Monday, September 20, 2010

Preparing for the Holidays Part 1: Organization

I have to apologise for my absence the last week or so; life has been a little chaotic! However, I plan to be back on track this week: I have many garden updates and other things to cover!


I know some people will call me crazy for even thinking about the Winter Holidays, but the truth is every year I start early and full of confidence, and yet somewhere along the line I become cocky in my abilities and the amount of time I have left, and then I am left scrambling at the last minute to get everything done. Which usually means I am unable to finish everything I had wanted to, and end up vowing to start even earlier to following year. So here's to staying on track and on time!

The reason I am always pushing myself so hard to make so many gifts is because I believe it is just one more thing I can do to lesson our dependence on items and materials produced out of country and far from home. The less distance something has to travel to us, the less energy, money, and materials it takes for us to have it, which is just better all around.

I also understand that it is just not possible for everyone to make their own gifts. Even I will not be making all our gifts from scratch, but as many as I can. The rest I will try and find from local merchants. Again, by frequenting smaller, locally-owned businesses and tradespeople, less dependence is made on transporting foreign goods, and you are supporting your local economy.

But here's the rub: one argument I've heard is that we need to support the smaller, less-developed countries by purchasing their goods, and that without our patronage the people will be out of work, and therefor starve (in not so many words). Unfortunately that may be all well and true, however, I think as a global society we need to rethink the way global trade is done on a grand scale. Instead of buying t-shirts and plastic toys produced in these "less-developed," why not give them the means to support themselves independently, and then focus on obtaining all our goods and services close to home? I suppose that's just not good business.

But I don't really know enough nor want to get into that debate.

The second reason I want to make as many of the gifts ourselves is because I want our children to learn the importance and reason for giving a gift. I want them to learn that gifts are not given to show off wealth; or to see how much one can get. A gift is given because someone loves you, and they want to show you just how important you are to them. A gift that cost a lot of money is not any more valuable than one that did not; it is the thought, and reasons behind the gift that is important.

And what better way to show that then to give something that has taken much time and love to make. Better yet, if I can teach my sons a new skill or idea while I am at it, than it truly is a valuable gift!

We are very blessed to have family and friends that also think that way. I know when I make say, a pair of thrummed mittens, that it will be appreciated and cherished, and not looked down on that it was only a small gift.

So unless I run out of time or suddenly become ahead of schedule, this is what my Yule/Christmas gift list looks like:

To knit:
4 Hats (and perhaps at least 1 pair of mittens to match)
3 Bags
1 Set of knitted dolls to make the Fellowship of the Ring (that's 9 in total!)
1 Pair of socks
1 Baby blanket (which I started before Marcus was born, and have yet to finish)

To sew:
2 Knight costumes (a cape and vest each)
1 Shrug

Over the weekend I sorted through my yarn to see what could be used for any of the projects, and then ran out to our local yarn store to purchase what was missing. It's a little overwhelming to think of what all needs to be done, but I know it is all too easy to become obsessed with that and never get anything done. So on to knitting!

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