Please don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. I love the warmth, the fairy lights, the candles (and yes - a bit of mulled wine). What I increasingly struggle with is the excess and the intensity of it all. Each year seems to bring a mounting sense of urgency, of the endless pursuit of seasonal perfection and a constant comparison between myself and others.
I know that the last point - the comparison - is entirely on me. It’s the way that I can respond to external pressures when I’m feeling less than positive about my own circumstances and that’s something that I am working on.
But, that minor personality foible aside I do feel as though every year brings with an onslaught of more - more Christmas “stuff”. There are some beautiful yarn advent calendars out there and some really lovely KALs and projects but sometimes it all just feels a little bit too much.
I’m really glad that I decided not to buy a yarn advent calendar this year. I was sorely tempted back in the summer when my favourite dyers were busy plotting and planning. But in the end I decided that I would rather not put that pressure on myself to keep up. I would inevitably feel that I had to keep up with the daily knitting (again - that’s entirely my own neuroses talking) and that it would just add to the general feeling of overwhelm that often threatens to overtake me at this time of year.
So instead, rather than wallowing in my own self-analysis I’ve decided to adopt a few principles for a more minimalist knitty Christmas.
I am packing away my WIPs (and a sizeable chunk of my stash) - all of them - into the loft when I get the Christmas decorations down. Instead I am just going to have the 3 or 4 that I’m actively working on instead of the huge WIP basket that stares balefully at me every time I pass it.
I will pick out a few suitably seasonal skeins of yarn to decide on a relaxing “Twixtmas” project - the lovely period between Christmas and New Year when nothing ever happens.
I am doing absolutely no gift knitting, other than things I want to do (read: none)
I have asked for no yarny gifts (or indeed any gifts) this Christmas. Both my husband and I have agreed that we have enough “stuff” and we would rather folks donate to Crisis or some other charity on our behalf.
Rather than doing an advent knit I am going to use up some of my sock yarn stash and make a series of hats for a homeless shelter, ready for donation in the New Year.
I am really sorry if this post comes across as “holier than thou” or in any way miserable. I promise you that isn’t my intention at all. But I’ve been writing this blog long enough now to realise that if I’m feeling a certain way there are bound to be others who are feeling just the same.
I love seeing all the advent and festive posts on my social media feed but for this year I am giving myself permission not to get caught up in the seasonal knitting. But instead to relax, light some scented candles and just do some nice plain hat knitting with no pressure or expectations.