Christmas Magic

All last week when I was finishing the book, I kept thinking about my to-do list for Christmas and saying "I’ll worry about that the weekend of the 18th."  I flew home Friday the 17th, fell into bed, and woke up the morning of the 18th and thought about what a huge mistake that was, because there was little or no chance that I could accomplish everything that I wanted to that weekend and I shouldn’t have wasted time sleeping.  Still, I am a hopeful sort, and so I made my wee list and decided to give it a go. The list?

1. Take Hank out on our annual shopping trip to buy his mum something,  and have lunch with him.  (Without once saying anything like "EAT FASTER")
2. Assemble and decorate a gingerbread house with Hank and Sam (aka Nanook of the North, home for a visit!)
3. Bake and decorate the entire seasons worth of gingerbread cookies. (Without threatening consequences for making a mess, or invading on the proceedings in an overly controlling manner.)
4. Bake all the spritz cookies (the kind you make with a cookie press ) and decorate them with Megan, because they are her favourites.
5. Finish a pair of medium men’s socks, even thought I only actually had only about a three-quarters of a single sock done when I got up Saturday morning.

I drank two cups of coffee and started.  What happened next is a miracle. 

1. Hank and I did go shopping, and we did have lunch, including a croissant that Hank is here demonstrating is as big as his head.  (Note to my sister, his mother, that he also has a very nutritious bowl of soup which he did eat some of.  Enough to count.)

(Please note that the croissant also doubles as very excellent demon horns.  We did.  Very festive.)

2. Assemble and decorate a gingerbread house?

Done! (Thanks to Joe for propping up some shoddy architecture with a snowman cookie when the roof started to slide and the 10 year old boy started to look disappointed. Nice save.)

3. Bake and decorate the seasons worth of gingerbread.

Done!  I baked, the kids decorated and every one of them was done that afternoon.  (Including the mystical ginger-fish.  Don’t ask.  It’s better not to wonder that miracles of a child’s mind. Just know that there’s nothing wrong with his imagination, and Sam hasn’t outgrown much.)

4. Spritz cookies with Meg?

Done – and not just done.  Done with impressive precision and beauty.  Meg’s a committed cookie genius.

5.  That left the socks.  To finish, I needed to knit an entire men’s sock (and a toe) in one day. Here’s where I was at 9:30 yesterday morning.

That’s Lorna’s Laces sock in Pullman.  Love this colourway.

Now watch this.  (My favourite thing about this series is watching the light change as the day goes on.)

Finished at 8:30pm. You know what I have to say to that my friends?  SHAZAM!!
Now don’t get in my way.  Today I’m knitting a whole sweater.  Just a small one.   Totally possible.

PS.  I’d like to point out that all the time when people tell me my goals are unreachable?  It’s weekends like this that let me think it’s all possible. A thousand defeats and one victory, and the optimist in me is reassured and confident.

239 thoughts on “Christmas Magic

  1. Am I really the first one today?!?!?!!!
    Anyway, if any day defines a supermom day, it was Saturday. Congrats!

  2. Shazam indeed! (as I slog through grading ethics finals. My shawl is not going to get done. Ever).

  3. Holy sock knitting, Batman! What a victory!
    Oh, and Hank remains a never-ending source of entertainment. It’s been a joy watching him grow up.
    Thanks for the nudge on the cookies. I need to do that too!

  4. you go girl! I want to be you when I grow up. OK, you’re 2 years younger, but I think you’re much more mature than I.

  5. Congratulations! But now I am holding my breath that some crazy, unforeseen disaster doesn’t occur, like a horde of squirrels descending on your cookies and gingerbread house and cart it away, like some gansey wool.
    Hope your holidays continue successfully!

  6. I’ve been saying the same thing… “i’ll deal with that on dec 22nd.” That’s my last day at this job. Then I can think about christmas. I think I’m cutting it a little close. However the eternal optimist in my is inspired by your performance, just maybe I can pull my own shazzam!

  7. What a wonderful day! Isn’t it great when it all works out?
    Have a wonderful solstice and Christmas and New Years! Joy for the light-filled season.

  8. I wish I had your get up and go, unfortunately mine got up and went without me, I am still searching for it, I need to get a poncho done by Saturday I have about 20 inches to knit at 119 stitches a row. on number 15 needles, ah to tired to calculate.I wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Full moon tomorrow night.

