Tuesday, December 04, 2012


I'm not really up for Christmas this year.

This will be the first Christmas without my Dad. He was a big kid at heart, and he was the keeper of all our family holiday traditions, from the Chinese almond cookies to the Nat King Cole Christmas album. The thought of trying to celebrate this holiday without him makes me absolutely miserable.

My mom and sister are wisely just opting out. They're going to take a long weekend away, and then lay low on the holiday itself. We've decided on no gifts, except for the kiddos.

I wish I could do the same, but the other 3/4 of my household very much want to celebrate Christmas, and as one of them is 3-1/2 years old, it seems we don't have much choice in the matter.

So I have to grin and bear it, I guess. But with a newborn baby in the house, nobody seems to be expecting much of me, and so I think I will be able to live up to their expectations quite well.

My goal is: Spend no money. I can't go crazy on hand-made crafts without spending money. I can't put pressure on myself to decorate the house festively, or bake amazing things, without spending money. The truth is, I don't want to do these things. So for the folks I absolutely must exchange gifts with, they're getting something from the Use What You Have stash. The Ghost of Christmas Present predicts a lot of little felted items coming from me this year. And I'm halfway through a pair of EZ Mocassin Socks, so someone will get those. And I think that's going to be the extent of it. Thank goodness I still enjoy knitting, with or without a holiday attached to it.


  1. Sorry to hear of your loss. Sometimes we just need to retreat and regroup. I hope you find that you can create new traditions with your 3-1/2 year old that help get you through this time.

    From my own experience, letting others take over most of the work involved can let you enjoy the activities you do choose to participate in.

    Letting your little one "help" decorate the tree may not result in a picture-perfect tree, but she'll remember it as the year she was grown-up enough to do it. (Paper chains are a big hit, so are snowflakes if she can handle scissors.)

    Making cookies as a family is another fun time. You don't have to have the usual 15 (or however many) types, just one or two will do. (And cookies from a box or the bakery work, too!)

    I struggle with Christmas every year, and have found that although I'm an intensely private person, it helps to be upfront with people when I'm overwhelmed.

    Sometimes I get cards out; other times I don't. Sometimes we have a big dinner, others we get a deli tray and sit around the tree having a picnic for our holiday meal. Sometimes we visit other people and share their holiday and others I am happy to stay home and count my blessings. Those who love you can be unexpectedly kind.

    I hope your holiday is one of unexpected blessings and helps to heal your heart. I'll keep you in my thoughts.



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