Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Not So Crafty Christmas

I had plans. Big plans. Everyone was going to receive homemade gifts from me for the holidays, and those gifts wouldn't be lame (like they have sometimes been in the past). They'd be nice. Things you'd think were bought from the store. This would be in keeping with my move toward consuming less and valuing others more with my time and energy.

And then, the last few months exploded, leaving icky bits all around. I didn't plan well enough for one of my classes last summer, and then when things got crazy in the fall with the snowstorms and the pig flu and the travel, that not-planning bit me in the ass (ouch!). As we speak, I'm trying to recover from the abject failure that was one of these classes this semester (the other one went fine, I think). Ick. Ick. Ick. Doesn't help that I have a big professional review coming up and am probably going to have to explain some baaaad student evaluations for this last semester.

So, I'm getting real. Taking a deep breath. Allowing moments of grace in. Like the fact that most of the adults in my life offered to not trade gifts this year, instead focusing our energies on the little ones in the family. That's a huge relief. Like the fact that I'm in a career that allows for some failures now and then. I'm probably not going to be fired tomorrow. Like the fact that I had an hour late last night where I could just sit and listen to my needles moving back and forth in the dark stillness of my house, without feeling pressure to finish.

I guess it's this: I love making things. But I don't like having to make things. For me, making things is a time to disengage from duty and responsibility and my incessant brain chatter. If it becomes obligatory, the joy goes out of it. I'm all about finding opportunities to feel less obliged. So I'm just going to respect that, and celebrate a less-hectic holiday, which is exactly what this one is shaping up to be.

Glory, Hallelujah (or Honolulu, as my girls would say).


  1. Well said. I had grand intentions as well this year. It's not coming out as expected. And I'm learning to be okay with that. I'm taking time on my girls' gifts, not rushing it, and enjoying that instead of mass producing a bunch of junk. I will say thank goodness for etsy, and other people's craftiness!

  2. Grace is the closest you got to perfection in this whole thing. It, along with faith, might be the only things that really matter. I have heard how you define grace in previous posts and I haven't taken time to look it up in the dictionary (although if I did, it might say 'unmerited help given to people by God') but grace, as I understand it, is the best thing to hope for. Life is a brutal struggle at best...oh yeah, and Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I like to cover all my bases.