Others have peace thrust upon them

Happy Christmas Eve pets.  I’m writing this to you from my desk where  I have a hot toddy with a good sized tot of whiskey in it, while I do my best not to be too disappointed.  A few days ago, Kate came down with a cold, Carlos experienced “gastrointestinal distress” for 12 hours, and a decision was made, in the heat of battle, to move Christmas Eve from their house to ours.  This was the smartest thing we thought, for the whole family to gather here. My house is technically a little tiny for that, but it had functioning adults in it, which was a huge plus.  Fast forward to yesterday afternoon, when Joe goes down like a ton of bricks (distress courtesy of Carlos, no doubt) and a bad cold slammed into me along with the realization that I should snuggle fewer toddlers in the month of December. They’re cesspools of bacteria. (Three big cheers for our oldest daughter Amanda, who took charge completely, and while Joe was sick and I was out with my mother and sister – she went and got all the groceries that we needed. She’s amazing.) We both had a bad night, and I lay on the couch (I was going no where near Joe) and tried to sleep and worried about today. I was (and am) worried about being able to do anything – to really take part. I truly feel awful – and I’m not sure if I should go anywhere, I’m worried I’ll spread it around, and that’s a really craptastic Christmas gift, but at the same time, I’m a little broken hearted about the idea of working this hard to make Christmas nice, and then not reaping the rewards.

I got up when I heard Sam moving around, and got on with the plan to make her a special breakfast. I feel bad that she has to work on Christmas Eve, and wanted to do something nice for her.  I had bought all the stuff, and I thought maybe if I faked it, if I pretended that everything was fine, pretty soon I would be.

samsbreakfastblog 2014-12-24

It helped. It helped a lot, actually, and reminded me that although this isn’t the turn of events I would have picked, it’s only one day, and I have fun with my family all the time, and they’ll like their presents just the same, and was a nice firm smack right in my control freak nature, because the spreadsheet didn’t do anything about this – and what was supposed to be the nicest Christmas ever, is totally going to be whatever a virus decides, and there was no column for that. It’s disappointing, but true, and probably good for me to live with once in a while, right when I start feeling like I’ve got it all under control.

Katie called this morning and she felt much better and I felt so much worse, and we’ve shifted it back to her house – and that means I can opt in or out and the terrible pressure is off. I managed to get my share of the food cooked, the presents are wrapped, and I’ve taken nine pounds of cold meds (and the hot toddy) and in an hour I’ll make the call – see if I can get myself over there, even briefly. Whether I can or a can’t, one thing stays the same. It’s Christmas, and I’m very lucky, virus notwithstanding, and I know it.

What’s Luis hanging today?

papanoel 2014-12-24

Papa Noel! Finally… holy cats, the kid made it.

Gifts for Knitters, day 24.

It’s too late.  If you haven’t got anything by now, the only thing you can do from here is try to please your knitter another way. I give you a rerun.  I wrote this a few years ago, but it’s still darn true.

The Proper Way to Receive a Knitted Gift.

1. Open the gift, and immediately say something positive.  (Suggestions are things like “Oh wow!” or “Oh my goodness!)

2. Hold up the item and smile broadly.

3. If you do not know what the item is, DO NOT SAY SO.
We understand that knitting can produce some unusual items, and that the nature of handmade objects can further complicate things.  If, after admiring the item for some time you are still not sure what it is, say something like “This is beautiful. Oh my gosh.  Can you show me how I should wear it? I want to do it justice.”

4.  After admiring and identifying the item, RUB IT ON YOUR FACE, or at the very least, cuddle it against your neck while saying something positive, like “Mmmmmm”.  Knitters love this.  It’s because we’ve been worried that you wouldn’t like it, and knitting is a tactile thing.   Lots of non-knitters find some textiles scratchy or uncomfortable, and we’re worried that will be you.  Making immediate physical contact with the item reassures us.

5. Pronounce the item  the best gift you have ever gotten.  Kiss or hug the knitter, and show the item off to at least one other person over the course of the day.

6. Place item in a place of honour, and continue to admire it at intervals, remarking (see gift re: Respect above) that you can’t believe that a knitter thought you were worth that much time.


