Over the weekend we put up our Christmas decorations. It's a moment I simultaneously look forward to and dread every year. I look forward to the anticipation lighting up the children's faces, but positively dread because that anticipation unfailingly transforms into full blown hysteria and shrieking when things don't go exactly their way, and NOW. When the decorations come up (and I have a LOT of decorations, people), it's a mad dash to get the year-round disposable crap, I mean objets d'art, out of the way to make room for the bazillion irreplaceable water globes and figurines that come out in December. And once the tree is up? All bets are OFF. The evening after the decorations go up, I usually have a stiff drink and some serious knit-therapy once the kids are in bed.
This year though, I had an idea, something I'd been toying with for a few months. I couldn't stop the chaos or the tears (or the stiff drink), but maybe, just maybe, I could find a way to hold on to that which, when you get right down to it, matters most of all...
My kids are 5 and 2. Glass ornaments and children of that age don't mix. Wait, that's over-simplifying. Not only do they not mix, they aren't meant to coexist. Period.
So what to do? I means, besides the obvious solution of buying plastic ornaments (NEVER!).
Before I answer that, let me back up a bit. Contrary to what new readers might think (although one would hope that the blog's title would cue them off somewhat), I am a Knitter (the use of the capital is intentional). And like most committed Knitters, I have a lot of yarn lying around the house. A LOT of yarn. Good yarn, crap yarn, leftover sock yarn I didn't have the heart to throw out... It's really everywhere. We're, quite simply, overrun with yarn.
And that's when the solution to my ornament conundrum hit me. It was an epiphany, I tell you. An almost zen-like, beautiful moment of clarity I have never experienced thus far in my life, and I can only hope you get to experience something like it yourselves some day.
Can you see it? Can you see what we did? How about if I give you a closer look?
Yes people, the tree at casa de Dear is trimmed with pom-poms. I was a genius!
I'll admit... it hasn't turned out quite like I had planned. I had envisioned myself, my cousin Jessica and Émilie (Maxime would be sleeping, I may be delusional but I'm not STUPID), sitting at the table, happily making pom-poms for the tree (and lifelong memories to boot), and later seeing the tree filled with these little one-of-a-kind beauties. As a matter of fact, my original plan was to have the tree trimmed ONLY with pom-poms (and the ornaments made by the kids at school/daycare).
Turns out that making pom-poms is deceptively time-consuming, and doesn't quite hold the fascination I thought it would for Émilie. Or myself. Or Jessica (she actually kept at it while we had quit, God bless her). I'd say we worked at it for about an hour and a half, and in the end I wound up with 13 pom-poms.
Even so, it warms my heart when I look at my tree. I can look at a particular pom-pom and know that it's the leftover yarn from a pair of socks I wound up giving to a complete stranger in Japan, or that one has particular meaning because it was made by my cousin (who then promptly broke into hives from concentrated yarn exposure).
Cheesy? Maybe. Tacky? Yeah, a little bit. But the point is that it's OUR tree. Everything in it has meaning, and is connected to a memory, or a time, or a place. And isn't that what this time of year is supposed to be all about?
Happy Knitting Everyone!