women of a certain age are like sunflowers; they know how to turn their faces to the sun.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Gifted

"Give -- and somewhere, from out of the clouds, or from the sacred depths of human hearts, a melody divine will reach your ears, and gladden all your days upon the earth."

- George Burba

This time of year, we are all about the business of giving. We are crowding stores at the mall, jamming phone lines at the mail order catalogs, and causing website slowdowns right and left.

Even Ravelry has gotten into the giving business. We can now gift our fellow Ravelers directly from the Ravelry pattern store. How cool is that?

But the best gifts are those which come from our hearts. We are blessed, as knitters, to possess the ability to bring a smile to a dear one's face, just by the toil of our hands.

And perhaps, just perhaps, that is the greatest gift of all: our ability to spread love and joy this holiday season and in all the days and months beyond.


Spruce went out today to Garden Variety subscribers. If you didn't get yours, please let me know. As with all human endeavors, my mailing list is far from perfect. Don't want anybody to fall through the cracks!

Anyone ordering the complete series from now to January 3rd will get the full set of five patterns in one email.

If you have purchased all the patterns separately, you may have to wait a little longer, while I compile all the orders and see who qualifies. Evelyn will be emailing the pattern out to anyone who ordered through Knitty Noddy.

Speaking of Knitty Noddy, I guess Evelyn is out of the special "blue"ish Cedar seasilk she ordered in especially for this project, but I understand more is on the way and she is taking orders.

*****

I am so inspired by all the unselfish acts I see around me: in the "plurk"-o-sphere, on all the blogs, and here in my own backyard.

We are indeed "gifted" this cold month of December. While the days grow shorter and our lists of things to do get longer, our hearts, like the Grinch's, "grow three sizes [these] days!"

So, today's question is: What was the greatest gift you ever got at Christmas?

I am tempted to name mine as the year my DH got me a washer & dryer, locking them in the closet and telling me (truthfully) that was where he was hiding my Xmas presents. He just didn't tell me how BIG they were!

I hated the laundromat at the apartment complex where we lived then. The windows didn't have screens and during the summer months, the Junebugs, being attracted by the light, would dive bomb you and get caught in your hair. EEEEEEK!

This gift was special, not because it was expensive or convenient. It was special because it meant my then new husband was paying attention to my needs and fears, and was doing everything he could to make my life just a little easier.

I have gotten many more glamorous gifts over time, but none has ever been given with more concern for my well-being and happiness.

And the gifts just keep on giving. That washer and dryer are now 34 years old and we have never had a service call in all that time.

Now that's a great gift! Thanks Hon!

Just to spread the joy around, I will be giving away a free pattern (of your choice - Spruce excluded) to one commenter a day through Christmas, randomly chosen by Mrs. Claus (just me - don't get too excited).

I'll announce the previous day's winner in each post this month, If you are the winner, email me your preference at susanpandorf@comcast.net and I'll email your pattern right out to you.

Doesn't that sound like a lot of fun?

Saturday's winner is: clarbineds and Sunday's is Nancy N. Email me, girls...

Now aren't you glad you left a comment?

40 comments:

madonnaearth said...

He locked them up in a closet? And told you about it? I don't know that I could have left it alone until Christmas! Knock on wood!

Lois poohknits said...

The greatest gift was a few years ago, my son, bought me a fraser fir tree. I really pretty big full one! Somehow he remembered me saying years ago how growing up we never had much of a tree and that I always wanted one and as i got older just couldn't justify the price of one. So, a few years ago he surprised me and took me to pick out a real one. When we got there, I went straight for the cheapest scotch pine and he dragged me over to the fraser firs and said pick one out here Mom. I said no, too much money and hesaid if you don't pick it out I will. So I did and it was the most beautiful tree ever!!! I can still see it when I close my eyes.

RagdollDesigns said...

I don't know if it was my favorite - but it is in line with the washer and dryer. My brother-in-law gave me a subscription to Interweave Knits - go figure.

Suz B said...

A trip to Barbados to the warm sunshine (I married then man that bought me that as he knows I hate the winter

Suz B

HL said...

I think the best gift I got was a down coat from a former boyfriend. I have a nice heavy wool coat that I also wear but the down is so wonderfully warm on days when it is negative temperatures!!

SpaceJunk said...

The best gift I have received for Christmas was the gift I got from my husband last year. He was in Iraq with the Air Force at the time, and he sent a package to my mom and dads house where he knew our kids and I would be staying for Christmas. It had a few stuffed animals and random other trinkets in it from Iraq for me and the kids. But the best part of the gift was that he sent a DVD that he made on his laptop of himself on his webcam talking for a few minutes about how he was doing and wishing us Merry Christmas etc. Couldn't have been more perfect :)

Rebecca in Tennessee said...

Third grade....a pink bike with a sparkly banana seat...I rode that bike for 3 years until my legs got so long that they'd cramp when I rode it...I really miss that bike. It was all about the sparkle...and still is....

DPUTiger said...

You just described why I'm frantically trying to complete a Hippopotamus for my best friend in time to mail it to him for Christmas.

