And I am not going to do it this year.
Why? Because every year we design, make, write and post 150 Christmas cards. Sometimes they're a bit crap, but sometimes they're good (even if I say so myself, 2009 was a pleasing vintage) and they've always had a lot of time and effort put into them. Last year we had them ready at the beginning of October so that, in a nod to philatelic economy, my Mum could haul them all the way home to post in the UK. And after all that (and a fifty quid charge for overweight luggage - oops), many thousands of miles from home for the first Christmas in our lives, we received six in return.
Talk about out of sight and out of mind. To say I was hurt doesn't even come close. Naturally cards do need to be sent, tendrils of friendship do need to be extended, even just as a reminder that we're still here. But this year they'll be largely shop-bought, ready-made and, the way things are going, they are quite likely to be late. If others can't fork out a stamp for us then who cares?
Well actually, I care. Keeping in touch matters to me. And I always feel that a home-made Christmas card, or a couple of lines of a personal message, or a scribble by the kids, embodies the spirit of the season. Particularly compared with a supermarket multipack card marked "love from X, Y and Z", but with no indication who it was intended for (ie anonymous production-line card-writing). Or worse still, the dreaded photocopied round robin (shudder).
[Apologies if you're a round robin writer, but I find even the most amusing ones (which are precious few) faintly cringe-y. Sorry.
By the way you can start calling me Scrooge any time around about... now. And if you were about to point out that that last paragraph highlights a possible reason why we only got half a dozen Christmas cards last year... well, fair enough. Maybe every cloud has a silver lining; fewer cards means fewer round robins. Bah humbug.
Part of me wants to maintain the higher ground with the Christmas card situation, make our own and carry on regardless. I've had some designs sketched out since August. But the coming month is going to be busy, and there comes a point when you've got to prioritise. I don't mean to sound self-pitying (even though I know that I TOTALLY do!) I've just decided to invest time and creative energy elsewhere this year, safe in the knowledge that the sentiment would have gone largely unreturned anyway. Perhaps normal service will be resumed next year.
On a more positive note, one parcel is already winging its way across the oceans to my dear friend in time for Christmas. The stash-buster scarf is finished, and I'm super duper pleased with it. Not only did it completely use up the odds and ends that it was intended to, but by sheer luck I think it's probably the most useful and wearable thing I've ever made. It's about 6'2", there are 600+ rows of K1P1, and it was pure meditation to make. This is going to be a tricky Christmas for her, but I hope this shows how much I've been thinking of her. A kiss in every stitch and all that.
|modelled by my glamorous assistant!|
On completing it I realised that since July (and since starting this blog) I've made only shawls and scarfs, nothing else. Time to stretch my brain cells with a last-minute Christmas knit for my little poppet. This is going to be a Zooey cardigan from Rowan kids, using Rowan Extra Fine DK Merino that has been sitting in my box since April 2010. Such a perfect Christmas colour in squishy soft merino - I hope I get it finished in time!
Where books are concerned, I've just finished the Booker prize winner, The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Everything I've ever read by him is so carefully written, and this is no exception. You can just sense that every sentence has been considered at length so that it says precisely what it needs to. Nothing more, nothing less. So despite being a short book, it took me a couple of weeks to read, in small slow chunks. I enjoyed it a lot, I find his style very interesting. Next on the list is The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. I thought that Middlesex was phenomenal, so I hope this doesn't disappoint.
Joining in with the inspirational Ginny and her weekly Yarn Along on Wednesday. Do nip over to see what others are making and reading, they'd all love you to join in. And I'm pretty sure they're all feeling more benevolent with their Christmas spirit too!