Yesterday I broke down and added the rest of my Christmas knitting to the my Year of Projects list. The realization that the list was not as overwhelming as I had anticipated to be was a little bit of a relief . It did however force to me to take a step back and admit that I am not as close to being finished my Christmas knitting as I would like to be. For me this means that I have focus more on my Holiday Knitting and less on my personal knitting. It’s a blessing and a curse when I make this decision as I become highly productive with completing gifts and begin to hate the whole process at the same time.
So this begs the question: why, as knitters, do we engage in Holiday Gift knitting when it makes most of us crazy? I know of countless stories both in the virtual world and in my personal life where other knitters have literally gone a little mad when the Holidays roll around. Sane and rational people, myself included, throw all that out the window and become quivering, whimpering, knitting machines. Knitters knit right up to the holiday deadline, which is usually sometime before everyone wakes up to tear into their gifts on Christmas morning. And then the knitter tries to enjoy watching the proceedings while suffering from exhaustion and too much caffeine. (I strongly suggests not poking any knitter with anything at this point as they are wound so tight they may actually explode. That would really put a damper on the whole holiday, don’t you think?) I personally have been reduced to tears by my own Christmas knitting and yet every year I find myself doing it again and again.
For me this really stems back to my childhood. I loved receiving handmade gifts. The idea that someone cared enough to spend time creating something for me instead of going to the store had a huge impact on me and now as an adult I like spreading that same feeling around. And I hate malls. I hate them with a screaming passion. I go to one only when I have to. I hate the way that mass produced objects squelch creativity and make it difficult for independent artists and craftspeople to make a living. I hate the way that those same objects usually come at a cost to the environment and the global economy at a price that is not reflected on the tag. I hate having to deal with all those other people who are tired and dealing with their own holiday stresses in the mall. It’s not fun for me on so many levels. (I always stare in amazement at those people who have a tradition of not shopping until December 24th. I have no idea how they do that without losing their minds.) And my dislike of all those things is amplified right before Christmas. So I chose to make things even if it makes me crazy and cranky.
I am always a little envious of those knitters who don’t put themselves through the yearly ordeal. Part of me wants to be more like those knitters. But then I’d never have the story of weaving in the ends of a scarf while in the car on they way to the Christmas party or seeing the look on my father-in-law’s face when he opened his blanket and then refused to let anyone else near it. In the end, it makes me happy. And that is why I do it. Selfish, I know. I certainly wouldn’t be able to do it if it didn’t make me happy. Now, please remind me of that in a few months when I’m whining and complaining and unable to finish a complete project because my brain has turned to mush and is leaking out of my ears.
Check back over the next few months for my Tips on Surviving Knitting Through the Holidays.