This year, I haven’t made or given teacher gifts, I didn’t handknit anything for my secret Santa recipient, I haven’t made batch after batch of cookies. And I am okay with that, I think.
In previous years, not only have I given presents to all the kids’ teachers, and aids, and speech therapists, I made the presents from scratch- one year I knit 7 mini stockings, and put Starbucks cards in them. It was good because I totally was able to internalize the structure of sock knitting, with all these mini socks. But I also remember staying up late the night before the last day of school, weaving in ends of yarn. This year, I decided to cut the teacher presents, for lack of time and energy.
In previous years, I have made scarves or felted bags for the person I’ve drawn for secret santa at school, and this year I couldn’t bring myself to it. Part of it was that my local yarn store has closed and I don’t have anything stashed away that would have worked. But I noticed that when I made the decision to skip knitting something for my colleague, a weight lifted off my shoulders.
Similarly, when I decided to skip the cookies, I felt so relieved. We’ve made tons and tons, and given some away, but eaten a lot myself, too. Not having to make several different recipes of cookies, and put together tins or plates for people was a relief. There is the chance that I will be able to zip my ski pants, too, so there’s another benefit. Don’t get me wrong- we aren’t entirely Scroogey- we have decorated, and hosted a party, and we have gifts, (some homemade) but having a slightly simpler Christmas has helped us with some peace on Earth.
Or at least peace in our own house. I don’t think my kids will look back, and say, “Hey, remember when we made gingerbread houses, and mom yelled at us for putting too much food coloring in the icing?” This year, I am trying to draw the line at yelling.