Best Christmas present? That's a tough one, though I'm tempted to pick the toolbox I got last year from my brother-in-law. My husband is completely NOT handy, but I kind of am. I had mentioned that I was sick to death of having various never-appropriate tools scattered around the house and that I'd really love to have a simple-but-comprehensive honest-to-god toolbox. Hubby's brother is Mr. Handyman, so he was asked to put together a toolbox for me.

I also got a Nikon D90 for Christmas last year, and while I appreciated the camera (and still do!), I'm still more pumped about my toolbox.

migdalit said...

Wow, that's a tough one.

I'm tempted to name last year's diving trip to the Sinai with and from my bf. It was just so great to spend the actual holiday away from all the stress on a diving boat somewhere in the Red Sea. 8-)

Maegwin said...

My best Christmas present is yet to come. We are expecting our first baby and she will definitely be here before Christmas. I am looking forward to expanding our family and being home together.

Your new pattern is beautiful by the way!

cayli said...

I think my favorite was the year my parents got us both Big Wheels. We had so much fun riding them around in our big driveway, noisey plastic tires and all!

A 30-something femme createrix said...

Love the story about the Washer and Dryer! My favorite gift ever is along the same lines. The Christmas after my ex and I divorced, I was in a deep depression. I traditionally spent Xmas eve with one side of the family and Xmas day with the other side. It was Xmas day and I am not that comfortable with that side of my family and my sister (my usual buffer with them) wasn't there. We opened our presents and everything was about what I expected. Then, my aunts said, "Hey, there's another box over there. Who's it for?" I went to look and it was for me. It was a TiVo. My ex had gotten the TiVo in our separation and I had pretty much stopped watching TV because I hated having to watch commercials, lol. To this day, I don't know who gave it to me...no one would tell me. Most likely, it was a group effort from them all. But the care and concern in their eyes made me start bawling and I ran into the kitchen to hide. One of my cousins came in and put her arm around my shoulder and said, "Just because you hide your pain, doesn't mean we don't all know how much you're hurting. We love you and want to do this one small thing to make you smile." I lost it. That was the most special gift ever...the TiVo...but more importantly, what she said to me :)

CinnabarsKnitter said...

The present I remember being most excited about was the ballwinder I got two Christmases ago--it was my first fiber-related present. And a top contender is also my bike, from Christmas last year.

My favorite present of all time, though, is still my birthday present of a few years ago--a Sansa Clip 4Gb mp3 player! It is single-handedly saving me an my sanity from sleep-deprivation now that I'm rooming with someone who needs the TV to fall asleep--I put on a chatty podcast and fall peacefully asleep sometime during the second one. I still tell Mom fairly regularly that it is one of the best presents I've ever gotten, and it will be I think two years old in April.

squiggi said...

I'd have to say my favorite gift is the one I've gotten this year. An ipod touch. It was love at first sight

Ash said...

THAT is a beautiful picture of Spruce.

My favorite Christmas gift... I have a tie:

A) a toolbox for my truck when I was 17 (proof my dad had finally accepted my independence from the men in the family!)

B) the solar powered charger my husband got me 2 years ago. I could never bring myself to spend that kind of money on any one item for myself but he knew it supported everything I believe in. It's wonderful.

Suzanne said...

I still have a stuffed dog that a great uncle gave to me about 30-35 or more years ago. My sister received a stuffed cow and I got the dog. It sits on my mother's hope chest in my bedroom. I am not sure if my sister still has hers.

Nancy in VT said...

I think my greatest gift was the clock my dad made for me when I was about 10 years old. It's a beautiful Shaker design, and is a windup clock that has been running ever since- 30 years later and it has been everywhere I've lived, including college.

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, everywhere I walked I imagined a horse would just appear under me. One Christmas I got a box with a couple of horse brushes, a hoof pick and a mane & tail comb. I was thrilled beyond belief. Then I opened another box with a bridle in it and was over the moon. When I was told there was also a horse waiting in the stable for me I didn't believe it, but it was true and the Best Gift Ever! Fifty five years later I still have horses in the pasture and just love everything about them.

Kathy said...

I get so tired of buying my own presents and wrapping them because my husband and kids didn't have a clue what I wanted... how hard is it to buy me yarn and things like that? But I think my favorite gifts these days are the ones I give to others, I get so much pleasure from their happiness. Really, I understand that it's hard for my family because I get myself what I truly want and need.

But maybe this year will be different?!

Anonymous said...

My greatest gift was when a house sale fell through. I was nineteen when my mother died unexpectedly, and she and my father had signed sale papers on my childhood home just two weeks before. So funeral arrangements and house packing had to be accomplished at the very same time as grieving. Mom and Dad had built the house themselves, and with her gone the rest of us were especially sorry to sell of our "history," so to speak. The new residents were leasing the place just until their bank loan was approved, and when, near the holidays, they called to say they were backing out, there was much rejoicing. That Christmas was it felt less like we'd lost our mom than like we'd gotten her back, in a way.

Natalie K.

