Saturday, December 16, 2017

Last Christmas, This Christmas, Next Christmas

Last Christmas is probably my least favorite of the "contemporary" Christmas songs. I do not say this to start a comment war, or to invite judgement on my musical tastes, it is simply a song I do not enjoy. I cringe every time I hear the opening bars. To make it worse, the artist and composers have nailed the darn song, creating an iresistible invitation to sing along. (How can I not? I am wired to sing, and this song has been played 47 thousand times already this year, so I know all the words...and the tune is super catchy...gah!) Still makes me cringe, even through the singing. lol!

Last Saturday, at the annual Knitters' Christmas Party, we were reminded of our hostess's least favorite Christmas song - I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas. I know, I know. THAT should be my least favorite song...but I not-so-secretly love that one! It comes on, and suddenly I want a hippopotamus too! When Last Christmas came on at the party, nothing happened. It just played quietly in the background, but when the Hippo Song came on, the party got started!

While Brenda gave a Judy-eye-roll, somebody started singing along, and soon we were all singing too...well, everyone except Brenda! She is a good sport, though. She endured the whole song (yes, we all sang to the end), and did not throw any of us out, which is very good...because Baby, It's Cold Outside! 

Also, the food!

And the friends, and the laughter!

And the poop-and-vomit talk...yes, you read that right. I am not sure where it came from, and it was gross, but funny too!

And the knitting...so much knitting!

And the biggest, Christmas goodie bags, full of stocking stuffers!

And the not-quite-finished stuffers that we will have before Christmas, but for now a picture will have to do!

Of course there was also the annual sock picture, because you know, we knit socks!

Last Christmas we had a super Knitters' Party!
This Christmas we had a super-great Knitters' Party!
Next Christmas we will have a super-great-awesome Knitters' Party!
It is kinda what we do! 

Thank you to our hostess, and to everyone who brought their fun selves to the party! I had so much fun, and I love you ladies!

As the season winds down (Christmas is almost here...) 

Tell me, which Christmas songs and parties are you looking forward to (or not) this year?

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit (and shop and wrap and give) in Good Health!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Christmas is Coming!

The grand-dog would like you to know that there are just 16 days left!

That means it is time to package up gifts for parties, and for shipping off to another state, and be ready. Hellooooo, Christmas Central!

Done and almost done. There is still some wrapping to do for the shipping boxes, then I can concentrate on the local gifts, and free up that bed for some out-of-town guests...super yay! But it is hard to get moving on an icy-cold winter morning, even though my buddy Jack Frost has been at work all night!

For now, I am going to sit here in my Minnie pants with a red Carly and  Christmas socks, and drink in the stillness of the morning...

Later is the annual Knitters' Christmas Party, the best Christmas party of the year! I am excited for funtimes and festive food with friends, so I am blogging a little early, in the company of a couple of cats....catonlap=super-cozy!

16 Days until Christmas...are you ready? Well, ready or not, here it comes. I hope you are finding joy in the season!

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!

Saturday, December 2, 2017

A Little Bit More

'Tis the season for Christmas decorating and Hallmark Christmas movies with an abundance of cat-on-lap! (Even though, in this picture, one can clearly see that Sweetie was changing the channel...lol!)

'Tis the season for remembering Christmases past when you put those handmade ornaments on the tree! (And sometimes missing dear friends who hold a special place in your heart, even though they may be far away...or in heaven.)

'Tis the season for Christmas knitting! (Even though you started too late...again this year...it is pretty exciting to see if you can make it by the Christmas deadline!)

'Tis the season for crafting Christmas cookies, candies, and other goodies! (Even though you discovered a pinhole in your chocolate squeeze bottle, which made more of a mess than this photo shows...but it was CHOCOLATE, so I just licked it up...lol!)

'Tis the season for Christmas carols, cinnamon tea, colorful socks in greens and reds, and all the bells and whistles! (Even as we remember the birth of a baby, a child who shivered in the cold, and who came to give us the greatest gift of all!)

I am not sure of the actual date of Jesus's birthday, and it probably is not December 25... And yes, there is a lot of commercialism built up around the Christmas season... And yes, it is fun to give and get presents, so much fun that we often forget about Jesus in the mix... But is it wrong to indulge in the joy of the season, commercialized as it may be?

Whether we participate in gift giving this season or not, even the Grinch himself reminded us, originally in 1957, that Christmas is more than the commercial hype:
It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes and bags. And he puzzled and puzzed 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What it Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
It is ok to indulge in the commercial, Christmas spirit. It is more than ok to love one another through the season, bringing the light of Christ into all we do...which Jesus followers should be doing all year long! It is ok to say, "Merry Christmas!," as a warm, December greeting to anyone you meet.

It is not ok to overspend, beyond our means, to give extravagant gifts in order to out-do other gift givers, or last Christmas...that just gets us in debt. It is not ok to look down on others because their traditions are different than ours, or because we have not taken the time to understand the significance of those traditions...that makes us intolerant. It is not ok to respond negatively (like the Grinch at the beginning of the book) to someone who wishes you a merry or happy anything, even if you do not celebrate that particular "anything." If that happens, just smile and say, "Thank you," then offer your warm greeting to the next person you meet.