-Comment that it doesn’t fit.  This is not something you discuss today.  Maybe tomorrow. Or the day after. Or in a week.  Not today.  Your knitter has been busting a move for weeks or months for you.  They probably finished a hat at 2am and are a little fragile.  Save it.

-Similarly, do not say it is scratchy, or uncomfortable or not what you wanted.  Despite what some other non-knitters may have you think, knitting is a super expensive gift – and if someone gave you a Ferrari, you wouldn’t pout and tell them you wanted it in blue.

Now go forth and love your knitter.  They’re amazing.

Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noel, Peace out.  Be kind to each other.  Stay calm.

I’ll see you on the other side.

145 thoughts on “Others have peace thrust upon them

  1. Merry Everything — may you have a wonderful, joyous time with your family, and may all of you feel better soon!

  2. Well, bummer. I hope you feel better soon and enjoy as much of the holiday season as you can. Thank you for another year of delightful blog posts.

  3. Merry Christmas to you in Canada!!
    Our Christmas is actually over already, as we celebrate Christmas Eve here in Switzerland ;o But we also celebrate English Christmas in our family, so tomorrow it’s turkey at my daughter’s – like you, I have 3, and it will be a fun family day with little stress and just a few tiny gifts, yay!!!
    LOTS of time to relax with knitting…

  4. Merry Christmas!
    You bring me joy with every blog post and this month the Advent Calendar unveiling made each day a treat. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  5. Pingback: Others have peace thrust upon them | Yarn Buyer

  6. Happy Holidays to You who posted so many days in December it was like an advent gift for me. I checked today just to see….and found you are ill. Get better soon because you always brighten my day! Sending healing, happy thoughts!

  7. So sorry that you’re feeling dreadful just when you want to enjoy life the most. Now’s the time for snuggling up with a hot drink (sounds like you’ve got that under control, at least), some relaxing knitting (the kind that doesn’t come with a deadline), and a good video (I always like the 1993 Secret Garden at moments like this, and it’s only partially because Sarah is wearing the world’s greatest knitted tam). Merry Xmas!

  8. I’m so sorry you’re not feeling well. You’re already engaged in the two sure fire activities that make me feel better: accepting the situation and being grateful for all you have. Congratulations to Sam for stepping up.
    Best Wishes ,

  9. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Thank you for the gift of the blog. I may most often lurk and not comment. Today, I would like to say how much joy/knowledge you bring to my life. So the past 24 days have been an Advent calendar of Yarn Harlot, every day a treasure. Thank you.
    (Hoping you feel better very soon.)

  10. “Some days [and Christmases] are like that, even in [Harlotland].” But you have half the battle won with your positive attitude. Ah, the power of hot toddies. Hope your family Christmas is warm, fun, and leads to some good stories down the years.

  11. Christmas blessings to you! I, too am sick for Christmas, but still mightily blessed. So thankful that we can all appreciate and enjoy our families in the midst of the unpredictable nature of life.

  12. ha, I had a couple of neighbor girls come over for our annual Christmas cookie baking, and one of them was very sick. Tried to send her home, mom sent her back. That night she was in the ER diagnosed with pneumonia. Sigh. Yesterday was freaked that I might be getting sick too fortunately seem to have averted that catastrophe!

  13. All the best to you and yours, Stephanie. Thanks for another year of terrific posts, you faithful blogger, you. You have no idea how you’ve brightened my afternoons.

  14. Merry Christmas and feel better…you always have Christmas in your heart, ready to come out when you’re ready to enjoy it.

  15. Sorry you guys got nailed with the hammer that is germs, of either the viral or bacteria variety. Timing is never right and it’s good to be reminded of how wonderful it is to have family to be there to save you and be flexible with.
    You are a year-round gift to me. I so love reading your blogs and I loved the advent calendar… So, so sweet. Get well soon and I look forward to 2015.

  16. You’ve put so much energy into this season and your family and friends that you’re just running low. Go get your love tank topped off-even if it’s just for a wee visit.
    Papa Noel will bring you a lovely restful healing sleep topped off with the perfect cuppa to wake to and your needles at the ready to knit for YOU.
    Relax and revel in those sweet happy faces that still can’t believe that you managed to knit so much this year…they’re still in awe of the advent calendar (like the rest of us)

  17. Your rules for receiving a knitted gift are good ones for any handmade item really! Thank you so much for the daily gift of the advent calendar. It’s been so much fun seeing which ornament Luis chooses!

