In the midst of living in a sleepless sick ward this month, I am still committed to fulfilling my 2011 Q4 random acts of kindness (RAK). December is tough because it seems the general global theme is giving (although it's coated in a thick glaze of mass consumption here in the U-S of A).
There is an advantage to having a colicky almost 2 year old (who, Merry Christmas, is getting tube surgery again on the 27th!)...I get a lot of time to craft in bed. Some people eat, other people get the luxury of sleeping...but I craft and drink peppermint tea in bed.
The pit of eternal crafting chaos (another moniker for Michael's) always awards you with a 40% off one item coupon with your receipts (and their smart phone app has them all the time, too), so I tend to make repeated trips to buy 1 skein of yarn. I've collected quite a stash to knit the 5 1/3 projects I can do, so I knew that December needed a knitted RAK.
And I had to attempt the snood again...
Bog Berry Handicraft. Over the past few years, we have reconnected, and have had some great conversations. She is one of those people I would just love to live next door to me and we could wax poetic about wool, wine, elderberry syrup...and then maybe throw back a few and reminisce. It just seemed like a natural fit to send this one off to B. Hope you enjoy! (and thanks for everything...)
But it doesn't end there, lovies...my bed is sprinkled with fabric remnants as I just finished another Moda honey bun Christmas wreath! (And I'm working on another for my office's dirty Santa party, too!) This has yet to be gifted, but will end up in the hands of a very special someone who has been and always will be our chosen extended family...she's been there for us through many a crisis, and is, hands down, partly responsible for the grooming and nurturing of my children. A silly fabric adornment pales in comparison to the acts of kindness she has bestowed on our family, but it's a start! (AND, Miles helped me with the cutting and folding for a few nights in preparation for assembly!)
We are slowly firming up our own holiday traditions over at our household. I was contemplating doing the Elf on the Shelf thing, that much like the concept of NASCAR, I only became aware of in my adult life. Not like NASCAR, I was intrigued, and even considering buying the Elf and story...and then I retreated. Listen, I applaud all of the cute Elf stories and strategic placements each night--but the whole idea seems to be steeped in stress if you ask me. We have a hard enough time motivating to make our boys' lunches every night, that hiding a toy each night seems quite laborious. Additionally, we have 2 really great advent calendars that we open at lightning speed to get out of the door a little after 7:30am each morning. And I'm not going to lie...I blame the creep factor...the idea of a toy watching you to assess your behavior seems a little creep-tastic to me. Miles already told me he doesn't want Santa coming down our chimney. Crazy looking fat guy, who sports a scary beard, dressed in a red suite tipped in tons of polyster white "fur" breaking and entering the home via a chimney that just screams claustrophobia--yeah, I don't know about that either!
So I admit it. I am not going to do the Elf tradition primarily because it's too much stress for me. I think my kids will be okay (and also, I do want them to know that they need to have good behavior all throughout the year...not because they are entitled to mountains of toys on Christmas if Jo Jo reports it such to Santa.)
But I do want to have some tradition and things to look forward to. I read about a great idea where you put a fragment of wrapping paper in your child's stocking...under the tree, presents are wrapped and assigned based on wrapping paper pattern. Fun, eh? I think we'll be doing it this year!
Another tradition I started this year was to drive around and look at the holiday lights. We have about 2 strands of LED lights inside our house, and I'm never going to purchase an inflatable train or snow globe, no matter how much Miles and Felix protest...so we'll appreciate other's gaudy taste.
I realized, unless it is a house that is dripping in lights (and power bills) and cars line up to slowly do drive bys, neighbors never know if their displays are appreciated. I told Miles we were going to write little cards that say how much we like people's lights, and drop them off in their mailboxes.
Simple Pimple. I used note cards I already had...let Miles cut wrapping paper to paste on scraps...and let Felix play with markers in between bouts of dramatic crying rolls on the group to add a little abstract art.