As I stood in line at the PO today--waiting to mail off the last few boxes of presents--it hit me what is so stressful about December---the month has a BIG honking deadline. A deadline that many, many people in our nation "countdown to"---you know---the proverbial "only 10 days until Christmas" pressure. I know I felt relief to have all my presents done ( I made most of them) and sent or wrapped up. whew! I feel like I just finished a major term paper.
Now, I know that most of this pressure is self-induced---I decide whether to participate in Holiday gift giving and I decide whether to purchase or make the gifts---but also I know that holiday gift giving is expected of me by our culture and---more importantly---by my family. I am a person who enjoys giving gifts to others--but somehow--having that BIG deadline takes some of the fun out of it all, and I have to use some positive self-talk to keep from feeling too rushed and pressured to just "get it all done." Hey! I want another whole month so I can make the presents at my own pace...
Of course, I could have avoided the whole feeling pressured thing by starting to make all the presents in --say--August. This would have given me plenty of time---but, somehow in August I just don"t feel like making holiday presents just yet---just like I don't get in the mood to make holiday fruitcake or bake holiday cookies until after Thanksgiving. Starting holiday activities before Thanksgiving just does not feel right--and I hate it when stores put up their holiday decor in October! so why would I want to jump the gun and start holiday activities early?
Now to go hang the holiday decorations..and trim the tree...and bake cookies...and make eggnog--Oh dang! why is there always so much to do? Enough! I'm joining the SLOW CLOTH MOVEMENT as proposed on the blog Read Thread Studio.
Thanks to SharonB of the blog In a Minute Ago for sharing the notion of "slow cloth"---- which focuses on promoting textiles made through slow processes, such as hand quilting, hand knitting, hand-dyeing, etc. traditionally and throughout the world.
So, I'm now slowing down for what remains of the winter Holidaze.
And to slow us all down, here is a poem for the season:
Toward the Winter Solstice
by Timothy Steele
Although the roof is just a story high,
It dizzies me a little to look down.
I lariat-twirl the cord of Christmas lights
And cast it to the weeping birch’s crown;
A dowel into which I’ve screwed a hook
Enables me to reach, lift, drape, and twine
The cord among the boughs so that the bulbs
Will accent the tree’s elegant design.
Friends, passing home from work or shopping, pause
And call up commendations or critiques.
I make adjustments. Though a potpourri
Of Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, and Sikhs,
We all are conscious of the time of year;
We all enjoy its colorful displays
And keep some festival that mitigates
The dwindling warmth and compass of the days.
Some say that L.A. doesn’t suit the Yule,
But UPS vans now like magi make
Their present-laden rounds, while fallen leaves
Are gaily resurrected in their wake;
The desert lifts a full moon from the east
And issues a dry Santa Ana breeze,
And valets at chic restaurants will soon
Be tending flocks of cars and SUVs.
And as the neighborhoods sink into dusk
The fan palms scattered all across town stand
More calmly prominent, and this place seems
A vast oasis in the Holy Land.
This house might be a caravansary,
The tree a kind of cordial fountainhead
Of welcome, looped and decked with necklaces
And ceintures of green, yellow, blue, and red.
Some wonder if the star of Bethlehem
Occurred when Jupiter and Saturn crossed;
It’s comforting to look up from this roof
And feel that, while all changes, nothing’s lost,
To recollect that in antiquity
The winter solstice fell in Capricorn
And that, in the Orion Nebula,
From swirling gas, new stars are being born.
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