Wednesday, December 12, 2012

un-hip thoughts on Christmas

I'm not a hipster. I don't try to be. I like my Christmas decor tasteful, but with a dash of reindeer-dusted-with-sparkle. Our tree is a motley collection of ornaments from vacations, gifts and childhood memories. The lights are colored LED. One strand may or may not blink (we have decided this is firmly a tree decision- some nights it blinks, some nights no so much).

I was reading the column of Miss Conduct and saw this:
Admit That the Holidays Aren't About Good Taste . . . "Good taste" in the sense of kindness and sensitivity toward others, absolutely. But not "good taste" in the sense of albino-pumpkin-and-white-chrysanthemum Thanksgiving centerpieces or Christmas trees of Art Deco perfection that no yarn-and-Play-Doh kindergarten ornament will ever desecrate. If that's your thing, by all means have the holidays as you like and revel in your tasteful splendor. But if, deep down, you really want to wear reindeer sweaters and listen to Andy Williams, or go outside and bang pots and pans at midnight on New Year's Eve, or throw all the Hanukkah gelt down on a roll of the dreidel like a riverboat gambler - then the holidays are the time to let those nerdy impulses hold sway. When it's cold outside, baby, why be cool? The holidays are the one time of year we're allowed to regress and wallow in nostalgia and anti-hipness.

I completely agree. In addition to that, I think we've lost the spirit of the holiday. At least, I know some people who clearly have. It's about family and getting together, sharing meals and hugs. NOT about wish lists, demanding certain gifts, having a tantrum, and holding grudges. And, that's just the adults. 

I've had a moment of inner peace earlier this week. I let go of holiday expectations and concluded the following:
  1. there are some people in my life that are not happy unless they are making other people unhappy. 
  2. these people have their agenda and I can choose to play along or smile and think peaceful thoughts while ignoring them. 
  3. I choose option b.
  4. I have a budget. 
  5. A handknit gift is  good gift. It's enough. 
  6. A hug from my best friends is the best Christmas gift I get each year (Sylvie and Mari are good huggers).
  7. My  niece looks forward to our post-Christmas visit so much that she's already talking about it. Because she wants to spend time with us. 
  8. Going to mass makes me feel peaceful and connected to my faith. I'm comfortable in my spiritual life. 
  9. Singing along to Christmas music makes me happy. I like the older (50s and 60s) tunes better than Mariah Carey and Michael Buble versions, but I know all the words to EVERY song. 
  10. 14-15 people will be in my very small apartment on Christmas Day for a meal. We'll be cramped, we'll be tight. The ham might have to travel out the back door, up the driveway and in the front door to get to one end of the table, but it's FAMILY. Family's not perfect. We laugh too hard, we love too much, we argue, we assume, we push, we pull and we choose to spend the holidays together. 

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Holiday Knitting

Sandra's elves have been busy! Two pair of fingerless mitts in two days. 

Top pair: 
  • Yarn is Madeline Tosh, Fragrant color way, super wash
  • Pattern is April Mitts, by Swans Island Yarns
  • Needles, US 7 dpns, knit picks
Bottom pair:
  • Yarn is from Pumpkinmama's shop, Vines. Handspun, colorway is "hippie chick"
  • Pattern is Camp Out Mitts
  • Needles, US 7 dpns, knitpicks

Monday, December 03, 2012

Finished Object Alert!

Margot's sweater. A basic, top-down raglan with superwash worsted weight wool. I needed to jazz this up for her though, so we added the knit rose and bling-tastic buttons. Size 6 months, US 7 needles throughout. 

It was gifted to her mom yesterday at knit day. Mom is my best friend, Sylvie, and though she doesn't knit, she can can certainly appreciate the finished object! And, we love having her at knit day. 

I have a very special present to share with you tomorow.