  9. Love the spritz cookies. My mom used to make these. Think I may dig into the cupboard for my cookie press. You have inspired me. I can get it all done!

  10. Loved seeing the socks take life one “step” at a time, magical. Boys look happy…food and cookies look good. Well done you…massive applause!!

  11. You are a wonder and a marvel. Hank is adorable. Joe is a genius, and your girls are both pearls beyond price.
    Have an amazing and joyous Christmas.

  12. Wow! I am inspired by your achievement. Have a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends.

  13. One of my favorite couplets is: “Don’t give up when skies seem gray. Miracles happen. Every day.” I’m so glad you experienced a Christmas miracle. Feliz Navidad from Panama!

  14. Pacabunga! (We figured awhile back if cows could have their own excitement word, so could alpacas.)
    I’m shooting for the last half of a sock and a pair of mitts by Friday around the regular job and cleaning house. Totally do-able. Really. I’m on it.

  15. I am always amazed at the speed at which you can knit things. I once did a pair of socks in 2 days but that involved a marathon watching of the first 2 seasons of Gray’s Anatomy & not moving from the couch other than bathroom breaks & to microwave Lean Cuisines or order pizza. In case you are interested, Pullman is a historic neighborhood on the far south side of Chicago. It is actually what remains of George Pullman’s company town with the beautiful Hotel Florence as its’ jewel. I had friends in high school who lived in the original row houses built for the mid-level Pullman managers. I love that Lorna’s Laces names so many colorways after Chicago neighborhoods & suburbs. I’m waiting for Oak Park.

  16. I just hope it’s a cute little mini-sweater, like the two I just whipped up in the last two days using remnant yarn from socks. Weighs six grams!
    P.S. You’re AWESOME!

  17. That was one impressive list completed. WOW! I was just at the point of thinking that 10 more GAAA squares was totally impossible in the next 4 days, but you’ve given me a renewed sense of denial — I shall knit on in vain hope!

  18. Pow! Kazam! Hooray! You did it (with a little help from all of your very talented and creative and fun friends)!
    Especially love the final sock photo. That’s a season’s greeting photo if ever there was one.

  19. There must have been something in the air this weekend – I started and finished all of my Christmas shopping AND the grocery shopping AND remembered to buy bird seed. All in about two hours. (Of course, most of the Christmas presents are alcoholic, so that’s all at one store.) I even found something for my artistic/fussy sister-in-law – she’s getting a really cool carved mask from Ghana. And there spinning and knitting and weaving this past weekend, too! (We shall not speak of the cardigan buttonband, however.) I’m happy!

  20. That one, reassuring success out of a pile of doomed To Do Lists? That’s the hit that keeps people going back to the casinos. It’s just enough of a win to keep you playing a stacked deck.
    I will, of course, celebrate the win. Because, really? This is the perfect time of year to pull a winning To Do list!

  21. I still have a sock to finish before Christmas (top-down, I’m almost done with the gusset decreases on the second sock) … Not nearly as much to knit as you have but I’m stressing!!

  22. You are an inspiration. Hank’s gingerbread house seems somehow less vile and more inviting than the one my little man decorated.

  23. Very inspirational haha 🙂 christmas is 5 days away and I still have loads of pressies to finish!
    I started and finished one yesterday (blogged about) and am doing the same today (maybe not the finishing part…but the starting has happened…

  24. Idea for next year: Knit ornament sized versions of the Items you want to give to go with the WIP-IOUs. Recipients will feel extra lucky to get the full size item with the ornament if you get it done, but still get a cute knitted thing if you find you aren’t gonna make it in time.

  25. Misplaced optimism is my specialty, exactly because of weekends like that.
    Good thing I don’t care for gambling…
    Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  26. inspired by cookie press cookies – also grew up with them in Massachusetts. Was this a sort of 1950s/1960s thing?
    Have Mom’s vest knitted, just need to sew seams and block. You have given me hope that I’ll get it done!

  27. You rock! Super productivity (and blogging it) is amazing!
    Also this is really minor, but I love the way you folded the socks in the last photo. I always fold mine in half at the heel, together – very boring. Your way is so much prettier! Will have to remember that for next year’s round 🙂

  28. Awesome! I’m impressed, and now craving cookies after looking at those yummy pictures. I wish I could knit even half as fast as you do – I’ve got colorwork mittens to finish, and I’m still a novice at stranded knitting, so they’re slow going.