    Sorry to hear that you & Joe are sick! Hope you feel better soon! Blessings & a Merry Christmas to your whole family!

  18. Unfortunately the most memorable Christmas from my childhood is the one when all 5 of us kids had some terrible stomach virus. We were all so sick we didn’t care what Santa brought. If yours is less terrible than this, you’re doing good Merry Christmas!

    • One year my husband and all the kids were so sick with bronchitis they didn’t care much about Christmas… went through the motions then back to bed. It was a bit lonely for me, but at least I was healthy. I appreciate whatever kind of Christmas I’ve had since then!

  19. Merry Christmas, Stephanie! I do hope you feel up to some festivities tonight for a little while at least. I have greatly enjoyed your posts all this month, although I have not been commenting. The advent calendar for Louis was a wonderful idea and it’s been great to read about it each day. Best wishes for the new year (and Boxing Day!)

  20. So I posted this a few days ago but figure you were too busy with your spreadsheets to check it out. Here it is again:

    So here’s what I think: sometimes when we start believing that we have power over the universe and it’s energy, we gently receive a gut check. That’s what happened to you today Miss Steph! The spread sheet, while fabulous, is merely your mind playing tricks on you. Letting you think you’re in control. But we all know we’re not. It is fun to think that way for awhile! 🙂 So, go bake cookies and be glad that we don’t have to rule the universe but humbly roll along with it. Have fun.

    Steph, after all the amazing-ness you pulled off the last weeks, your body demanded you rest in the only way it could. Thus your virus. REST GIRL, sit snuggled by your beautiful glowing tree. The rest is all details. Merry Christmas.

  21. However you celebrate this lovely season, I wish you joy, health and a peaceful heart, now and in the new year. I am so sorry you are ill today. Rest, sip the toddy and get well soon. I so enjoy your posts. They brighten my day beyond measure.

  22. Oh, you give me so much joy when I read your words! May you soon feel much better, may you be blessed with the time with your family, and may you have a Merry Christmas (germs notwithstanding). Happy New Year too!!

  23. Here’s hoping that rest and a toddy swat the “bug,” and that you and yours enjoy the beautiful Christmas you’ve put so much effort and love into!
    Thank you for the blog. For me, it’s a treat that shows up unpredictably (except this Advent), but usually when I need it most.

  24. I made a cowl (that Wham Bam Thank You Lamb quick project) for a secret Santa work party a couple of years ago. The year before, gifts were nice gifts. Somehow I missed the message that that year they were sharing gag gifts. Well. The woman who got my malabrigo cowl opened it and laughed. And then looked at me like I had six heads. I’m glad you shared these suggestions. It still pisses me off that she had no idea what she had received. (I should have stolen it from her).

    • I feel your pain JenW. Last year our office did Secret Santa and so this year I knit a cute cowl and a man’s hat (depending upon who I got in the draw). Then at the last minute it got changed to a Yankee Swap which is kind of a mean process whereby people trade off the gifts they don’t want for “better” ones, as they are unwrapped. And they make fun of the gifts throughout the process. I couldn’t deal with the prospect that someone would not like my finished object and so I quietly withdrew from the whole thing. Much easier on this knitter’s somewhat fragile psyche!

  25. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. Thank you, Steph, for giving us 25 days straight of posts, sharing your gift to Luis and all the ups and downs of your holiday preparations. Sending you, in return. As much healing energy as you need to have this be the best 12 days of Christmas yet.


  26. Merry Christmas to you and yours! I’m SO Sorry you have the CRUD; it’s been 2+ weeks here and I feel ‘human’, but I’m not quite there yet (&@#^! cough!). Hot baths and Hot toddy’s help enormously. Rest Rest Rest and Peace be with you!

  27. I’m so totally sending this to my dear friend in North Carolina who does NOT get the idea that the knitwear I send him us an expression of love and not because I think he actually wears a scarf very often… But on the 3 days he needs one, he has a very nice blue cashmere one that looks fabulous on him.

    • Hey, Mary Peed.