Rabbitknitz said...

It sounds hokey, but the greatest gift for me at Christmas is spending time with my extended family. I forget what gifts I've been given, but the memories of happy times in good company never fade.

jody said...

My best gift was a lovely stained glass box made for me by my niece.

Kristen said...

Eww on the Junebugs. They give me the heebie-jeebies. Yuck. I can't think of one specific item that was my favorite gift, I just love the season. :)

RachelAnderson said...

I wasn't going to bake more, becuase you're post inspired me ... now the house is filled with even more cookes and sweets. But, after reading your post, I think I'm going to have to box some up to take as gifts to people. I've used the rav gift feature already, and really love it! It makes it so easy to put a smile on someone's face.

My hubby just suprised me with a lovely Hanukkah gift, and told me there's also going to be something under the Christmas tree for me, too. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful man! I hope I can give him something equally as wonderful.

meezermeowmy said...

Today I received in the mail a gift from my father-in-law, a beautiful array of dried fruit, artfully arranged like a sunburst in a wicker tray. I'd never told him or my husband that I would like this, but I have always wanted such a gift. I'm thrilled that he got this for me!

Leslie said...

It's a gorgeous pattern. It is way cool that you can now gift patterns on Raverly, I have taken advantage of it already.

Erin said...

My favorite Christmas gift isn't a gift in the traditional sense, but it's given me such joy over the last 11 years: my son. That's one gift that will never be topped!

LenaL said...

Wow, what a marvelous bunch of patterns you have! I have just found out about your blog and your patterns, and will be back soon!

Take good care of yourself!

Ulla Stigaard said...

I usually think I get the most wonderful Christmas presents every yearn. I am always amazed at how wonderful presents I get.
I met my boyfriend back in the summer of 2002. In January 2003 I had to go to France for 4 ½ months as part of my study programme. Only because of him I went home for a week during the french easter holidays, and when I came home he gave me a silver necklace with a gold pendant with a large shining zirconia. I was amazed. For my birthday later that year, he gave me a matching pair of earrings. And for Christmas he gave me a matching 14 carat gold ring! That was my best Christmas present ever, and I certainly hadn't expected it.
On a holiday last year in Turkey, we had the ring set with a real diamond instead of the zirconia, and it's a beautiful but very simple ring.
Since then he has bought me many beautiful presents. He is very lavish when it comes to gift-giving and not only when it comes to me, he's like that with everybody. He really is wonderful and I only hope I can make him just as happy with the gifts I give him back.

Isobel said...

I think Spruce is stunning - will it be available on its own someday - I could see this around my mothers shoulders - will wait with anticipation.

msleoknits said...

Spruce is just beautiful. Thank you so much! Now to find some yarn.

ikkinlala said...

I think the best Christmas gift I got was cross-country skis.

PenCraft said...

Boy, you must be very gentle on your washer and dryer to get them to last that long! I'm very impressed. I have no idea what the best Christmas gift I ever got was. I do remember the worst. I'm going to have to contemplate the meaning of that and try to look more on the positive side of life!

craftycat said...

I would have to say my greatest gift was the Christmas we were truly empty nesters and both boys were living in CA. My DH took me to Myrtle Beach for Christmas it meant so much to me because he knew being at home would hurt so bad and being out of the house helped make that first solo Christmas easier.

Hugs!!!

knitandputt said...

My best Christmas present was the year my son was born in July 1982. He was born with sleep apnea and needed to be on a monitor while he slept and it would sound when he stopped breathing. Two weeks before Christmas he had another sleep study done, and he was breathing on his own the whole night long! Best Christmas present ever.

Susie B said...

My best would be the year I gave my daughter her first boots. My mother gave her new jeans and she went in her room, changed her clothes, and came out all ready to go "boot scooting." She was all of 4 at the time. Ranking right up there is the year my DH gave me an old fashioned radio/record player so I could play my Christmas records and not CDs.

Anonymous said...

My best Christmas present was a bracelet from my Mom. I was about 10 years old, and we didn't have much. The bracelet was an inexpensive one, with tiny fake pearls, and small painted yellow hearts. The hearts have long since tarnished, but I still have that bracelet. It was one of my first grown-up girl presents, and I treasure it.

TDC

Caryn said...

The best Christmas gift I ever got was when I was 13 years old. I wanted a cockatiel for my own after spending a year taking care of our class's pet birds on weekend. So that year, after we had moved away from all of my friends, my parents picked up a baby bird and kept him in their closet for a few days until Christmas morning, where he was in a cage in my bedroom when I opened my present that was an empty box that said "look in your room." (Note: the closet was a walk-in with a balcony and a large window-so he wasn't locked in the dark for days). Merlin is now 12 and is still going strong. He charms my husband and my guests everyday!

Miss Bea said...

My favorite childhood gift was the Barbies playhouse my sister and I got when I was 5 or so. My favorite gift as an adult was the Red Sox game my dad got me tickets for a few years ago!

Kay said...

Wow! I do believe that this is one of the loveliest design that you have done. It is so perfectly named.