  29. Well done! Love those days; they give me hope. I had one on Saturday myself, and it left me flying high. Except I emptied the spritz cookie tin taking them to places like Sing-It-Yourself_Messiah, so now I have to make another batch. Oh, well, they’re the easy ones because I don’t decorate as beautifully as Meg does.

  30. Holy cow, how do you do all that? I made some Christmas cookies, but they’re almost gone. Now I have to make more. I’m finding that too much knitting in a day is starting to hurt my thumbs, especially my left one, somewhere between the base of my thumb and my wrist. I don’t know if this is the start of carpal tunnel or what. Therefore I’ve been cranking out socks on the circular sock machine lately. I’m guessing those socks you finished,(my goodness, that would take me a month of Sundays) aren’t for Joe. If my memory serves me correctly, he doesn’t like stripes or anything that’s not gray.

  31. SHAZAM is right!! Wow, I am so impressed! And that Hank has always been such a cute kid! How did he grow up so fast??!?! Watch out, Ladies!

  32. Excellent. My Saturday was the opposite of that, but having been going at breakneck pace for some time now,it was nice to just coast for a little bit, even if the packages aren’t going to get there in time.

  33. I am so impressed! Particularly with the knitting. Did you manage to wash all the cookie baking dishes too, or would that be pushing it? ;o)

  34. I rarely comment, but I wanted to say congrats on finishing your list! I’m the sort of person you are and somehow magically (by the hubby getting up early on Sunday) we cleaned the entire apt. enough for the whole holidays and had food for people after his college graduation. Now I’m trying to knock out some rather large socks and you’ve totally inspired me!
    Also, you’re the first person who helped me to realize that a cake of yarn smooshed into a cone isn’t a bad thing and your first sock picture helped me remember that!
    Enjoy this wonderful season of fun and family!

  35. A thousand defeats and one victory is what causes my husband to spend his allowance (yes that’s how we roll) at the casino. The payoff feels so good.

  36. I think i need a nap just reading this post. I could no more finish a sock in a day than fly. you can probably knit and not have to actually look at it, right? I can knit for like 20 minutes on a k1p1 rib and get maybe a quarter inch… sheez louise…..

  37. This totally gives me hope that I’m not insane thinking I can finish a lace sock and knit an entire hat by Saturday. Thank you!

  38. Never had any doubts that Christmas magic happens at your house. You did good. Keep the calm flowing this week and enjoy your holidays. Hugs and Happy Knitting, Alice

  39. way to go!!! I needed this reassurance, too. I’m only making one knit item this Christmas (plus about 4 embroidery items that I haven’t started yet…) but I’m way behind. This is like a pep talk. I can do it too!!!

  40. Fantastic!! But I have seen you knit in person. What an astounding speed demon you are….LOL. I wish more of us had your speed and finese… Merry Christmas and may your miracles continue.

  41. Heh – here is hoping that my Christmas Eve is as good as your 18th 🙂 Only I am a total underacheiver that my hope is to finish an extra bulky hat – winning is sometimes in the goals you set for yourself. Oh and maybe the fact that my teenager is getting self sufficient and just needs me for moral support LOLOLOL

  42. My comment was going to be “you are awesome” but somebody’s already said it. Still true, though.

  43. I’ll see your mystical ginger-fish and raise you a herd of pooping Scottie dog spritz cookies invented when my children were teens with the help of cinnamon Red Hot eyes and mini chocolate chip poops. A perennial favorite.
    Shazam, indeed! One Christmas miracle coming right up!

  44. I so want cookies now! I have a blanket, a sock, a scarf, pair of mittens, and the final touches on a vest to do!

  45. What a totally awesome day. I hope you had as much fun as the kids seemed to have.
    I can’t believe how big Hank is getting–from some who sees his pic posted about once a year 🙂

  46. You are an inspiration! I will finish my finals and get the second mitten done in time for Christmas gifting now – you have shown me the way! Thank you (I don’t think I’ll attempt cookies, however – maybe some cashew brittle)

  47. I have to do all my christmas shopping today, having had a busy month and putting things off- with this post as inspiration, I may just pull it off!
    When I make sugar cookies for christmas, I usually include a trout cookie or two, for my dad. So your mystical ginger fish has friends in the Northwest Sugar Trout.

  48. The fastest needles in the Americas! The shopping, the gingerbread house and possibly the cookies – but the socks too! You are one amazing woman, as I slowly plow through an afghan that I seem to have been knitting forever.

