Saturday, December 25, 2010

Raiding the Button Jar

I finished up my last official holiday knitted gift two days ago. Technically I still have other knitted gifts, but technically those don't need to be finished until late January.

My last holiday knit needed buttons, and I thought I already had the perfect ones, but turns out I only had four and the project needs eight. We were spending Christmas Eve and the day before with the husbeast's family, and I was puzzling over whether to walk downtown and see if the LYS was open when I remembered his mom keeps a button jar.

Button Jar

After dumping out the whole thing, I started by weeding out buttons that were too large or obviously wrong (for example, metallic with embossed anchors). After also putting back buttons that did not come in a set of eight and seriously considering the possibility of using deliberately mis-matched buttons, I was left with three choices. I picked my favorite, stuffed them in my pocket, and walked down to the LYS anyway to review their options. They were indeed open, and I had to talk myself down from purchasing several pattern books (has anyone else noticed that Aran Knitting is back in print?). But I still liked the button jar buttons better than anything the LYS had to offer.

I walked back to the house, pleased at my own frugality, and sewed the buttons on while the husbeast's aunt baked up a storm of cookies and we caught up on life. The husbeast was incredibly happy to have me by his side for this part of his family's holiday traditions.

I'm working on my last knitted gift today, and thinking about how things in our lives grow and change. I was also thinking about Stephanie's post about the solstice and lunar eclipse, which I did not get to see due to bad weather. Endings are sometimes a necessary (and healthy) part of life, and this year has had a lot of endings for me and the people around me. But those endings have been good endings, the natural death of an old part of my life.

This year, I won't be spending Christmas Eve at the church I grew up with, or Christmas morning opening presents with my parents and siblings. Change can make me anxious, exhilarated, energized, but rarely does it bring the sense of calm I find myself searching for at this time of year. This year is the first year I stuffed a wrapping paper bow on my own cat and attempted to take his photo, and the first year I got to spend the holiday with my new chosen family instead of settling for a phone conversation peppered with "I miss you so much." I don't know that I can say it's the happiest Christmas I've ever had (there was the year I got a telescope for Christmas), but it's been Christmas times three. Today is the calm in the middle of all the traveling. And I hope all of you get some calm, peaceful, reflective time in your holiday as well as this season turns around and the calendar turns over.

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