Christmas is supposed to be a season of Joy, but once you grow up past the kid phase it's sometimes difficult to find true Joy in the season. Once Santa and tinsel no longer cut it then you have to work to find your own kind of Christmas spirit. In recent years I have found the holidays to be rather ho-hum and not especially jolly. Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking Bah humbug here, I just want a little more Ho Ho Ho in my Holidays. The good news is I think I found it this year.
In the early part of October I found myself feeling a little depressed. I even indulged in a brief pity party. I thought I was justified and I had a decent-sized list of reasons to support my cause. I felt myself falling prey to the trap that is what believers might label "calling others to repentance." I knew it was a trap, but I indulged a little just the same. Not too long afterwards the Spirit sent the Call my way. I got the message: Think a lot less about yourself and a more about others.
In looking around I saw many wonderful examples of this true Spirit of Christ in action, but just one person really stood out for me: Alison Jeppson Hyde. Alison is the author of Wrapped in Comfort, a lovely book of lace shawls patterns knit in mid-weight yarns on moderately large needles.
The patterns are nice, but it is the stories behind the shawls that grab my soul. Each shawl was carefully created from scratch for its intended recipient -- someone whom Alison had come in contact with and felt impressed to knit for. When most of us limit our shawl gifts to only the closest of friends and family, Alison knit for folks she barely knew. She never let the fact that she was severely ill with multiple chronic diseases stop her. Once she felt impressed to knit for a person, that was it. On Alison's blog she tells little tidbits about the people she knits for. It's a feast for the soul, for MY soul.
I have been greatly inspired by Alison's acts of Christian service and have chosen to follow her example beginning with this Christmas. I started small with a few large scarves/small shawls lovingly knit for women who have blessed my life in recent years. You saw a couple of these shawls in the previous post but I've added one more this past week. I can't begin to tell you how fun it is to receive that little whisper of inspiration about who I should knit for and what color, yarn, and pattern I should use. For example, gift #3 needed to be very soft and it needed to be red. No other color would do. Once I knew about the red, then I started to look for patterns in my goodly stash. None spoke to me. Why? Because this shawl had to have hearts in it. When I couldn't find the "perfect" pattern I followed Evelyn Clark's example and designed my own. Let me introduce you to the "Let me Call you Sweetheart" Lace Shawl. The design is still a bit rough and needs tweaking, but it was perfect for it's intended recipient and that's all that matters right now.
I hadn't yet given away the red hearts shawl when learned who I was to knit for next. This one is more challenging because it has to be brown...a color I don't care for and never knit with. My 1st thought pattern didn't work out so I'm on the hunt again. This is so much FUN!!! Watching the faces of these women as they receive their gifts is priceless. I am having the most enjoyable Christmas in a very long time. Thank you Alison!