I’ve always been partial to the Christmas Season. I love celebrating the Lord’s birth. For years I hosted a big party in my home for my local writers’ group. Oh boy. The decorating I did. While I won’t be giving huge parties in my new, smaller home, I took the time last weekend to bring out the decorations and put my "Christmas stamp" on the interior and exterior. (Photo is of my fireplace mantel.)
Yesterday was shopping day. This year my adult daughters made the decision that we stop buying gifts for all of the adults. As God’s call to me this year was one of simplifying my life, this made huge sense to me; I don’t want more things after just going through the purge where I gave away and gave away and gave away. None of us lack for things we truly need, and none of us want things we don’t need. So we are going to do a "give one, get one" exchange. The younger generation (my grandkids), of course, is another matter. They still get gifts from their parents and me, and some of my grandkids are still young enough that they are easy and fun to shop for. One new experience for me yesterday was entering a Hollister Clothing store in the Boise mall on behalf of Granddaughter #1 (who is 15). Wow! Do they know how to sell to their target market or what? I can’t explain other than to say it was unlike any clothing store I’ve been in before. (Poppet looks worn out and she didn’t even go with me to the mall.)
Another "policy" I took on a number of years ago was to cease the practice of giving gifts of candy or whatever to the friends and professionals in my life. (How much chocolate does one editor need, anyway?) Instead, I give to charities in their names. Angel Tree and the Heifer Project International are my charities of choice and have been for some time. It feels so good to press that donate button and know that someone is being helped because of my Christmas giving.
Finally, I have been looking for something artistic but unrelated to writing to do for some time. Many, many years ago, I used to paint with acrylics and water colors. I was given paints one year for Christmas more than 15 years ago but never put them to much use. I played the piano as a teen. I have an upright piano, given to me by my aunt about four years ago, and I’ve owned a keyboard for more than ten years. A few years back, I took keyboard lessons but eventually dropped them because I didn’t have the time to keep up the lessons and the practice due to a crazy schedule. I used to make lots of my own clothes. I’m not even tempted to go there again. I crocheted a baby blanket for a cousin back in the 1970’s, so I gave that a try last summer. I was pathetic and obviously needed some lessons. Sigh…
Yesterday, on my way home, I stopped at the craft store and bought a knitting book, needles, and yarn. (Yes, I used to knit too.) Well, it may have been 25 or 30 years since I last had knitting needles in my hands, but it all came rushing back to me. Like any beginner, I’m starting with a scarf. So while I watched TV last night, I knitted away. I’m about a sixth done. I have a brown winter coat that I’ll wear this with. (The brown tones of this yarn don’t show up very good with the flash, but trust me. There is lots of brown.) Maybe a hat will be next.
Now it is back to revising my Christmas 2008 novel while Christmas music plays on iTunes and I sip my Holiday Peppermint coffee.