Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Tradition

When I was about 5, my grandparents moved to Florida. It was great to have relatives to visit down there (we lived in Michigan) but it was also difficult to not get to see them for the holidays. We visited when we could, and otherwise my mother and I sent packages.

The thing about those packages was that since Grandma and Grandpa had gotten rid of a bunch of stuff when they moved, they didn't really want more stuff that would just take up room in their house. I can't really blame them. So all year long, my mom and I would collect things to send them for Christmas, usually small things or consumable things. The one thing I really remember is stocking up on loose Earl Grey tea because back in the 1980s and 1990s, loose tea was hard to find, and Grandma preferred to make iced tea with loose tea over making it with tea bags. But there were other things, too.

As we found them, Mom and I would stash these little gifts around the house. We usually started each year with the best of intentions and declared one drawer or cabinet the gift spot where everything would go. By December, however, there were usually 1-4 gift spots. Many, many years, when we would assemble the Christmas box, we would miss a spot where gifts were stashed. Inevitably, we would discover this spot in January or February. Since we knew good and well we would loose track of this stuff before the next Christmas (or Grandpa's birthday in April or Grandma's in October), we would pack up the extra presents and send a Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's day present.

I have decided that this isn't a bad tradition-- to just send people you love gifts for either completely random days that aren't holidays or holidays that aren't traditionally gift giving holidays. This year, I have spotted my mother-in-law struggling with plantar fasciitis. I know it is terribly painful. I had a surgical procedure for it a few years ago. She has found one pair of shoes that are comfortable: a pair of flip-flops. Because the weather has gotten cold, she is wearing these shoes with socks, wadding them up to accomidate the shoe. So, as a random gift to her sometime in the spring, I am going to knit a heavily modified version of this pattern for her. That's right, socks that are already divided at the toes. Okay, so I hate provisional cast-ons, and I'm going to skip the colour work, and I'm going to avoid the seam on the ankle, but I am going to make her a pair of thong socks.

I think Mom would approve of this as a contiuation of our tradition of late holiday gifts.

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