      We have the same last name! I know there are others out there, but I’ve never actually met one who wasn’t a member if my immediate family… Unless this is Mary C. Peed in the UP. In which case, I retreat to “member of my immediate family” and rest my case.

      Karen Peed (MN)

  28. Merry Christmas, and a happy and healthy new year. Hope you all feel better soon. I had to make a similar call. To keep the germ spread to a minimum, I’m enjoying a solitary Christmas Eve dinner, courtesy of my family, while everyone else is next door. And I’m getting on with my knitting!

  29. I am sorry that you are not feeling well. I hope you improve and can enjoy some of the family fun.

    I just wanted to say that I always enjoy your blog but having daily advent posts was such gift. I looked forward to it every day! Peace to you and your family.

  30. Nasty virus struck here too, but was thankfully shortlived. Trust that yours is the same, and wishing you a very Merry Christmas, and time with your loved ones. Keep Calm and Carry On.

  31. Once I had a house full for Christmas – siblings, nieces, nephews, etc etc etc – and most of them got the stomach flu. For the actual dinner one of my sister’s and I sat all alone at the table and ate the feast. We were so grateful to not have the flu! Many noise and smells that day, and most of them don’t remember much, thank goodness.

    All the best all the time to you and yours.

  32. I don’t know if you’ll see this since it is Christmas, but when I start to feel a cold coming on I take 100mg Zinc and 1000mg Vit. C twice a day with a hot tea made with honey and lemon. It works and by the next morning I’m feeling better.

    Merry Christmas!!!

  33. Oh Dear Stephanie,

    I feel your pain, been fighting an upper respiratory infection since Black Friday. I’m so sorry you and Joe are feeling poorly. Stay snuggled up at home and rest, spoil yourself and relax. Have a very blessed Christmas. Thank you for being who you are and sharing yourself with those of us who look for you every day 🙂 You’re the cat’s meow.

  34. Try black elderberry extract to kill those pesky flu and cold viruses. It’s a liquid extract with sugar, tastes somewhat like concentrated grape juice. Nature’s way is the brand I’ve used for years, and consider it somewhat like a miracle cure. Check medical info and judge for yourself. P.S. Thanks so much for your blog. Cheers!

  35. Merry Christmas and take care. I hope you feel better soon. I showed your nice advice to non-knitter to my husband and educated him properly. Thank you.

  36. I too am sick and had to make the call to stay home. My hubby made me tea, I have my knitting and watching the Mythbusters marathon. Hope you get to spend the evening with your family!

  37. What a perfect Santa and I’m glad the upswing has begun for you all.

    We got the best Christmas Eve present of our lives this afternoon. She’s 8 lbs, 4 oz, healthy, as is my daughter-in-law, and we got to hear from afar that tiny, wonderful, squeaky little voice that newborns have while being rocked. Joy.

  38. Merry Christmas to you, Steph! I hope you feel much better tomorrow and can spend as much time as you like with your family! Thank you for the gift you give us all year of your joy and wit! Take care of yourself!

  39. In an unprecedented turn of events, Stephanie, you are ensconced on your chesterfield whilst I am frantically knitting an emergency Hemlock Ring doily.

    I only hope you have popcorn and red wine nearby.

  40. Merry Christmas Steph! I am so very sorry that you and Joe aren’t feeling well. It does put a damper on all the expectations we have for the big day. Your gifts will be loved, your family loves you and really that’s all that matters. Take care of yourself so it does not become worse.

    Warmest of Holiday Wishes to you and yours,

  41. I have loved reading your messages all this December. Merry Christmas and a peaceful and joyous 2015. And here’s to a swift recovery.

  42. Merry Christmas, Stephanie– I hope you wake up well enough to relax and enjoy time with your family and friends– and knitting/spinning time, too.

  43. It must be going around…our festivities for Christmas Eve were cancelled due to a virus. I hope you and your family make a quick recovery. Sending good wishes your way.

  44. If the love your family, friends, and readers have for you could cure your cold, you’d feel well enough to bike to Montreal in the snow right now… but since it doesn’t work that way, bask in the love we all have for you, know that you have already helped make this Christmas season so much lovelier for so many, many people, and have a different wonderful Christmas than the one you planned.

