I now, I know.....some of you are probably going, it isn't even fall yet! *SPOILER ALERT* It is! Fall started last week even though its still in so much of this country clearly Summer or Summer-ish.
Now I spent too many years in retail and I can tell you that even if you don't see it, odds are there are Christmas items in your local store. This week I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, Christmas ornaments on a wing panel at my local store. That's not a big deal as sometimes those go up as early as July, but seeing as October starts next week, a lot of stores are going to have Halloween stuff up (if they haven't already) and might have an "Early Christmas" section as well. Most of the larger chains will backfill in Halloween season items with Christmas stuff as they can, but this post isn't about retail, well not directly.
You may or may not realize that Christmas falls on a Saturday this year, which means at least one weekend is shot for gaming because most of you have families and such. That leaves three weekends in December before the big day, and even if you game every single weekend (lucky SOBs), you know damn well that you'll have at least one, if not seven, Christmas parties to attempt to attend between those three weekends. Work,, Church, neighborhood, clubs, etc......it will probably feel like everyone is vying for your otherwise prime gaming time in December.
When you couple this with all the other holiday shit you have to get done I'm just saying it is probably a good idea to write off December when it comes to gaming or getting together with your regular group. I know a lot of you will manage it anyway....but for planning purposes, best to assume otherwise.
Now if you want to get your fellow gamers anything for the holidays that means you're effectively down to two months. No problem if you just plan on buying some stuff off of Amazon or at a local store. Plenty of time to grab some dice or what you think is a good unpainted mini for their favorite character, but if you prefer to build vs. buy...well two months might not be a lot of time.
Clearly we're all different so I can only speak for myself on this, but I'm a grown-ass man with no kids and no local family. I make a decent enough wage. Pretty much everyday is Christmas so I'm 110% happy not getting Christmas gifts period, much less from my fellow gamers. I do enjoy a little bit of gift-giving though, but usually only if I make something. I really enjoy the creative process and Christmas is sometimes more an excuse to take on projects that don't make a lot of sense if it's just for me.
Anyway, I already have an idea for this year and two months might be a little tight, but we'll see. I've got my main idea for "everybody" which might translate well for my gaming group but I have some other ideas that...well again we'll see.
What kicked all this off was a quick side-stop to my local hobby store and I thought, "Hey, what if I make XXX for my group this year. Is this something they'd like?" I went to check on some supplies I'd normally make instead of purchase and found out that the store put out a whole bunch of stuff I could use on clearance for 75% off. I may or may not have bought out that entire store and driven the hour down to Wichita Falls to buy out the other store as well.......
Now in retrospect the idea I had won't be a good one for my group since we play virtually, but I can still use the supplies so anything I did pick up would be worth the expense.
My entire point is that Christmas is kind of around the corner and if, like me, you want to create gifts for your gaming group, you might not have nearly as much time as you think. Between planning, prepping, and creating, you have essentially two months, tops.