As a non-practicing Jew, I’ve had the pleasure of skipping out Christmas. Between the 25th and New Years, I used to sleep late, read long novels, listen to the radio and catch up on my movie rentals. Then I met the woman who I eventually married. Her family actually celebrates Christmas, and now I do too.
It’s taken me a couple of years to get the hang of this. Last year I drove myself insane buying gifts right up through the first week of December (though I heard that I was finished early, compared to some people). This year, on my wife’s advice, I started early. As in April. That’s when I came across a knitting pattern that I knew one of my gift recipients would like. And thus was I introduced to the annual dilemma faced by all the knitters of the Western World: knit Christmas presents for everyone, or for no one?
There’s not much middle ground here. Knit for some of your folks, and the ones who get books, CDs or fruitcakes will be envious. Knit for everyone and you’ll extend the stress of the holiday (which already lasts too long) over the entire year. You’ll also be doing the one thing that will make you hate knitting for the rest of your life; making it obligatory.
That leaves the final option, and it’s the one that I’m taking. Birthdays are fair game. Baby showers are open season. Heartfelt acknowledgments of deep and lasting friendship (my favorite reason to knit) will always be part of my repertoire. But from now on, I’m doing all of my Christmas shopping here.