  49. Wow, you are some sort of superwoman! I once knitted a whole medium men’s sock in a day, but only because I was having a serious crisis and was using it as therapy. I’ve achieved nothing quite as impressive since. I’m gobsmacked!

  50. Awwww, I’m really happy for you! I just love when miracles happen. And I always love it when I see pics of Hank.
    I think I’m not going to have a Christmas Miracle this year, as I’ve already taken two nasty falls on ice today, lost a couple gifts that I won’t get back, had the double-knit hat I’ve been making for my husband gnawed on to the point of ruin by one of our very strange cats, and am taking stock of the miles-long list of things I’d wanted to do but simply won’t accomplish. But other than feeling stiff and sore from the falls and more tired than I can remember being in ages, I’m growing peacefully resigned to imperfection this year (my own, especially.) I’ll still be able to wake up on Christmas Day and settle in for homebaked stollen and hot tea with my husband and son, and for us, that’s the most important part of the holiday, anyway. All the rest, I’m letting go.

  51. Supermom & Co. Isn’t it the best when the kids that were Hank’s age, what, 2 months ago, are now functioning as adults! Meg’s spritz cookies are absolute perfection. I had a press but it defeated me every time. The fool dough wouldn’t stick to the cookie sheet – it just came up, still attached to the press when I lifted it. I won by giving it away. Now I pay for it by having to make cut outs and cleaning up the mess. So be it.
    Everyone who was scheduled to get something knitted is accounted for and my Christmas sweater is blocking on the guest bed. I found fingering yarn to match a pair of suede shoes. I’m feeling smug, so you know what they say – “Pride goeth before a fall”. Wonder how far it’ll be?

  52. Partial reinforcement ftw! 🙂 It looks like you had a great time. I love it when time stretches at good times like that, rather than the eternal 2:33 Friday afternoon when I’m stuck in the office.

  53. I’m glad you had helpful elves to make the miracle not only come true, but worth it as well. I would love that colorway for my hubby. The gingerbread house and the cookies are beautiful. Just wondering, would you have bothered to record the events of the day if there was no Blog?

  54. My mom calls those spritz cookies whipped shortbread, and they’ve always been my favourite (though I didn’t know anyone else made them).
    Oddly, our favourite shapes were always the dogs and, in my mind, Christmas isn’t Christmas without her making the scotty-dog cookies (Even though I’m grown and perfectly capable of doing my own baking).

  55. Dr. Wayne Dyer has a story he tells about being so “in the moment” with positivity that during a tennis match, the tennis ball FREEZES in time, thereby allowing him to return an impossible-to-return shot. (Major paraphrasing here — he tells the story soooo much better, but you get the idea.)
    It sounds as though you accomplished your version of the same. I’m not sure how you did it, but as I sit here thinking about it, my smile is as wide at that croissant.
    This type of positivity is what the holidays (and life) are all about.
    Once again, thanks for the inspiration.

  56. Very impressive! And a blog post in addition to that to-do list. Super impressive. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  57. Amazing. I must say I was worried last week you were going to simplify your life too much or overdo and have a melt down. Mostly, I’m so glad you didn’t simplify and leave Hank out of your schedule or blog. I get such a kick out of him each year. Too cute! Lovely gingerbread house and spritz cookies, like the ones of my childhood, only much prettier.
    I’m doing without cookie baking this year for the second year in a row. I’ve always pushed to make a couple different kinds of cookies, but this is the third holiday without my dear friends living nearby, including a now 13-year-old who put those very same cookies out for Santa with a carrot and a glass of milk. I’ll munch on everyone else’s cookies. Happy Holidays to all.

  58. I knit 3.5 socks this weekend. But I didn’t bake. Not since Friday, when I baked a couple of rum cakes after work, and got them to a Christmas party by 7:30. I was pretty impressed.
    I bow at your feet. You’re amazing. I must go now. One and a half socks to finish by tomorrow night, and I worked today and have to work tomorrow. Please send some of your magic this way.

  59. I am stunned. That’s the kind of weekend I plan EVERY week, and I never get that kind of magic. And yet, I keep planning. Huh.
    If you’ve got some magic to share, I could use some to help me finish:
    – An entire tablecloth. Really, it’s just knitting around a stack of napkins and grafting them together. Easy peasy, right?
    – A 5-year-old’s sweater. Still needs half a sleeve, a hood, lining, and much assembly. And it needs to be in the mail on Wednesday afternoon.
    – A set of knitting project bags – sewn, so at least quick.
    – An eye pillow
    – Thumb-repair on a pair of much-loved gloves
    – Holiday baking
    Dude. Suddenly this whole “job” thing seems a lot less important.

