Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A pre-Christmas panic attack

Breathe deep. Keep calm.
I CAN see the calendar.
Head between your knees.
I do know that it is only early October. 
Bring paper bag to face.
I can't seem to get Christmas off my mind right now. And I may be getting a little panicky about it.
Go to your happy place.
It seems ridiculously early but Christmas is front and centre in my brain right now. And the really odd thing is that I have sooooo many other favourite holidays that come first! (Halloween, Black Friday, Yarn Sale day etc.)
My recent panic attacks might have to do with a list that I made for myself of potential Christmas gift ideas for friends and family members. I make one every year. Typically this list includes things to buy for my loved ones.  But this one is a little different than in previous years. This one has a list of only knitted items next to each name.
It started simple, with my immediate family: my husband and my kids. That's 4 people right there and they all want sweaters!  I add my parents, my in-laws and I am feeling a little light headed now. Then I add my sister, her husband and their two sons that are both over 6 feet tall and my sister in law. Bubbles of hysterical laughter escape as I frantically look back and forth between my list and the calendar.
From here it snowballs... badly. I add our best friends,  my counsin's kids, a good friend with a benchmark birthday and my grandparents. I have drool frothing at my lips when I start thinking that I could pound out  6, maybe 8, of these really cute little stuffed apples for teacher gifts.
From Knit Simple, Holiday 2012
I need to go through my stash!
I need to get to the yarn store!
I need a sharp rap to the head... because it would take a fleet of about 5 professional knitters working full-time between now and Christmas to make this list happen! It's so ridiculous that I should be laughing about it instead of hyperventilating.
I do know that I can't possibly make something for everyone in my family between now and Christmas. So I wonder why I am spending time worrying about this. This may have been doable, maybe,  if I had started in January- of last year- and had budgeted a couple of small projects a month. But even then I doubt it.
Seriously, it is a really big list.
This might have something to do with the fact that I have finished more projects this year than I have in the previous 4 years combined. I think that I have recently jumped a skill level which has allowed me to hit a groove. As a result I have churned out some really nice projects this year. I have made a combination of small and big items.  I think this recent productivity has made me insane cocky.
Each month I review the newest knitting magazines and on-line patterns and the list gets a little bit longer. And I find myself saying "Oh, that lace scarf would be so nice for my sister-in-law. I think I have the necessary 1500 yards of lace weight in my stash!"  Or I remember that my friend has always hinted that he'd like a pair of warm cabled mitts and LOOK at that pattern, right there for the very same!
Flint Cabled Mittens,
Brooklyn Tweed, in Shelter
Never mind the trouble I get while on Ravelry. I currently have 62 items in my queue and those are only the items for me.
So why am I torturing myself?  It is simple really. As much as I am a process knitter I really like to make handmade gifts. I like being able to show someone that I care about them enough to have spent tens of hours making something just for them.
I am trying to understand this better but just because I can make something doesn't mean that I should. Not every gifts needs to be handmade. Something that I think is beautiful may not look the same to another. And not everyone values a handmade gift. This is a lesson that I have learned the hard way. Some people really do like store gifts better. Or cash. This is okay.
A gift, when given, should be more about the person receiving and less about the hang ups of the giver.
My rational brain knows that I should calmly put down my list and walk away. I should pick the few items that I can reasonably accomplish between now and Christmas and focus on those.
That sounds like a great idea but my knitting brain is still in panic mode.

No comments:

Post a Comment