  45. I, too, thank you Steph for all the happiness your blog posts bring us and I am so sorry you don’t feel well at Christmas. But, I must tell you that our worst Christmas disaster turned into the happiest of memories. We were having my husband’s sisters and their families for Christmas dinner. Just before they were to arrive my husband went to light a fire and spilled kerosene from the cape code lighter all over the dining room floor and himself. As he recoiled from the disaster he spilled a 1.5 liter bottle of red wine all over the white table cloth. He then ripped off his kerosene soaked pants and threw them over the deck into the snow in the yard. At that point all our guests arrived!!!! Long story cut short, all pitched in, I broke out the extra wine, the guys cleaned the floor, dinner was fine and we still laugh ourselves silly about that night. I know it is not the same as being sick, but you get the idea. If you have love and holiday spirit and the help of loving family and friends, no disaster is too bad. Peace out.

  46. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Hoping you will feel better in time for the festivities. We had the Christmas of sickness 2 years ago when the noro virus spread through the house, leaving no one untouched except my youngest grandson. It got easier when we bowed to the inevitable.Christmas dinner happened two days later and we just made due as best we could. It was different but Christmas still happened. Take good care.

  47. Awesome recipient dos/don’ts. Feel better. We have several peeps down, too, this year. At least there’s more crash time in our futures. Merry Christmas.

  48. Merry Christmas to you and yours!! Being sick on Christmas sucks…I hope it at least didn’t get worse!!

    Enjoy tomorrow!! Your family will love you, sick or not…and aren’t the toddler cuddles still much more worth it?

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!!

    Katie =^..^=

  49. Oh, so not fair for someone who loves Christmas like you do to be struck by malevolent germs!! I hope you triumph. But whether you have to stay home or not, have a merry Christmas, and thank you.

  50. Sunday afternoon I felt a little sick, Monday evening I felt strangely awful, and so Tuesday morning the doctor confirmed my horrible suspicion, pneumonia. I feel like I’ve singlehandedly ruined Christmas for my family. My daughter is just seven. I know that it will all be fine in the end because love is what it’s all about, but as you remarked once ” there’s a lot of cookie pressure”. Thank you for your blog and wit. I have learned so much from your work.

  51. I join your other readers who wish you and your dear ones a speedy recovery. Do remember, please, that there are 12 days of Christmas — much more time to celebrate. Along with the warmth of your toddy know that you have brought insights, laughter, and happy tears to so many of us who have enjoyed your Advent posts and bask in the warmth of our gratitude.

    Happy Christmas! Joyeux Noel! Feliz Navidad!

  52. I’ve just read this post at 12:17am on Christmas morning while knitting on a last minute gift and almost finished my last (and probably one too many) whiskey sour. So, as much as I hope you have a wonderful Christmas day I’m happy to hear that I’m not the only one feeling the pressure!

    You are truly a gift everyday of the year, thank you for all of your wisdom and humour throughout the year! Merry Christmas to you and yours.

  53. Sending lots of love and light for your speedy recovery from London UK where Christmas Day is just beginning. Thank you for your blog, it is so good to have it to tune into and everyday in December was amazing. Liz x

  54. Hoping you all feel better soon – we understand, we have it too. Merry Christmas to you and yours and here’s to plenty more of your takes on life, knitterly and otherwise – it keeps me balanced and inspired in this mad world xxx

  55. Same thing’s happened here; my mum and husband are poorly and feel rubbish. But we’re all together and that’s what masters. I hope you still have a lovely Christmas Day. We will try to too!

  56. I have a bunch of sick family members too. The Creeping Crud is making it’s rounds. Hurray for hot toddies! They can definitely make your Christmas much more merry when you have a bad cold! Feel better soon and have a Very Merry Christmas!

  57. Thanks so much for your wisdom and your generous writing this month! I love Christmas, but it has been challenging to navigate this year with two small children. Your posts about refocusing on the actual important stuff, and in particular the meditation on the longest night, helped me a ton. Thank you for sharing your gifts. I hope you’re feeling better today, Merry Christmas Harlot!

  58. Merry Christmas!
    I so hope you’re feeling loads better today and are able to enjoy a wonderful day with your family. Best wishes for a wonderful Christmas!

