woman arrives at my door with the bottles that I will proceed to fill with goodness, alcoholic and otherwise, for the coming gifting season.
The first year we bottled up the liqueurs, we went around town, touring all the boutique-y cookware shops (plus our beloved Archie McPhee's, oh how I miss thee) and managed to eke out a very small number of bottles of the cork top variety. Those bottles ended up costing more than the supplies for the liqueurs themselves, and shipping proved a nerve-racking endeavor. So sourcing an affordable and consistent bottle supply became an early priority for the next year's batch. And that's how I came across this outfit, which I have since dubbed the Happiest Company Ever.
Mr. New Media will readily attest that I'm a sucker for empty bottles, boxes, tins, jars, things that hold other things. Some people can't walk by a mirror without checking themselves out. I can't pass an unfamiliar box without cracking it open and maybe taking a whiff (I'm also always smelling things... how weird is that?). So when I open that box that Ms. UPS gruffly plops on my doorstep, it's like I'm revisiting a collection of old baby photographs. I pull each one out tenderly, marvel at its perfect little cuteness, sometimes letting tears well up. Happiest day of the year.
A close second is the day we fill the bottles with the good stuff. Now, the world is made up of two classes of people. The upper strata is comprised of those who can perfectly and effortlessly decant liquid from one vessel to another without making a sploshy mess, rivers of liquid dribbling down the sides and puddling in a sad little mess on the counter. These people can also usually manage to put a fresh garbage bag in the can without it ballooning outward and inward and in every which manner save the one in which trash can actually be stored. I am not so blessed. So the task of transferring the liqueurs from the large glass canning jars to those happy little bottles falls squarely on Mr. New Media. He's happy enough to do it because (1) it's his sole responsibility in the whole holiday making arena, and (2) because it may be his only chance to sample the liqueurs for himself. So now our bumper crop of liqueurs are all huddled together all cute and innocently awaiting deployment to the gift-receiving public.
Happy, happy, happy.
I'm particularly smitten with the tags which I created using a few of my favorite things (cue Julie Andrews): the Gocco, reclaimed paperboard and blackboard paint (what can't it do?). Oh, I'm on a roll with this paperboard stuff. Can't get enough of it. When I informed Mr. New Media of the New World Order, the one in which we'd be putting aside all cereal boxes, cracker boxes, the envelopes our photo prints arrive in, instead of sending them to the recycling bin, his eyes glassed over with that you're-crazy-but-I'll-just-smile look he gives me. And he gave me the yes-dear nod. And he promptly forgot. And then ensued a few weeks of me picking things out of the recycling whilst cursing that good-for-nothing-husband of mine. But now there's a bulgy bag in the corner of my already over-stimulating (read: cluttered) workspace just waiting for crafty things to happen. Which should be any moment now.