For Christmas, I gave Mr. Cleaver a skein of sock yarn.
"I am supposed to learn to knit?" He asked, eyebrow raised.
"No," I replied, "This gift is two-fold. 1) Sometime this year you'll get a new pair of socks and 2) I didn't try to knit them before Christmas."
As creatives and makers, it's easy to get overwhelmed with a desire to try to make our holidays as handmade as possible. I've definitely stayed up far too late many a December trying to finish a gift or two before that deadline on the 24th.
In 2016, my creative life was ruled by deadlines more than ever before, and it was incredibly stressful. So when I had a month of no deadlines and over two weeks of vacation from my day job planned, I decided that I wasn't going to give myself any new deadlines.
So I gave my husband a skein of yarn for Christmas and I didn't make my daughter a thing. And I'm okay with that.
Instead, I decided to play.
I spun yarn for the first time since LMC was born. I baked my way through a 5 pound bag of flour with whatever inspiration struck my fancy. I needle-felted, and needle-felted some more. I wet-felted a pair of slippers for the first time. I was able to sew for the first time in months. I crocheted snowflakes and learned how to steek. I picked out yarn for a sweater, for me, from someone else's pattern and have knit most of it. I made snowmen and ice skated and took naps with my daughter.
It was like summer camp in the winter and it was glorious.
I want to make this a new holiday tradition for myself. December is for dabbling. It's the best gift I could receive.
Wherein I talk about body image, mental health and making your own clothes