Wednesday, December 13, 2006

What I'm not up to.

For one thing, despite delusions of potential grandeur, I'm not making any holiday gifts. Ok, I will bake some cookies. But that's all you're getting, gang. Cookies and a heartfelt smile. A select few will also recieve a precious jar of homemade rhubarb-lemon marmelade.

There are so many things I would love to sew, but my sewing machine is officially impossible. I thought I would write "toast" there, but as it turns out, I can't bear to say that. I love that machine and I really really want it to work well, because if it did, we would be unstoppable, the machine and I. But there's something wrong with the tension knob and you think you've got it fixed and a minute or two later, it's doing the bad thing again. Which is exactly the kind of thing you can never get them to really fix at the shop, isn't it? Because I've tried to have them fix it better before, and it didn't work. Which means there will be no aprons, though I've got a great template and great fabric and everyone in my household wants one. And no stuffies, even though I'm dying to make some up from the Wee-Wonderfuls Put-Together Book. And no bonnets or ear-flap hats from Mailorder, though man-oh-man, would I love to make some of those. I've also been dying to make needlebooks and pincushions. And wouldn't those be great gifts? Yeah, those or a million other things.

So, I'm allowing time and tools and prior priorities hold sway over me this year. No one I know is going to go cold if I don't knit them a hat for Christmas. No one I know will cry because I didn't make them elf stitchettes on a homemade stocking. I am mourning the lack of space in my life to make beautiful things for people I love BUT I would certainly end up in tears if I started all these things I want to make but cannot possibly finish. In the commuting time and the watching dvds time, I'm working on The Blanket, a project not related to holiday deadlines or rampant commericial pressures to present people with OBJECTS on schedule.

I'm also resisting the urges to shop shop shop and buy beautiful things for the people I love. There are SO MANY wonderful things available at this time of year, and I really am a generous person and I love to give nice things to the people I love. But enough with the Objects On Schedule. The holidays are not about gifts, they are about being with people and celebrating whatever you celebrate - light, rebirth, friends, family, getting through another year, having a new year as a blank slate in front of you. Part of the reason I don't have time for this silliness is that I'm busy DOING THINGS with all these people. We've had loads of visitors for weeks now, and this last weekend when we didn't, we went out of town and threw a party for someone else and then went and visited someone else. I was out last night with friends (dance performance) and will be out tonight with friends (craft circle) and will be out on Thursday night with friends (a cousin performing with his band) and Friday night a friend is making us dinner...

I do want our place to be decorated, I love the atmosphere of the holidays. So I want to make Stephanie's trees and I want to make stockings and I want to make a new tree skirt, and a nice cloth/set-up for our advent candles, and I want to make an advent calendar. But we have a tree, a real tree that smells lovely and will be great mulch in a few weeks. And we will decorate it with things we already have, with the help of a couple of borrowed little girls, and that will be more fun than getting it done RightNowRightAway. And we have some decorations already and just getting them up will be Enough.

And so I'm very busy here, very busy resisting the urge to Make Stuff for this invented need to Give Stuff at Christmastime, very busy being with people I love, very busy with Events but not Things. I have to remind myself every day not to worry about it, not to figure out the special gift for so-and-so, because I'm not doing that, I'm not buying that pressure about Stuff.

As Calvin Trillin says, Enough is Enough. We have plenty of decor, and plenty of stuff, and so do our friends. I have plenty of projects, and plenty of materials, and plenty of plans and plenty of time to give objects to people. This does not need to all happen right now.

Two things there are never enough of are hand-written cards and home-baked cookies, and these are the only voids I will be working to fill.

As for the rest, Enough is Enough.


Blogger futuregirl said...

Luckily we don't really have the pressure to do any commercial stuff for the holidays. The family all gets together, but it's always about hanging out. There are presents, but not many.

One year, when I was way-poor and way-young, just out on my own, I gave heart-felt, hand-written cards to each of my friends and it really seemed to touch them. I think your idea is a great one. I just wish I'd thought of the home baked cookies, too. :)

12/14/2006 10:24 PM  

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