Presents and Presence
The presents were many this year. Every year everyone says we'll do less this year. Sometimes in the heat of the buying and the making and the cooking and the cards and the baking (and the list goes on), I think shouldn't I be doing more presence and less presents? Shouldn't I be living in the here and now instead of planning a whole month (or more) for one day? I must say I did a bit better on some things this year. I bought a pre-made turkey dinner for our Christmas Eve dinner, made chili and bought some crackers and dips for easy snacks and meals. I let many things go and tried not to feel guilty about it.
We had company and for the most part, I tried to relax and be present for it all. I was able to have a great conversation with my brother that lasted into the wee hours. I was able to make my mom cry (the good kind) again this year by giving her a homemade Buttons calendar. I was able to watch J. make Buttons squeal with laughter by turning her upside-down. I was was able to watch Hubby dance to the Wiggles song "Captain Feathersword". Yes, with Buttons. I was able to watch Buttons find her own way to Christmas and I'll post more on that sometime soon.
In the middle of presence, there were presents and I'll give you some highlights. Hubby bought the three of us fun t-shirts. I enjoy Hubby's humor and these shirts are fun. (Yes, I will post a picture.) My brother had a blast with Button's gifts and that will come in a later post. I finished my knitting just in time and pictured below are my mom and J. peeking from behind their two- needle mittens made with Plymouth Encore from Hip to Knit. They liked them and I was pretty happy with my first attempts at mittens. That darn thumb drove my crazy though. I was happy to hear from my friend P. that even extremely experienced knitters find thumbs to be annoying.
My mom. We look alike, don't we?
J. said this was her favorite way to have a picture taken.
J. (with some design help from Mom) made this amazing stained glass for the opening between our kitchen and dining room. Yeah, we were pretty speechless. Yes, we knew measurements had been taken, we had talked about things we liked, we knew she was good, but holy cow! Fantastic!
This is a hard time of year to stay present and not get caught up in the idea of presents. Yes, I enjoy receiving gifts, luckily I like giving them even more. What I've come to realize over time is that you forget about presents, but you remember the people who are present in your life. Presents can be pricey, but presence is priceless. That's what I'm going to use as my mantra during the craziness of Christmas shopping. I get caught up in it all like a tornado. Maybe I'll start working on knitting gifts for Christmas in January so the mall doesn't draw me in just because I didn't start soon enough. With knitting I have presents and presence.