Pink Monkey Knits

Using my opposable thumbs to knit up a storm!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Holiday Denial Rant AKA is it really the most wonderful time of the year? 

I'm going to take a chance by posting a potentially selfish rant, but here goes. I'm feeling really cranky about "the holidays" this year. This is partially because of the timing, in that it's falling in the same time frame as I'm preparing to move and take a two month international trip (which, in an attempt to be organized, I made a list for the other day of things I need to do previous to my leaving. It has 25 things on it, and it doesn't include the actual packing and putting items into storage process. Is anyone interested in some holiday work as a personal assistant?). I'll be working probably until a week or so before I leave, so I don't have a bunch of time. I sure as hell don't have a lot of money, as I'm saving it for the traveling and for my return, when I will be unemployed. I'm at a decent point stresswise right now, but will soon only be able to function because of it. So why do I have to add to my platter of things by agonizing over whether my mom will like a damn purse shaped like a chickadee, or what to get my dad period, or which of my friends I'm close enough to that it merits gift giving, or if I have to get Cobra's aunt and uncle presents. Really, it seems to me that the commercialism of the holidays is just getting worse and worse and it just puts on all this pressure to guy the perfect gift. Why is this stressful?? I'm supposed to be giving a gift, it's supposed to be an inherently generous gesture!
I think this especially applies for us knitters. A few weeks ago, there started being a rash of posts on blogs about how quickly Christmas and Hanukkah are creeping up and oh shit we gotta get moving on knitting presents and oh my it snuck up on me again this year. At first, I thought, why are you stressing out so much about this? For me, knitting is MY hobby. Of course I make things for other people, I would get really bored just doing shit for myself all the time and feel that many of the people I know are worthy of some hand knit goodness. But that doesn't mean that there should be an expectation that any gift I give for any occasion will be a knit one. I tend to think that if your hobby is starting to stress you out, there's something wrong in the balance there. If your knit gift list is getting to be too long, DON'T KNIT YOUR BLOODY GIFTS. My intentions for this season were just to cruise along on my Grasshopper like nothing special was happening, but when I felt like I was running out of ideas for things to buy, I caved. Luckily, it's only four simple items e.g. my mom requested a big knit square that she could wear as sassy scarf. Yeah, I'll hook you up with that. If it becomes too overwhelming, I swear to all of you out there that I will just buy the damn things.
OK, this is the really tough part. I hope you won't judge me harshly for saying so, but I..Well..I get sick of all of the Christmas stuff. First of all, we've started using the generic term "the holidays" but really, it's referring to X-mas while the rest of us get some token crap here and there. And you have to admit it's become a little excessive. There were commercials for X-mas stuff this year starting before Halloween. In October!! Whenever I saw them, I would yell at the TV, "It's not even Thanksgiving yet!" It's more than just on TV with the commercials and special X-mas episodes, but with the songs on the radio, the decorations everywhere, the special merchandise. Don't get me wrong, I think that the individual traditions that people have for any holidays are beautiful. I love to hear stories about what my friends' rituals and routines are. That's totally understandable, because I love it when we do Hanukkah at my house and my parents and I always forget the third prayer we're supposed to say. It's just that the in-your-face-you-must-be-a-freak-if-you-don't-celebrate-Xmas feeling starts to get annoying after a while.
I warned you that I was cranky. Really, I'm not trying to offend anyone, I'm just trying to bring a different perspective. I have encountered people who are surprised that movie theaters are open on X-mas because they never think that anyone isn't celebrating. Well, for some people, it's just like any other day except crappier because nothing's open.

Despite that, I am very grateful to have many warm and wonderful people in my life that I will have the pleasure of sharing Thanksgiving with. I hope the same is true for you and I wish you the happiest and safest of holidays.