  59. Merry Chistmas to you and yours. I hope the bug making you sick doesn’t stay long and doesn’t visit anybody else! Put your feet up, knit on, and enjoy the gathering of loved ones. hug!

  60. And a very merry Christmas to You and your Family. And a big Thank you to you! Your blog brings me so much joy – it is truly a gift the whole year. Thank you so very much.

  61. Merry HoHo to you and your family as well. Sickness abounds this year in our house too, but it is only my husband and I. The extended family of friends can be avoided if necessary for their benefit. I hope last night went well and that you can relax today. Thank you again for your continued willingness to invite us into your life with your blog. I very much enjoy reading it. And if it helps to cheer you and Joe at all on this blechy feeling, green Christmassy day, if you are not already aware of it; look up “Vincent the Cristmas Virus” by the Arrogant Worms.

  62. Merry Christmas! I hope you have a lovely Christmas Day despite the nasty germs circulating through your family. I hope your illness is short lived and you have time to relax now that the rush of Christmas preparations is complete. Thanks for sharing your knitting adventures and Luis’ advent calendar daily picks this month, it has been fun (and a bit nerve-wracking!) to follow. May the New Year bring you peace, love, and happiness as well as many great knitting adventures!

    P.S. Love the reindeer pancakes!

  63. Joyeux Noel Stephanie to you and your wonderful family! May all your positive energy return and kick the crappola out of that virus and find you able to embrace Christmas and New Year’s as you intended. And THANK YOU so much for writing to your virtual family every day this month!! Sharing your life and advice means so much to so many.
    You are truly loved.
    Linda B in NJ, USA

    • Steph, despite all the stress, overcommitment, and inopportune germification, you pulled off lovely little bits of delight for your lucky family members. I understand Luis’ not wanting to wait till Christmas: that Santa is the cutest thing EVER!

      But it barely beat out the Reindeer Pancakes (which I thought were Teddy Bears until I saw Kay’s post). Even in the throes of a terrible virus, you still manage to populate your little corner of the planet with inspired bits of Stark Raving Adorabule.

      Feel better.

  64. How pants for you to be ill, after such an impressive lead up to Christmas with the spreadsheet (I must adapt and copy it myself, such a good idea). Hope you felt better enough to join in. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all!

  65. Thank you so much for sharing Luis & his Advent Calendar! It made my Christmas! I eagerly awaited each posting to see what he had picked. It was a beautiful gift & again, thank you for letting us share in this part of your life!

  66. Hi Steph, hope you are feeling a bit better now. I loved reading your blog all december long and knitted or crocheted one item a day, most of them after the pattern you linked. Unfortunately I seem to have missed the pattern for the Santa. Perhaps you can blog the link or send it via email. A very Merry Christmas from Germany.

  67. I’m so sorry you are not feeling well. I just wanted to express again what an amazing mom you are and how wonderful your family is. It literally makes me tear up when I read your posts about your family. I know it isn’t all unicorns and pixie dust but where it really matters you are so blessed. Your daughters are terrific and you have such a loving family. I’m lucky too and yet I’m so envious. Happy holidays Stephanie to you and yours.

  68. Feel better soon Steph!

    Last second gift for knitters: Gift card (knit picks, or as my dh did, one for Amazon)

    Another appropriate way to show appreciation for a knitted item: Put it on immediately and tell your brothers to “suck it”…. yeah, my 14 yo did that over his handknit socks (the ones for my 16 yo are still on the needles, the virus has hit here too). My MIL will be getting hers in a few hours when she gets here, which will be a “oh! how nice” and then back in the box they go (she’ll wear them when it’s bitter cold, believe it or not, it’s been raining here pretty much nonstop since the other night and yesterday was pushing 60 degrees… yes, in the Adirondack mountains in upstate NY) Glad Yule and Merry Christmas!

  69. Oh.my.goodness…love your section on how to respond to a knitted gift. When a friend of mine gives knitted gifts, and the receiver says, “Oh, that’s nice,” and then moves on, she says, “No, you have to stare at it a while.” :^) I am preparing to do a knitted gift blog post and want to link to your post here. I hope you don’t mind. :^)

  70. I made my teenage grandsons each a head band for Christmas. These are the boys that don’t wear coats when it’s 30 degrees outside. I took your The Proper Way to Recieve a Knitted gift post and had them read it aloud to our family before they opened their gifts. It was hilarious. We were all laughing so hard we were crying!
    Perfect timing, Steph. Thanks so much.
    Hope you and Joe are better soon.

