Earlier this month Teri Lynne shared a post mapping out a great plan of action for the upcoming holiday season. It was thoughtful and full of good advice. If you missed it, here’s a link so you can reread it. The very day I read her post I had purchased my first stocking stuffer of the season. My son is in college now, but neither one of us wants to give up our family tradition of stockings—even though he probably wants nothing more than to sleep through Christmas break with time awake to watch movies, read his new books, and eat Grandma’s goodies. Still during the fall when I run across a little something he’d like, I snag it. Yes, Christmas thinking has begun for me. That is why I paused when I read Teri’s post. I could go mindfully into the holiday season and enjoy myself? This was a lovely way to approach such a time of joy, with old fashion common sense.
My Christmas season is filled with knitting. I knit every day of the year. But in the autumn I focus on those I’d like to give knitted gifts for the holidays. I have pared it down through the years. For example, only one person will get a sweater. I rotate through my family members. I even let them get involved: helping pick out the pattern and, of course, the color. I usually start in July so there is time to enjoy the project. I don’t want to spend last-minute sleepless nights power knitting to the finish line. For others on my list, I knit smaller gifts. These little knits are as well-received and probably used more than a whole sweater. For example last year I gave my mother-in-law a cowl. It knit up fast. She loved it. Socks, scarves, and a hat or two rounded out my knit season.
This year as I got started thinking about what to knit there was a post on Purl Bee that caught my attention: knitted dishcloths. (Here’s a link to the site with pattern.) It’s a humble offering, to be sure. But my brother the chef will love a couple new dishtowels. In years passed I’ve knit him a sweater, hat, scarf, and pair of socks, all in orange, his favorite color. Custom dishtowels will be an unexpected knit gift from me. This project is the perfect way to start my Christmas knitting. It fits right into the feel of what Teri was talking about in her post: a mindful approach to the season. While she makes a plan for a sane way to enjoy the important activities of the season, I am making a sensible knit plan. Just as Teri knows rushing through the season filled with obligations is maddening. I know rushing through projects just to have something to give everyone is no fun. Knitting is my calm place. So finding simple gifts, like knitted dishtowels or washcloths, will fill my season with the very thing it needs: a quiet time to reflect and enjoy the season.
Knitters, and crafters of any kind, take a moment and look at your plans for creation this holiday season. Set reasonable expectations. Remember you will want to enjoy the process not stress about the deadlines.