‘Tis the Season

I’m not usually all that excited about Christmas, in fact, I’m usually pretty ambivalent about the whole thing. On one hand, I love the songs, drinking egg nog, and the cozy feeling of sitting around a fireplace with your family. The part that gets me down is the rampant consumerism, the mandatory conspicuous consumption that forces me to buy the closest approximation of what my friends and family might possibly want or need just because it’s December.

The funny thing is I absolutely love giving gifts. It’s one of my favorite things to do. But I really don’t like buying objects just for the sake of spending money, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to come up with really elaborate or meaningful gifts, and of course often fall short. And then I get grumpy and antisocial and growl “can’t we just skip Christmas this year?” over my fourth hot toddy. Once someone takes away my whiskey things usually start looking up.

I was beginning to steel myself against this inevitable mood swing when I saw my good friend Andrea, a new transplant from Minnesota to Manhattan, post the following notice on Facbook:

This is my first New York City Christmas tree. Notice it has no ornaments. I could buy some, but ornaments aren’t much fun without sentimental value. That’s where you come in, my friends. I’d like you to help decorate my tree. If you send me an ornament and your mailing address I will hunt through New York and find the ornament or the components to make one that I think belongs on your tree! Hope this way I can share the holiday season with friends near and far!

What a ridiculously good idea! I immediately got that itchy finger feeling that proved I needed to cast on for a new project, so I found some scrap yarn and started knitting an ornament for Andrea. I didn’t even bother charting, I just started doing somewhat random stranded knitting. About a week later, and three time zones away, here’s the finished ornament:

And of course I couldn’t stop there. Now I needed an ornament for my (as yet unpurchased) tree. This time I wanted to do a more elaborate pattern, so I found a really old chart on Craftster and got going. Here’s my progress:

Thanks to Katie for the chart!

Is anyone else knitting their own Christmas ornaments? I’d love to see them!

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