  60. OMG! I am so impressed. Even if I wasn’t two weeks into The World’s Worst Cold I could never have gotten all that done. It was a major effort today to get the Christmas grocery shop done (
    Well, most of it.) and I did put in the pine nuts and crystallized fruit to soak in port overnight for a Bolo Rei but all that baking that’s usually in the freezer by Dec. 20? That’s hopefully all at the bakery and my husband will take care of the dinner for the 24th when there’s just seven of us. I still get the crowd and the food, except the meats, for the 25th! Do you suppose cold cereal will do? My excuse is that we had a sugar shortage here in Portugal (this is for real!) and there was no sugar on the shelves for four days, exactly the four I was planning to bake on!
    Happy holidays to you and yours! Please pass the tissues. I seem to have another empty box in front of me!

  61. Wow. I can’t compete with that. I did, however, clean the filters in my vacuum cleaner and then vacuumed the entire house, including my studio. Vacuumed up several rabbits’ worth of hair. Floors are now clean. I’m still amazed.

  62. The first entry I read on your blog (how long ago was that?) was about Hank and the manly pink dragon mittens. Wow has he grown. Where did the time go?

  63. Hank is still as cute as can be. Your daughters and the cookies are amazing. The socks totally blow me away. I hope you sang a few verses of “I Am Woman. Hear Me Roar.”

  64. You are my hero! 🙂 I love the photos of Hank and the girls. It’s fun to see how much they’ve changed since last time I saw pictures. That happens here too! The kids always give us new grandkid pictures and it’s amazing how much they’ve changed as I take down last year’s and put up the new ones. I wish I had someone young here to have fun baking with me! I miss those days.

  65. Hank is 10? When did that happen?
    Dude I totally had a time warp there.
    I did no baking but lots of shoveling and floor washing and laundry and polishing of the sliver and scrubbing of the bathrooms and vacuuming and such.
    Um ….I’m reading Debbie Macromber’s ‘Knit together’. She mentions you. Did you know this?

  66. The first time I read that last line I thought it said, “the optometrist in me is reassured and confident.” And I sat there trying to figure out what that meant.
    Good job!!

  67. You are one SUPER woman! Hank sure is a cutey. Well, your self imposed sock-a-month program has gotten me so inspired that when I found an email invitation to join a certain designer’s 2011 sock club I thought (maybe not really thought actually) a moment and joined up. Wow. I like the concept of socks but have bad SSS so we’ll have to see. I really like her books and patterns.

  68. Your post today reminds me of something similar which happened to me. I had been on a 6-week business trip traveling from state to state and arrived home at 3 am on December 23d. The next day I went shopping and purchased and wrapped gifts for everyone in my family. My tree was also put up and decorated. Just shows what we can do when we have to (but I didn’t have to knit). – vbg

  69. So it was you that time-sucked my Saturday? All those stretched hours had to come from somewhere you know!

  70. gotta love a dose of christmas magic…if it was any other time of year i would have called it pixie dust, but as of 1 week and counting its definitely CHRISTMAS MAGIC!!!

  71. That series of photos brought tears to my eyes. I barely… BARELY… finished five knitted gifts in time to ship to my far-off family members, and while I did bake a few things along the way, they were quick drop cookies (I asked my husband, the pastry chef, to finish baking them for me while I wrapped things, and he sighed and said, “I guess even Michelangelo had to paint a few bathrooms”).

  72. Do you know that mind terrifying moment when a second source says, “He has a Son and a Daughter and all you can think of is the soft purple hat and the baby doll, and wonder how that will go over in the Indian culture.”
    So you decide that a phone call to spoil the surprise is better than the potential shock! All the time calculating that, including going home (1 1/2 hours), meeting friends (2 hours, who knew to pack knitting!), sleeping (6 hours) and going back to work the tomorrow (1 1/2 hours), you have 1 hour to knit a hat!
    He has two daughters. Thank Santa!

  73. When someone (even someone you love) tells you your goals are impossible there’s nothing to do but tell them _________ and that they should mind they don’t choke on your dust.

