There are only 5 days left before Christmas. Are you ready? I know many of you are knitting Christmas presents this year (or Chanukah or Kwanzaa or whatever holiday you celebrate this year) and maybe the pressure is getting to you. Here are my knitting holiday tips.
1) Instead of giving everyone you know a handknit item, reserve them for special individuals or for someone you know would appreciate it. Nothing is more of an ego booster to a knitter than a receipient of their knitted goodness actually appreciating and then wearing the garment they've knitted.
2) Keep items small. Think hats, mittens, toys, baby booties. If you must knit something big, knit it for someone close to you like your mother or husband and make sure you have plenty of time to do it (yeah this would have been more useful 6 months ago).
3) Don't cry and complain about knitting for others. You placed it on yourself to knit 10 scarves with lacey details for all of your family.
4) If you're one to ruin a holiday because you're more concerned about getting everything done in time for the big day, you're missing the point of this holiday season. This is the time to relax and enjoy family and friends. If you find yourself overwhelmed, step back from the knitting, grab a cup of hot chocolate, and chill out with some loved ones.
5) Some great last minute gifts (and I mean the day before) are baby items or really small ornaments to hang on a tree. These wrist warmers are also great and can be made in many colors to fit everyone's tastes.
6) If you are half way done through a project and you know you won't finish it in time for Christmas, go out to the store and buy something else for that person. They don't have to know that you are knitting a sweater (or rather that you failed to get it to them in time for Christmas). By gifting them something else, you'll have more time to finish that sweater/hat/mitten/whatever and can get it to them next Christmas or for their birthday.
7) Instead of knitting for your family and friends, why not give your knitted goodness to people that actually need it. The Salvation Army, Good Will, or any other local charities in your area are a good place to start. International relief organizations would except your gifts as well.
I hope that these tips helped you guys put things more into perspective. Remember that there is more to Christmas than knitting. There's house cleaning and cooking too. So when Christmas day comes, if you have everyone's present all wrapped under the tree ready to go, great. But if you didn't finish a sweater for your Aunt Mary or didn't have enough time to complete a hat for your mother, don't stress over it. Have an alcoholic beverage, relax with your family, and act like a kid again.