Monday, December 04, 2006

Oblogations <--yes, I meant to spell it that way

I should post more often to this blog. Then I could say less, but more often; rather than saying a whole bunch in one long tedious post.

Because my parents are gone now, I've been having trouble "feeling the cheer" of the season. It's especially hard because my Dad loved Christmas. He would put up a small tree outside on the deck and string the lights. Every night, the minute it got dark, Dad would venture out onto the treacherous wooden deck and plug in the lights, no matter how cold or snowy it was; when he "made rounds" to lock up the house before bed, he'd unplug them. He loved shopping, and he loved carols though singing wasn't his forté. Even when we kids were far past the age of Believing, he'd sign some of the tags "Love, Santa".

Mother, on the other hand, claimed Thanksgiving and Easter. She preferred the church-related holidays where Christ and family togetherness was the focus, rather than materialism and commercial greed. She liked Christmas Eve services, of course. She didn't hate Christmas, she just wasn't as big on it as Dad was.

Travel became more difficult for them in recent years. Though they got along well at home, driving long distances and navigating parking lots at hotels and restaurants became an issue. At first, I drove them to my sister's in PA for Thanksgiving and Christmas. More recently, I opted to spend Christmas with my parents rather than travel to be with the rest of the family because even as far back as 1999 I had the sense that the Last Christmas With My Parents could be this one. The family started coming here for Turkey Day, which helped.

It was uneventful, perhaps even dull to be spending a holiday such as Christmas--known for sparkly snow, colorful gifts, huge displays, a Turkey Day repeat dinner complete with chilled champagne, and big family laughter and chatter--with two elderly people, a handful of quietly-opened gifts, and ordinary food (grilled cheese and tomato soup, anyone?). But I'm glad I stayed home with them these past few years. I survived this Thanksgiving all right, but this will be my first Christmas without them. Their presence is already sorely missed.

Christmas Carols are breaking my heart this year. I'm completely out of touch with the concept of Holiday Cheer. I was invited to join my church's choir, but chose to delay it because I fear that the moment I open my mouth to sing a seasonal song, I'll burst into tears (because it happens when I try to sing along with the radio). It's just too damned painful.

Still, I've decided that despite my lack of cheer and the tension currently undermining my relationship with my sister (hereafter referred to as my "Nemesister" until we resolve the estate nonsense agreeably), I will do my best to honor my parents' memory by honoring Christmas as best as I can. Nemesister and I agreed last summer to make it a less-materialistic festivity for once and not go all-out buying stuff for each other. (One day when I find them, I'll post photos of the Year the Gift Factory Exploded Under the Tree: A Disgusting Display of American Consumerism.) We are actually limiting ourselves, can you believe it? We haven't gone so far as to pick names and only buy one gift--that goes against all we believe, LOL!

To that end, belated as it may be, I've begun Christmas Knitting. I know. I feel the stress. :-D Hey, I was busy! I had to centralize things in the house and clean up so the appraisers could come (they were here Thursday). But I can knit small projects quickly (Fetchings, socks, scarves) and I only have five grown-ups to knit for. I have two Besotteds being knitted in different colors on ONE needle: knit a row on blue, drop the working yarn, knit a row on green, drop the working yarn, turn; repeat. There is a pair of Mountain Colors Socks in the works (yes, those are for OTHER people, darn it, except after reading Franklin's Post today, I've decided the purple and red Wild Flower yarn is mine because they are MY favorite colors) and another in the wings, plus a pair of Fetchings I started tonight is halfway done.

There are two little squeakers who need gifts, but they aren't old enough to grasp the Consumerism concept. They won't care that Great-Aunt Jeanne (my God, Great Aunt?) only made them one thing, or that it doesn't have Liz Claiborne on the tag. (Their mother would care, however. I'm thinking I'll knit her a scarf with the words "Liz Claiborne" worked into the design *ahem*). They won't even understand that it's from me. I've only met one of them so far, anyway. I don't even know the other one (18 and 4.5 months old). You knitters with children, answer me this: are knitted stuffed animals okay for 4 and under (out of acrylic)? It's that, or I raid Big Lots.

I'm also giving out sets of yarn ornaments like the ones mentioned by Robin and Split Yarn.

Well, with all that knitting to do, I'd better quit blogging and get to bed. Wish me luck. It's already December 4th.


At 7:31 PM, December 04, 2006, Blogger tiennieknits said...

I'm sorry for what you're going through - I hope the memories of the season will come to be helpful and loving rather than painful for you. The love you have for your parents really show through your words.

At 1:49 AM, December 05, 2006, Blogger Jeanne said...

Me, too. And thanks.


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