  74. Bravo!! Makes me believe that I can grade finals, finish the socks on the needles, bake the stollen and basque cake!! You’re my hero. And Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  75. Spritz cookies!!! What a brilliant idea! I have the cookie gizmo and a pail of shortbread cookie dough. You just cut my cookie-making time in half with that idea. Thanks! Happy Holidays!

  76. You so totally rawk…I bow down before your awesomeness, muttering such platitudes as, “I’m not worthy…”!
    Any chance you’d come south a wee bit to teach a class on Irish Cottage Knitting? We’re just a little south of London, Ontario…c’mon, January/February are always better with some teachin’ and learnin’ goin’ on…

  77. It’s great to see Hank… and Shazam is right.
    You are T H E Y A R N H A R L O T! ! !
    I love reading your blog because I never know what you are going to say. Today’s was incredible… Don’t you love Christmas? Enjoy your wonderful family!

  78. Lists are magic. As soon as I write a list, I become more productive. Nothing like crossing items off a list to motivate me!

  79. Congrats! Wanna send a little Shazam! my way? I have lots to do and we’ve been sick!

  80. Way cool spritz decorating- I’m still walking on colored sugar with every step in the kitchen, five days after making mine. The sugar on the floor seems to last way longer than the cookies. But they are so good.

  81. Stepanie, you are my Christmas miracle. It is through you that I know all things are possible.

  82. You’re doing that thing with the time, like with the time warp continuum.
    Cookies look delicious. I want to eat them off my computer.

  83. And, additional CONGRATS are “in order,” dear Harlot… I happened upon a copy of the November 2010 CANADIAN LIVING mag, and was chuffed to see that your blog was named as one of “Canada’s Best Blogs!”
    [but perhaps you already knew this?!?]

  84. If only I were that fast! I started a red sweater for my husband two months ago, but it doesn’t look like it will get finished in time for Christmas (it wasn’t a gift, just something for him to wear Christmas Day). I’m painfully slow! Oh well, maybe he can wear it next year! Have a very Merry Christmas!!

  85. 1. Hank is an awesome little guy and I do enjoy his appearances here.
    2. I’ve never been a fan of “spritz” cookies. But yours look really, really tasty!
    3. LOVE the sock yarn! Must cast on some Lorna’s Laces sock soon!
    4. I’ve noticed I have a tendency to post a numbered list when I comment. I’m alright with that.
    5. Have a very Happy Holiday!

  86. I applaud you, you crazy Christmas elf! I am having difficulty typing this comment because in the past 2 days I have developed callouses on my fingers while knitting socks that guitar players would envy (I wish I could get over pushing. I think it comes from being a thrower and not a picker). And I am going to finish these lace socks that didn’t seem like they should be difficult, but are somehow bending my brain and cramping my hands, just to cast on and finish my second Encompass for my mother in law. Perhaps I am not the one to bake cookies this year. And although I like to, I can live without it. I cannot live without the Christmas knitting. But I’d bet my family could!
    Cheers to you and yours!

  87. What I want to know is, what in Bob’s name did you have for breakfast on Saturday?! and can you send me some of it?

  88. You did it! Standing Ovation! Cheers and bouquets!
    You give me hope. I have 3 non work days before Christmas. Anything is possible

  89. Just wondering how the lovely daughter can have so little clothing on? I am freezing in Oregon and I have on 4 layers of clothing, 3 of them wool. I have not seen my arms since October.

  90. Merry Christmas Stephanie! Thank you for the peek inside your life. We all wish we had you for a best friend (well, LOTS of us already think of you as a best friend, we just haven’t gotten around to telling you yet) and your family is just lovely. I baked sugar cookies tonight and cleaned the house… and even knit on my hat-all after working away from home all day.

  91. Well-done, ma’m! Now you have me wanting to eat heaps of spritz cookies. Unfortunately, I would have to make them first…

  92. OK, so now you’re the cookie guru too?? It’s 1 a.m. or later in MI and I’m all agog about a cookie press. I don’t bake, I don’t do Xmas, but now I want cookies, cookies. And then there’s the yarn, always the yarn.
    Thanks for a year of great posts and brightening my days. If your holidays are half as warm as I detect they are below/around all the work, you’ll be warm indeed.

  93. I’m sure there was some Hank magic involved in your sock success. Can’t believe he’s already ten!

  94. I am very very happy that the day was full of wonderful things. Your children and Hank are exquisite…cookies are spectacular, I can smell them through the screen. hmmm, Gingerfish works – gives me an idea too. 🙂 Thanks Hank.

