I have been in my workshop doing some outsourced work for Santa the last few days. For the most part I have a handful of splinters. It is rather difficult as I can't work with Elder and Younger around and awake, which leaves me with the wee small hours to do any work. Furthermore, the lack of time has forced me to do something I don't normally do: use plans.
I hate plans. Almost every plan I have ever used has an impossible measurement. In addition, plans usually envision an industrial model, in which the woodworker makes a hundred parts, and then starts assembling them. When you discover that one of the parts is slightly off, or the impossible measurement, and so on, you are up the creek with one hundred useless pieces of wood. I prefer my galoot methodology, where I cut a few pieces, start assembling, and cut all the other parts to fit.
I have been lucky down through the years, though. I have been able to get away with giving my children handmade toys patterned after the toys of bygone years without complaint and much joy on occasion. These days, the kids are aware that there are other kinds of toys out there and unless I can carve a serious microprocessor out of maple in a hurry, the children will be most disappointed with Santa.