Some thoughts on the season.  There's a nice photo under the reams of text.

I like giving gifts, and I like receiving them, but I hate the obligation to give gifts.  Shopping in December is a madhouse even when you just want cat food, everyone's searching for all the gifts they have to give.  I feel woefully unprepared for Christmas, guilty for not having a trinket for everyone that may expect one, and not enjoying the season at all.  I'll be fine on Boxing Day when it's all over.  In only NINE days time, eep!

Stuff and Stuff-guilt
Phoe posted about accumulating stuff, and I got thinking.  We moved to a house with double the floor space, and both of us like the sparse look from not adding extra furniture.  We could do with a couple of extra seats but that's the limit.  I have a huge area in the basement to do karate, which I love.  I don't like having to keep stuff purely because of who gave it.  Stuff with good memories should be kept.  In my world, stuff with bad memories should be given away to someone that doesn't have the associations I do.  Stuff that makes you feel guilty shouldn't remain in your home.

Process vs. Product in knitting
Some people knit for the joy of the actual knitting, some are all about the finished product.  I fall more on the product side than the process side.  I think I'm afraid to finish my Eris cardigan because I don't want all those hours to end in a crappy product.  I have trouble visualising how the body is cast off and it's confusing me.

My track record with sweaters has been good, but Eris and Paul's Eternal Sweater are the first garments I've worked on entirely on my own without my mother to help.  I've surpassed my mother's knitting skills, I can do lace and grafting and even some colour-work, so the technical side should be no problem.  I could go to the Weaving Department and sit with Nancy, Susan, or Nancy for some sweater-completion hand-holding.  I just need to get the dratted thing DONE and get past my mental block.  I have a chunk of Christmas vacation and a chunk of sweater to do.  I will wear Eris soon and it will be gorgeous.

For non-knitters at Christmas:
Some people love getting knitted stuff.  Other people do not.  If you never want to get another knitted thing again, simply treat a knitted gift as if it were nothing.  Don't appreciate the hours that went into it, or the thought behind every stitch, brush it off, don't acknowledge it, don't wear it, and don't take care of it.  We do notice.

Knitters know what goes into knitted things, and we gift them to each other knowing our work is appreciated, even if the recipient could make the thing herself and will immediately turn it inside out to see how we wove the ends in.  Part of knitting is the enjoyment in the process, but that can be soured if you know the recipient won't appreciate what you've done for them.  Slots on the "will gladly knit for this person again" list aren't hard to come by, but the "don't bother, never again" list also exists.

This week's photo is from Creve Coeur Lake, taken in 2006.  Hubby and I were out geocaching way off the beaten track.

Creve Coeur Lake.

It was a hot sunny day, we did find the cache, and we also saw a pair of herons on the way back to the path.  In cold wintry times, I need pictures of warm days and sunshine.

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