  95. Well done! and just how warm is your house that people can make cookies in short sleeves?

  96. Wow – you really are Wonder Woman! Maybe my to-do list is too small. I’m going to pull out my cookie press, those tree spritz cookies are really lovely. O.K., I’m fired up this morning to get ‘er done!

  97. Ok, that is totally awesome!!!! I don’t know how you did all that, and managed to knit a pair of socks too but you do give me hope. Of course you knit as fast as lightning, and I am the slowest knitter in the world, but it still makes me hopeful. At least I finished the shawl I made for my mom. It came out really well and she’s already wearing it! She came to visit for Christmas and she lives in the south were it’s usually warm. I live in an old and drafty house in the frozen north about 2oo miles from your great country. You can see the need for a shawl LOL! Good luck on the sweater.

  98. It sounds like you just experiences the FLOW… you know the theory when you are in total harmony with the universe time flows in a different way… everything you do is succesful and you can finish everything just in time…
    BTW those cookies look awesome 🙂

  99. I had that exact same gingerbread kit and made it yesterday. The roof slid off mine too. Never thought of using the snowman to prop it up. I just squeezed more icing into the roof seam. Seemed to work. My boy looked as happy as yours.

  100. Wow – you go! You did apologize for any smugness to the knitting gods, tho, right? We can’t have them getting in the way today. Let’s see that sweater!

  101. Look at you go! 🙂 We love spritz cookies too, but we’ve never decorated ours! I do tree shaped ones that I make with green food coloring, and then I switch to flower shaped ones (poinsetta-ish) that I add red colored dough to the press, so the first several come out looking very artsy and two-toned red/green, finally ending with solid red. I guess that’s the lazy way of making them festive. LOL

  102. A Christmas miracle indeed!
    Note to self: buy more cookie decorating stuff for my spritz cookies. I ran out decorating sugar cookies last night.

  103. Another Christmas Miracle! I always say that I wish I could have the energy and accomplish half as much during the rest of the year as I do the month before Christmas. Everybody have a merry one, and remember that what does get done will be enough–Love from Jenn in Albuquerque.

  104. Not surprised at all! You are WOMAN, hear you roar! Shazam! Now, I must get back to the hat that is half done and the sock that needs a mate.

  105. Kudos! Merry Christmas Steph and a very Happy New Year to you and your family. Thanks for all the good reads and belly laughs you provide. We Love You!!!

  106. Thank for showing wonderful examples of stretching to attain our hopes & dreams. Truly a wonderful Christmas gift in the shape & form of a blog post all wrapped up in love (and a large measure of shear determination).
    Happy Christmas to the Yarn Harlot & her readers.

  107. You know, I hardly ever comment, but this wonderful blog entry gave me the spark of hope I needed to deal with a situation in my own life. Anything is possible, really, with the right mindset. Thank you for sharing — and for brightening a dark spot for me.

  108. Nice socks! I also love how the color changes.
    And Meg is not the only cookie genius here. My younger sis has begun making/decorating sugar cookies over here and we’re all agog at her designs.
    Merry Christmas! 😀

  109. Hey, gingerbread and spritz cookies are MY favorites for Christmas too! I’ll never forget one year at university, living on the coast I made the gingerbread cookies extra stiff to hang on our tree. But the humidity in the air defeated them — the cookies absorbed moisture from the air, swelled up and pulled themselves right down off the hanging ribbons. Wah…
    Way to go ma’am. I’m on year 2 with my first sock. Stuck on turning the heel. Am inspired to try again. Onward to Christmas!

  110. You are a force to be wreckoned with! Great work! I hope you and your family have a very Happy Christmas!!

  111. how in the world…? honestly, are there any tips to be passed along that will make me knit faster? totally serious here. and nothing silly like “knit with bulkier yarn”… doesn’t work with socks.