  71. My sweet knitting mother made knitted gifts for her Grandchildren and before she let the two boys open their knitted gets she made them read your “The Proper Way To Receive a Knitted Gift”. It was so comical watching my son read your words with passion and humor. He had us all laughing so hard we were crying. And with great poise and an expert example of following directions he received his gift, reacted with great emotion and gratefully kissed and hugged the dear knitter who made him a lovely ear warmer!
    Happy Holidays!

  72. Hope that you, Joe and any other infected family members are healthy again for Christmas Day. Have spent many a Christmas with a throat infection (and overcooked, dry turkey is nearly impossible to eat…even with gravy).

    As has been mentioned, Christmas is 12 day season…and don’t Canadians celebrate Boxing Day?

  73. We do. Many celebrate by shopping. The smart ones stay home and enjoy the time with family and friends. Stephanie is a smart one.

  74. Merry Christmas, Stephanie! And thanks for all the beautiful and funny posts leading up to the day. Merry, Happy to the girls and the entire family. may this new year bring all of you your hearts’ desires.

  75. Wish I’d seen this earlier. Best wishes to you and Joe to feel lots better soonest. Kudos to Amanda for trying her best to help out. Hope you and yours had the merriest Christmas possible, even if you and Joe had to spend it sharing an afghan, a box of tissues, and the divided attentions of the cat. (Also hope someone gave Millie some catnip — she probably deserves it!)

  76. Much as I love my 6 children, I must say that toddlers are nothing but nasty little disease vectors sometimes.

    And, oh my goodness, I knitted 2 pairs of fingerless mitts (Mitt Envy pattern, modified a bit) out of Cascadian Painted Something-or-Other that were extremely gorgeous and gave them last week to my girls’ 2 Girl Scout leaders (who are also friends of mine) and I have heard nothing. Nada. I don’t expect much – just maybe an email saying, “Thanks for the mitts!” or even “I love them, but they don’t fit!” or whatever. Complete and utter silence. Which makes me feel, irrationally, that I have done something very, very wrong – committed some sort of faux pas – by giving them this sort of thank-you gift for all they do for my girls. I don’t even know WHAT to think anymore. Someone reassure me, will ya?

    • Possibly they are busy and overwhelmed maybe even sick with the evil virus… So maybe you will get a proper thank you after Christmas. As someone who is juggling a fulltime job, a one year old, a parent living with us, and an ill husband, I owe several thank yous myself. There is no excuse for not sending them but I do give myself to jan 1.

    • you did a great thing, for people who do great things for your daughters. you know they must have loved the mitts! and what beautiful yarn. you know that feeling when you finish something and you look at it and marvel? keep that feeling. you sent them out into the world and that is the truth. just ignore whatever happens after that. yes, they should have responded, but that does not take anything away from what you did. of course there was no faux pas. do not doubt yourself because of (imagined) anything others did. those mitts were wonderful and you did a wonderful thing and we here know that. that is what you hang on to! as stephanie said, we here are your people and we are the cool table.

  77. So sorry, hope you all get well soon. I wish you a healthy and happy NewYear, and thank you again for another delightful year of your wonderful blog! Looking forward to another year of great writing and inspiration (knitting and otherwise). All the best.

  78. Oh I am so sorry to hear your family was sick over Christmas. And to think you sat at your computer – feeling like you do – and finished your advent post. A gift for us readers. Thank you. I adored seeing what was hung all month! Prayers for a quick recovery for you all. Sending on hugs and knitterly warm wishes to you!

  79. Merry Christmas! I also caught a Christmas cold, from my own toddler. My joined-in-heathen-Union-life-partner read your blog and got me a lovely yarn bowl and needle gauge you recommended earlier this month, so I wanted to thank you for helping my non knitter who loves a knitter continue to be so thoughtful. Enjoy your season as best you can between beating the cold!

