Sorry kittens, it's all text and musings today.
I've been noticing a trend on Ravelry and the Blogosphere: posts about winter holiday knitting--Christmas in particular--are popping up at an alarming rate. I'm starting to wonder if I'm the only knitter not busting her balls (ha, sorry, couldn't resist that one) to make every member of my family a gift with time I do not have. Truly, this puzzles me. I am working on one holiday knit but not firm on the deadline. Perhaps I'm a bit odd, but I believe in giving gifts when I feel the urge to rather then on a schedule with dates dictated to me. It defeats the purpose and spirit of a gift. Just a personal opinion there. For holidays and birthdays, I'll send well-wishes and treats instead.
But, oh my! The stress and panic that is jumping off my screen as I read these forum posts and blogs. Why do knitters do this to themselves?
The ones that stick out most to me are the ones that I've seen argue that they love to knit for others and that's why they do it; it's a good and selfish thing for them to do. However, you're going to have a hard time convincing me of this point when my own blood pressure is creeping up reading about your unrealistic list of gifts that must be completed in the next three weeks. The writer herself admits that she'll have time for nothing else but grinding, non-stop knitting while she slaves over these gifts. These gifts she's...enjoying...to knit. Right. If the written word could hyperventilate, these posts would be doing it.
The other posts that seem to be just as prominent are the, "SCREW IT, I am not knitting for anyone anymore," posts. These usually come with an amusing but sad tale of ingrate relatives and friends who have no appreciation for the handknits that were gifted to them. They have no idea of the agonizing process of finding the right colors and fibers, the right pattern, and then the hours of labor that went into that gift. None of this is a surprise to me. What does surprise me is that the poster/blogger was once of the mindset that handknits were expected and something that were owed. Somehow these handknits were saving them money, because apparently, time isn't worth anything. If one has the skills, she owes it to the world to make them things.
Bitterness and anxiety, the internet is full of it for knitters this holiday season. It's the most wonderful time of the year?!
I'm of the mindset that a phone call and personal chat is worth more then a physical gift for most special occasions. Gifts are nice, but I like to think there's something extra nice about them when they're completely unexpected. Whether that is due to the time of year they're received or the fact that I do not gift every single year, it doesn't really matter. I like to flatter myself and think there's something refreshing about my approach, but I'm sure most would think that I'm inconsiderate and cheap.
So, I have a question for those of you out there who are reading this entry: what is your gifting philosophy, and are you currently killing yourself to crank out handknits or other homemade gifts for the holidays?