Christmas, every needle pointer’s dream—or is that nightmare? I haven’t yet decided. For most of my married life (over 20 years), I have spent my needlepointing time working on Christmas: stockings, angels for the tops of trees, ornaments. I also have embroidered banners and designed personalized felted ornaments for family members. Christmas, Christmas, Christmas. Many of the best designs out there are Christmas designs.
But then there is that Bah Humbug part of me. Look in my leftover wool box and you will find reds (three shades), greens (four shades), and more gold and silver than I could ever use in a lifetime. Over the years I have longed to use some other colors besides red and green! Up until recently, I did not design anything for Christmas. There are a couple of reasons for that. First and foremost, I started this designing thing last winter and find I am inspired by the seasons, not the marketplace. Now that Christmas is upon us, I have found it in my wee, small Grinch heart to find space to design a stocking or two. Second, I also am a Mom, so Christmas is not the easiest of times. Let me rephrase that, I also am a Mom of THREE TEENAGERS. If that doesn’t make your hair turn gray, I don’t know what will. In any case, Christmas has become that nexus between trying to make everyone happy and really, really resenting the materialism of today’s culture, resenting my children and resenting my own darn self for bringing them up thinking that it’s all about the stuff.
We all know that Christmas doesn’t truly happen at Christmas for needlepoint. The finished canvas must be into the finisher by about Halloween. I tried finishing my first angel tree topper myself the first year my husband and I were married. Let’s just say, I promise to never, ever try to save money that way again. It turned out OK. It’s a little crooked and unfinished on the inside, but makes a nice hat for our annual tree and for my husband before it makes it way up. Somehow the imperfections remind me of marriage, of family and perhaps, just perhaps the spirit of the holiday: the love of family, which wouldn’t be nearly so perfect, let alone interesting, without the imperfections.