  80. Stephanie, I do hope you and Joe were feeling sufficiently well to enjoy all of the cheer and joy of Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Your daily (daily! holy smokes!) blog posts during December have been something I’ve looked forward to each day…even more so than usual, as a) they’ve been posted at such predictable increments, and b) you provide such a blessed contrast to the blatant commercialism of the rest of the holiday soundtrack. Thank you, thank you. May 2015 be wonderful to you and yours.

  81. I wish I had been able to forward the guidelines for receiving knits to my family members. I got a “Oh, no thanks, you knit me something last year” response from someone yesterday. Who refuses a handknit? Or any gift, for that matter.

  82. I’m really, really sorry you got sick! You’ve probably just worn yourself out. But the title of your post made me bust out laughing. I can see that your wit is still functioning as usual!

    I hope you get better right away.

  83. I sincerely hope you recovered sufficiently to enjoy the day you worked so hard to create. But life likes to remind us, rather annoyingly that
    “The best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men
    Gang aft a-gley, [often go awry]” (Robbie Burns)
    Merry Christmas & glorious holiday to you and yours with light, love and the happiness of togetherness.

  84. Got one hat finished for Christmas and then got sick with the flu Christmas eve. Made it to midnight mass and managed to get dinner cooked, but then that was it. Still feeling the effects of this 2nd Christmas in a row being sick. Hope this is not a tradition.
    Know right where you are Steph. Drink a toddy for me will ya?


  85. Oh, no! I didn’t read this post sooner because, after trying so hard to create a perfect Christmas for everyone, I came down sick with the flu early on the 24th. (I had my flu shot this year, but it apparently did not cover this strain. They said that it should make the flu “easier” if I did get it, though — if this was an “easy” flu, I think a normal one would have killed me.)

    So, today is the first day I can sit up in bed with my touchpad, and I find that you experienced much the same thing. I’m so sorry! It totally sucks to put so much effort into the holiday and then feel that a few measly germs can lay you low. I feel worse in retrospect about it than I did on the day, because on actual Christmas day all I could do was curl up in a ball and try to stop shaking and stop my teeth from clattering from the chills and fever. The nice thing is, my husband and son took care of my like champion nurses, and late Christmas night I was able to sit up in bed and share a pot of tea with them before falling asleep. The real bummer is that my son seems to have come down with the same flu now, so my husband is tending to both of us.

    It really brought home to me that the stress and worry I felt about trying to create a perfect Christmas was such a silly thing. Even with illness and all my plans falling apart, Christmas came and we were happy to be together, fever and croupy coughs and aching heads and all. It didn’t need to be perfect for it to be perfect. I hope I remember this for Christmases to come.

  86. Oh, Stephanie. I am so sorry. Hope you’re on the mend by now. After my many years on this planet, I’ve decided that control is an illusion. Intentions are great, yes, but these little glitches are all too common.

    My good news this year is that my youngest son *loved* his Seaman’s scarf. I don’t think he took it off after he opened the box. The one I was weaving for him badly mutated on the loom, & will take days of unweaving to fix. (I’d cut it off the loom & run over it several times with my truck if I hadn’t spent a small fortune on the yarn.) So this was a quickie last-minute replacement.

    Hope you’re better soon! Merry New Year!

  87. My husband received his hand knitted hat correctly by instantly putting it on his head! Yay! I also sent him with (he was working out of town for Christmas) with a handspun, hand knit Rebecca Danger “Greta the Captivating Cat” that he has kept by his bed for the rest of the time he’s been away, at least. 🙂

    Katie =^..^=

  88. The most recent knitted gift I gave was not for the holidays, just an out-of-the-blue thank you for a mentor, a Juno Regina scarf made out some luscious Quince & Co. yarn.

    She received it, admired it, instantly put it on, and then throughout lunch, when we weren’t actively eating, she would put her hands in it or admire the lace or rub it against her cheek. She even showed it off to the owners of the restaurant, whom she is friends with.

    Wow. That is receiving a handknit done right. It does my heart good. Makes up for all the pesky relatives whom I will never knit for again.

  89. Additionally, I saw the picture of that breakfast, did the “awww” head tilt thing, and maybe possibly teared up a little. So sweet. So touching. Those reindeer pancakes and santa strawberries moved me.

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