  112. I’m beginning to believe in that Christmas magic stuff…have had a similar experience this week myself. Stuff that wasn’t finished is now miraculously DONE! Trying to get everything completed by this afternoon, however, since I’m picking up a houseguest at the airport. My brother’s socks may be be the knitting casuality of all this rushing, though. Hope I can power through to finish them in time. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  113. Hank is so darned cute and your a great Aunt. Kids just love their traditions at Christmas. Your blog motivated me (there is hope yet for finishing the cookies)to get cracking. Merry Christmas

  114. Well done!
    Nice to see the family pictures too. Hank is getting tall!
    Here’s to keeping up the energy!

  115. Well shut my mouth and call me slow-poke. Can you send some of that magic my way? I learned today that we have a new 9 year old knitter in the family. I feel like such the proud momma (although I’m only an aunt through love.) Anyway, it changes the whole gift giving scenario for me at the last minute. Not that I mind, I just have to figure out the space/time thing and reset the clock for an additional 48 hours or so. Any hints on how to pull off this process is much appreciated. Happy Holidays to one and all.

  116. You are so amazing! I am hoping that some of your magic rubs off on me so that I can get my fingerless gloves and two hats done before the big day so that three family members won’t be disappointed! And bake cookies. And wrap everything. And find time to work. And sleep.

  117. I love Hank! He’s always got a killer twinkle in his eye and his smile is so sweet. I wish I had a younger nephew to take shopping for his mommy’s present.

  118. Shazam! Wow, that was some powerful optimism you just sent my way.
    Whining has officially ceased!
    THANX — I needed that.

  119. I love it when the time continuum seems to bend enough to get LOTS done. The bad side is that is also bends backwards, which is where I was last week. Cherish those Christmas shopping trips with Hank, as they end all too soon. I miss those times with my kids, but have managed to have lunch with all three of them seperately in the last week. It’s a great time to hear of their hopes and dreams and just to be silly.

  120. SHAZAM! Indeed! Thanks for your Magic. I’ll just go back into my dungeon of depression now.

  121. Here’s to you! (raises water glass vaguely northwestward) (don’t look at me like that, it’s my doctor’s fault)
    I made an entire scarf in about 26 hours (with time out for eating, sleeping, working, and other frivolous pursuits) for today’s office Yankee swap. Someone actually swapped for it after it had been opened. It’s small victories like this that instill overconfidence in me.

  122. awesome finish, congratulations!
    and wow, hank is getting sooo grownup and your daughter are more beautiful every time i see photos, how can you stand it?
    happy, happy christmas and wonderful new year to hyou and yours!

  123. You are one AMAZING woman!!! In SOOOOOO many ways! Great job!
    I had a rather marathon weekend myself so I can definitely relate! Still finishing up one hat and then I’M DONE!
    Have a wonderful Christmas with your beautiful family.

  124. WOW! A truly impressive feat. You are amazing. Is it just me or does anyone else wonder how your girls can be wearing short sleeves and sleevless in Canada? I have on 3 layers and I live in NC!

  125. SOOOO cool that you got it all done. I was breathless by the end of your story. That Hank is super cute. Unfortunately, I’m not making quite the progress you made but still….. having fun. Now, on to the longer (lighter) days!

  126. Amazing socks and an even more amazing day. Any chance you will share your gingerbread cookie recipe?

  127. love love the spritz cookies- I have been making them for my family for over 26 years. I tried so very hard to have my 25 year old daughter take over the tradition and she said mom- your’s look better ( I’m a sucker) and ours are green but with out the wonderful decorations. Congrats on the miracles! I’m impressed. Maybe it was something with the moon!

  128. ATTA GIRL!!! We knew you could do it!!
    I bake spritz cookies every Christmas too!! When I was a kid my mom had a press too. I, sadly, do not. What brand do you have and where’d you get it? I’m in BC so any Canadian store would fine.
    Merry Ho Ho!!!

  129. You’re definitely from the under 40 crowd if you have that much energy. Way to go!
    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas and a peaceful New Year involving lots of knitting and great book sales.

  130. That’s exactly how golf gets you. One good day on the course lets you know it’s possible. Save your sanity… avoid golf.

  131. Love the idea of the ginger-fish! We ended up with gingerbread lobsters at our house…
    Hope some of your productivity makes its way over here today–we’ve got 7 kinds of holiday cookies baked but the house is beyond filthy and less than 24 hours to guest arrival–eeek!

  132. Holy crap! I can’t even find the time to keep up with your blog. Took me the better part of 2 months to make my new sweater (which is very cute but I am so sick of it I don’t want to wear it). Go you!!! Merry Christmas, Stephanie, to you and your family.

  133. Beautiful bokeh on your finished socks. The photograph is almost as beautiful as the socks and Christmas mircle!

  134. Well done on getting all of your stuff finished.
    I love seeing pictures of Hank and watching him grow. It’s amazing how much they change from year to year.

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