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  1. I received a small order yesterday for a couple of custom mugs that are needed by Christmas. So, I can read the calendar (at least with my bifocals) and know that is just over a month away. We know the drill...design, build, dry, bisque, glaze, cool, pack, ship, etc. and realize that 4 weeks is not a huge hurdle for such an order. With Fed-ex or USPS (or others for international friends), shipping is much more definable than say, 30 years ago, so that part of the equation seems to indicate the package should be on its way at least 4 days before Santa does his thing (I don't like cutting it any closer than that). Here are the questions: Do you set (and announce) a deadline for custom work orders that clients/friends want for Christmas gifts? And, just how do you determine that date? Do you have a firm date on your production schedule for a shipping deadline/cut-off? And, for any of you who have a non-full-time-clay life doing something else in addition to clay work, does this add more stress to the holiday season? -Paul
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