That Time of Year

Today, I spent the morning wrapping Christmas presents with my husband. It was fun, and all that, but stressful too. In the past, my wrapping skills have been… critiqued. I try my hardest, but it doesn’t translate into the gift, it seems.

My mom wraps with crisp edges, like a bloody pro, and tries to be gentle, but I know she sees how bad my wrapping is. My husband wraps like a pro, too, and he has tried to teach me, but it takes practice and patience.

But I struggle with not being perfect from the get go. I slowly let it get to me, that my wrapping sucks, and always will which means my negative inner voice is winning. It is tough to acknowledge that since my negative inner voice has sway over me ninety percent of the time. It makes simple things seem way more difficult, and makes me feel like a failure.

And like all things, it spirals out of control especially if I am alone. It turns into everything I hate about myself, and grows to include everything I think everyone hates about me, too. It is annoying, and it takes sooooo much effort to shut it down before then. So kudos to anyone else with that negative inner voice who manages to stuff it back in a box, and beat the snot out of it too!

Anyway, that trigger today was wrapping gifts, and the longer I sat taping and folding, the quicker it crept up on me. Eventually I was in tears, because how the heck can’t I get crisp frickin’ edges on a bloody box?!?

Thankfully my husband intervened, and stared me down. He finally said, “Your wrapping is fine. I don’t know what you’re talking about!”

It was what I needed to beat my inner negative voice back into its cage, and say to myself, “Yeah, your wrapping may not be God’s gift to the world, but it was done with love and that’s all that matters! Plus… it is better than it used to be.”

Treat yourself with kindness this season, everyone! It is the effort that matters at the end of the day, and there is nothing wrong with falling. Friends and Family should take care of each other, and lend a hand when it is needed. Be it wrapping that is your downfall, or something else, YOU TRIED!

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. ~ Herman Melville

 

 

 

Blanket of Hope

Her hands worked hard for what had come to feel like ages, and the sound of knitting needles moving side by side comforted her. The progress she made was revealed, row after row, with a simple basket weave stitch. Longing for its completion, she finished it one day, and found a box to wrap it in, hoping to hide its truth.
For thirteen days, she kept the gift hidden, and decorated the house with her husband for Christmas. The evergreen tree they had cut down together sat in a stand of water, filling the room with a pine scent. It shone brightly with a wooden star wrapped in twinkly lights at the top, and her deceased grandmother’s multicoloured lights adorned the branches.
Her husband moved on to start the Christmas village, and she put decorations on the tree carefully since her cats viewed them as shimmering toys. Tears filled her eyes when she saw it completed, reminded of relatives who had passed years ago, and of a bright future she wished to share with them.
Blinking the sadness from her eyes, he came to hug her, comfort her, and they sat together on the couch. A holiday themed video lit the TV, and she lost herself in it, surrounded by the warmth of her loved one and their furry children.
Finally, it was the day she had waited ever so patiently for, having lied about the purpose of her knitting project to him. She had not been able to buy anything for Christmas for him, and it tore her apart, but she was able to make him something, just that one thing.
It sat alone underneath the bright tree, and he tentatively grabbed it while she watched from a distance. He looked at her once for approval, and with a nod, he started to pull the paper from it. Peering inside the box, he pulled out a knitted blanket, too small for him or her to use, and stared at his wife.
A faint smile lit her lips, unsure of what he would make of it, and she explained in a soft voice, “It is a baby blanket.”
“Oh, okay,” he replied in his own simple way, uncertain of what else to say since he knew she was not pregnant.
“I made it to show my hope for us,” she whispered, trying to hide tears from her eyes, “We both want children, and it isn’t time yet, but I wanted to show you I will always want that for us…. Regardless of how long it takes.”
Her voice broke, and tears fell silently down her cheeks. His arms wrapped around her, and he mumbled something she did not hear.
“What?” she asked through her sniffles and brushed her tears away.
“I love you,” he said louder, his eyes caring as he gazed at her, “It will happen for us one day, don’t worry.”
“I love you, too,” she whispered, barely heard as she snuggled into his arms.
They stayed entwined in the other’s embrace, the quiet filled with promise, and basked in the glow of the varied lights. The Christmas tree worked its magic on them, a secret promise had been made, and before they retired to bed that night, she was sure she felt her past loved ones approval.
All thanks to a baby blanket made with love.