I sit here, sipping my Chai tea
letting smooth tones
of Christmas jazz
wash over me.
The foggy gray sky offers little hope
of wint’ry snow
from final’s mope.
But in a bag I have a small yarn stash,
which will be used
to make presents
worth more than cash.
With finals drawing near, so too does Christmas. This means many things for college students:
- Shopping for gifts is a perfectly good procrastination excuse.
- More reasons to bake and eat cookies!
- It’s socially acceptable to wear dorky Christmas sweaters.
- (Free) Department dinners.
- Knitting comes in handy for whipping up last minute presents.
Ok, so the last one is kind of tailored to my own Christmas plans, but it’s more common than you think.
I grew up in a crafty household, and quickly learned that hand-made presents were cherished more than those I bought at the store. It sounds horribly cliche, and maybe I over do it when I paint my own “gift wrap” (paper bags, since I’m too lazy/broke to buy holiday paper), but I promise you those hand made gifts are worth all the hours you put into them.
I remember when I first learned counted cross-stitch and I spent several years churning out kitchy samplers and ornaments for my family. Shortly after that came knitting and crocheting which launched my brief career in scarves. There were also short stints of beading and I’m pretty sure everyone remembers those woven potholders!
Sooner or later everyone in my family received (or is receiving) something I made, and I don’t mean that in a pompous “I’m better than you are” way at all. It just kind of happened. And those hand made presents, no matter how young and inexperienced I was at the time, still hang on walls, get put on the Christmas tree, or are worn when the weather gets chilly.
You may not be the best artist (I know I’m not) or craftsman, but you don’t have to be. The only thing that matters is that you put care and (this is so cheesy) love into the production of the gift. I like to joke with my friends at knitting club that if I’m working on a project and I keep on messing up or the pattern is frustrating, I’ll put it down and let it rest so it doesn’t get bad karma. It sounds silly, but it’s true. You can really tell when knitters had a hard time with a project (tight stitches) and/or if they put a lot of effort into it (resilience despite a few mistakes).
Sometimes the process of making something means more than the end result, which I think a few of my fellow knitters are discovering!
No matter what you choose to make or buy, it’s the thought behind the gift that makes people smile.