Christmas is a little bit more, Dr. Seuss. The idea of Christmas brings with it warm thoughts and fond memories of loving relationships, good food and nourishment for the soul. I say it every year, and 2017 is no exception, I wish the Christmas spirit (holiday joy, winter wonder) could last through the whole year. It would make the world a nicer place if we all did our best to regularly be as warm and welcoming as Christmas dinner at Grandmother's house.

Please, don't be a grinch at Christmastime...unless your heart has already grown three sizes, and you are ready to carve the roast beast!

Thanks for stopping by, Knit in Good Health, and...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Comfortable Constant

After a lovely Thanksgiving with family, 


we had a nice, relaxing Black Friday at the Pretty house. There was no shopping (save for picking up a few groceries), but there was a bit of decorating.

Not much, just the tree and lights. The ornaments are still in the attic, and the cats are just getting used to this. I will probably grab the boxes and finish putting out the Christmas this weekend but at this moment, I am enjoying the quiet of my sleepy cottage, my Minnie pants and my first pair of Christmas socks this season!

I am sure there will be a couple of Christmas cats thrown in for good measure at some pont today, 

but for now they are happy over there, playing with their Amazon box. 

As it turns out, they LOVE the Christmas season, what with all its boxes, and dangly things and curly ribbons and crinkle-y wraps...and I am also a fan. There is just something about shopping for gifts (in person, online, however you do it), wrapping them, baking treats that make the whole house smell yummy, and glazing over in front of the Christmas tree with a holiday movie...and maybe some holiday knitting!

There is not as much secret knitting going on in 2017 as in years past, but there is some...yet I know that my dear readers will not spoil the surprise...right?!? Right. So, here's another peek...

This year will probably bring some new traditions, even though the grandkids will not be in town until after the big day...Christmas concerts and Christmas Eve services at a new church, hope and joy as the family finds new reasons to celebrate, and the tried and true traditions of Hallmark movies and It's a Wonderful Life!

So much same. So much different. Christmas is a comfortable constant, and I am thankful for this. I am thankful for a time to specifically celebrate the birth of a Savior...although this and his resurrection are something I celebrate all year, it is nice that the media gives me a constant backdrop of festive in December. I am thankful for the memories I hang on my tree each year, and a time to admire them and remember a little Christmas past (without a ghost!) all through the month. I am thankful for the hope of new beginnings that the promise of a New Year will bring!

I hope you will join me in celebrating this month. If you like the idea of Christmas concerts and festivities, maybe you will even consider joining me for an hour at church...it is just down the street, and I would love to share in the festivities with friends! Whatever your faith traditions are, I hope that you are thankful, and that you know I am thankful for your friendship.

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit (and celebrate) in Good Health!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Raining Cats and Dogs?

Today is keeping its promise to be a rainy day. You might even say that it has rained cats and dogs out there. Or you might not...but there are cats and a dog in my house, much to the dismay of the resident felines! You see, today the World's Okay-est Runner ran a half-marathon, and tomorrow her soon-to-be-husband will be running a full marathon (they are pretty impressive, no?)

so we have our grand-dog for the weekend! Isn't he a cutie?

Even the cats agree that he is cute! Well, in all honesty, that may be an exaggeration. There is one cat that we may not see again until the dog leaves. We know that she is still here, because we hear her constant growling and hissing from under the couch, under the beds and under the chair. She is not pleased. Not. Pleased. At. All. The older cat is a bit more tolerant. In fact, we had a moment of calm, cat-on-lap time this morning!

Then Alvin brought us his toy, and asked us to play...

She was not impressed...lol!

But she tolerated it...for a bit. I feel like that is just what I do, too. I tolerate it (whatever "it" happens to be in each moment) and do my best to get on with life. The real test of tolerance, however, is not how much I am able to tolerate before I run, hissing and spitting, to the ends of the earth. The real test is how I live my life right here, despite what is going on around me.

Do I set consistent boundaries with negative people, refusing to be pulled into their drama? Most of the time. Do I allow myself to be sucked into situations where I know I will be tempted to behave badly? Sometimes. Do I entertain the lies in my head...the ones telling me that I am not good enough, or smart enough, or happy enough? More times than I would like to admit.

Life seems to be always invading my space. Sometimes I dream of being able to do what I want, when I want, and with whom I want, forever. I remember thinking once that this would be one of the perks of being an adult. Life, however, counters with all the jobs that need to be done (paying gigs and other tasks), and people who need to be loved. How well do I tolerate that?

Most days I do pretty well. Other days, I need to remind myself that I am thankful...for everything. I am thankful that I have a warm home, clothes to wear and enough to eat. I am thankful to have a job, and a paycheck, and a sense of purpose. I am thankful to have friends, old and new, who love me and lift me up. I am thankful that I live in a place where my relationship with Jesus is legal and well-tolerated by others, even those who do not walk the same path (most of the time). Oh, and I am thankful for knitting, my meditative exercise of choice! (If only knitting burned more calories...!)

I think that I tolerate more, and I generally behave better, when I am thankful. Therefore I am constantly striving to make it my way of life. As Thanksgiving approaches, I am especially grateful that I also see thankfulness all around me. I just wish I could find a way to convey this to the cats!

If you are thankful for something, please share it in a comment below. I hope that your Thanksgiving celebrations, whatever they might be, find you counting more blessings than regrets this year.

Thanks for stopping by, and Knit in Good Health!