Back in January, I remember thinking that I’d like to give more handmade gifts this year — particularly handknit socks and hats for everyone. I thought I’d start early, work steadily through the months and accumulate these presents in a rational, scheduled fashion.

Yeah, right.

Aside from socks for my mom and my son C (the green ones that he wanted so much which are still not done, by the way), there will be no other handknit presents this year. From me anyway.

I’ve realized that this pressure to give the handmade is all part of the internal stress that I put upon myself. It’s a false construct to say that good socks are the only way my family knows I love them, so with 6 days and counting, I’m letting it go. There’s still time to shop online, right? Maybe with express shipping? It’s all good. Breathe.

And I’m not the only one feeling that pressure to whip up gifts for the family.

In November my daughter E decided that she wanted to make gifts for everyone. She cornered her twin brother and showed him all her “patterns,” i.e., those free craft idea sheets that you get from Jo Ann’s. And then she asked him what he’d like her to create for him.

This is what he chose:


It’s a robot bank of some sort (also green, I just noticed). Thank goodness for Grandma having the patience over Thanksgiving to show her how to follow the pattern and make it for him.

She’s also knitting this for her father:


It’s a scarf (green again — what is it with our family and green this year?). She works on it sporadically, whenever the mood strikes her.

But here’s the beautiful thing: E is completely fine that this scarf won’t be ready in time for Christmas to give to her father. Know what she said?

“It’s okay, Mom. He knows I’m working on it for him.”

Grace under pressure, that one. And a better, less stressful attitude toward making gifts for the ones you love.

I’ve got a lot to learn from her.

How’s your gift hunting/making going? Feeling any pressure with a handful of days til Christmas? Yikes!

About thethingaboutjoan

Mom of three who knits a little, bakes a lot, crafts a bit and blogs about it all.
This entry was posted in Christmas, Crafts, Family, Knitting and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Pressure

  1. Vicky Myers says:

    I too find I put myself under pressure to make gifts and cards – this year I am only giving handmade chutney, made a few months ago!!

  2. Yes, I always say those things at the beginning of the new year! That I will do things differently and slowly and time-scheduled, but NOOOOOOOO! And yes, I am a little rattled, but you know, there are 6 less days this year that last.(Between Thanksgiving and Christmas) So we all have a right to be rattled. Let’s just try to enjoy it. 🙂 Sigh!

  3. MidKnit Owl says:

    I’m very behind on my gift knitting – still a sock and a tea cosy to make. I could definitely learn something from your daughter though, what a fantastic response to holiday pressures 🙂

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