'Tis the season! I'm less frantic about Christmas preparations this year, since I'm not having to plan around a baby being born, but I'm still trying to plan ahead. I made tags on an impulse, off of a doodled design I found in the holiday issue of DO magazine (dangerous thing lurking in the check-out line at Whole Foods...) and happened to have some yarn left over from my washcloth project that worked for strings.
I'm expanding my yearly "local" quest to include "fair trade" - remember that earring-of-the-month subscription I got back in April? I partially justified it by saying that I was planning ahead for Christmas, because surely I wouldn't love them all. Which, contrary to how that sort of thing usually goes, has worked! There were five pairs that either weren't my style or whispered some else's name to me when I opened them - and they are all perfect for specific people on my list. So that's five gifts taken care of (and we really don't have too many people to give to) and I don't have any left so I can continue the subscription next year with a clear conscience (besides knowing that by doing so I'm helping women all over the world support themselves and their families with dignity...)
I love making things to give. Friends and family are getting mostly crafty packaging with local/fair trade goods inside, but I did spend all of last month knitting washcloths for assisted living residents and wove in the ends on the last one a few days ago. So those, a corresponding number of word search books, and also lavender sachet bookmarks (my mum is crafty, too :) got packed into a box and sent on their way yesterday.
Last year I wrapped and tagged everything as I got it, and that was such a gratifying feeling that I've been doing that this year as well. It's less stressful to only have three things at a time that need wrapping, and I think that allows me greater creativity - if I'd been in a hurry, it wouldn't have occurred to me to use a sheet of stickers instead of a bow (not to mention how nice it is to have a box full of wrapped things, several weeks early).
I feel like building in space for stillness is important at all times, but especially in this season. Not just because we would allow ourselves to be overrun with busyness without constant effort to the contrary, but also because expectant waiting is an essential part of preparing our hearts to give Him room.
2204. Both Littles actually sleeping during naptime, and at the same time
2205. A peaceful morning at church. and no meltdowns during an after-church grocery run
2206. A brief, solitary, successful, after-bedtime quest
2207. Peaceful moments and the return of normal naps
2208. Adam home between work and STEP, so I could make dinner without "help"
2209. Tobin's cheerful sociability even when kept out past his bedtime