It crept up on me slowly--freeze dried scalloped potatoes one year, no handmade chocolate covered cherries the next. I got tired of doing the big production meal every single year, while somebody else picked up the slack, oh let me see, ONCE. I don't remember what re-ignited the spark in me, but I wanted more time for knitting. Making hats and socks and scarves became a whole lot more fun than baking gigantic star and moon-shaped monogrammed cookies for eighteen people. You can knit sitting down with a glass of wine. Cooking? Not so much. It was time to cut back.
This past year, I finally did it--no gourmet-type meal for the in-laws, just a huge pot of kick-ass chili, a crunchy salad, brownies, and lots of knitting time for me. They'll love it, everybody's happy, problem solved. Winner, winner Costco chicken dinner! I could spend the month between Thanksgiving and Christmas doing nothing but blissful knitting, without having the burden of that huge holiday meal on my mind.
You're not going to believe this, but trying to crank out the majority of my holiday knitting between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve is about as stress-free as taking your kid driving on the freeway for the first time. Who knew?
It just seems like a month ought to be plenty of time to finish all my holiday knitting, because of course I will have started all my projects early. But then, I let spring go by, and summer, and all of a sudden it's Thanksgiving and the only thing I have to show for all my good intentions is one pair of socks. That sweater for my mom? Still in skeins. The stranded mittens I planned for DD? They have to mutate into plain fingerless gloves. It's not that I haven't done any knitting. I've done plenty. But somehow most of the Christmas socks turn into birthday and Mother's Day socks. The rest of it always seems to go to this really selfish person who collects Danskos just so she can show off her hand-knit socks. She's so bitchy sometimes. I don't know why I keep knitting for her.
It's beautiful outside today. The sun is shining, that damn woodpecker is drilling holes the size of basketballs into the side of our condo, and for the first weekend in a long time it's not snowing. Christmas seems so far away. In the back of my mind, though, I can feel just a little bit of that holiday pressure. This is a good thing. Maybe this year I'll not only make the list early, but also begin the actual knitting BEFORE Costco re-stocks the blowup Santas. I can look at the patterns I already own and try to remember who I bought them for in the first place. I can knit those patterns with the stash I already have and put them away for the people on my list (except for You Know Who) until the holidays. But for now, while the sun is out and the sky is a gorgeous shade of robin's egg blue, I'm going to put on my Danskos and take the dog for a nice long walk. I've got plenty of time to start my holiday knitting, right? Right?