Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tis the Season

A lot of people get a little overwhelmed at this time of year. There seems to be a lot of pressure to make December 25 the perfectly decorated perfect day for perfect families. So many people around me are making themselves crazy trying to decorate, bake, craft, gather and shop that it is beginning to get scary.

I actually love the Christmas season. I have more or less drawn a line and refuse to cross it. I set a budget for gifts and stick to it (which is more than I can say for the spousal unit!). I do the baking for my household as well as my parents and my father-in-law, but I love baking. It relaxes me. I decorate the house, but we have reached that point where we have so many decorations and so little space that it takes about a day to get everything but the tree in place. And our tree is not exactly a designer masterpiece--the kids decorate it with cherished ornaments that have accumulated over the past 25 Christmases--and that's the way we like it here. And, best of all, I have an excuse to knit.

I know a lot of knitters find Christmas knitting stressful (deadlines are a bitch) or under-appreciated by the giftees after all that work, but I am lucky enough to have a family who actually enjoy warm fuzzies. My mother, hubby, and kids are all big fans of handknits. My father-in-law recently proudly told me that he still wears the toque I knit him a couple of years ago--it's warmer and more durable than any store-bought hat he's ever had. I've learned over the years that mittens and hats are always appreciated, and that you can give the same person handknit socks three years in a row without them finding it dull.

This year, I find myself with a lot of odd balls left over after all the little projects ( why is it that almost every pattern takes 1 and 1/4 balls of yarn?), so I have decided that my project over the actual week of Christmas will be to turn these 3/4 balls into hats for the homeless. Relatively mindless knitting, "free" materials, and giving back to the community. What could be more Christmassy than that?

I hope your Christmas knitting is bringing you joy. Fleece on Earth, good wool to all!