Surprisingly, I emerged without purchasing a single thing from the Outlet Mall trip. True, prices were low, but it just felt weird. Women in the hundreds were wandering around the store, bunches of purses on their arms, confident these objects were the key to their holiday joy. After last year's knit-a-palooza, I find that I can't try to my loved ones with whatever the stores are offering. I really enjoyed knitting for everyone last year, regardless of how much work it was. I haven't had the time to do the same this year, so I'm taking a different strategy: I've knit quite a few things for people over the course of the year. For those who I have not squirreled some piece of fibery goodness away for, I will figure out sewing possibilities. I've managed to collect a decent stash of fabric and some decent sewing skills; I can come some up with something, I am sure. For those who are left, I'm trying to wrap my head around books (I love books as gifts, especially when said books come from people who share my reading tastes and/or know me well) and vintage items from flea markets and thrift stores. If I can't make a homemade holiday, I'm thinking this is the next best thing: gifts that are thoughtful and attempt to sidestep the cookie cutter commercialism of the season. Now to check my list and make a plan to finish everything in the midst of papers and grading and general school insanity.
These next few weeks are hectic: holiday preparation, classes wrapping up, and the everyday goings-on of life. I will try, however, in these coming weeks to breathe and enjoy the season, revel in my friendships, and not let the to-do-ness of the holidays get me down.