Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Makeover

Truth be told, my Christmas Spirit is on life support. My family has grown so distant and so far apart (emtionally) that Christmas is no joy, but is rather dreaded and, in many ways, just plain old painful... So, I am going to re-write Christmas! A total makeover. In 2009, I am going to make a HUGE basketful of Christmas ornaments and send them to as many of my dear stitching pals as I possibly can. For you truly hold the Spirit of Christmas. And that is what I want to lean on. I don't expect any ornaments in return. I am more of a giver than a getter. But I want Christmas to be fun - and I think this will go a long way in doing that for me ;-) You will start to see a lot of ornaments show up in my blog entries now - I had planned to decrease my involvement in exchanges in 2009, so this will be a good fill in for my time too.

I finished my first one for the basket last night, after getting home from the fun, fun day with my family ;-)

Joy Ornament

Lizzie Kate

32 ct Dirty Belfast Linen, GAST Floss


Stitched on today: Started a Christmas ornament, and stitched on SBEBB ABC Exchange

38 comments:

just-missy- said...

Carol, you must be reading my mind...even though you don't know me.LOL
I was just thinking to myself that if it wasn't for my Stitching Friends, Christmas wouldn't have been a holiday for me.With family squabbles and two teenage daughters who are to "grown up" for anything I might buy them Christmas has been a bit of a struggle. But thankfully my stitching friends have blessed me with hand stitched ornaments,charts and even sweet treats. I have been truly blessed with the ultimate gift of the Stitching community!

Hugs to you and thank you for making me feel not so alone with the Christmas Blues!!

ROxyMoron said...

How funny...I was feeling the same way this Christmas and decided to do almost exactly the same thing. My difference is, I am going to fill one tree with handcrafted ornaments, and I plan to pass them on to random acts of kindness throughout the holiday season this coming year. I'm hoping to complete an ornament at least every ten days this coming year...wish me luck.

Becky K in OK said...

Carol, what a wonderful, giving gesture. Here's wishing you days full of x's. On this the second day of Christmas, a very Merry Christmas to you.

Joanie said...

Oh Carol, I am sorry that your Christmas Spirit is gasping for air! I feel the same way, my family is 5 hours away, none of my cousins keep in touch anymore in spite of growing up with all of them and even my brother is distant.
I love your generous gesture of the ornament basket. It truly is in the giving, isn't it?

Tracy said...

I am sorry that Christmas day was overshadowed by the lack of good family relations. We too lack in real good family relations but the day turned out nice for me in spite of that fact merely because I didn't anticipate too much to begin with nor did I decorate, that's not to say that I was a scrooge; I managed to keep a good attitude which I don't always do. One of my daughters spent her second Christmas in Iraq but we still exchanged gifts and she had some nice things going on where she was; my hubby, who I didn't expect to have the day off ended up having the day off so we got to spend the day together which was probably the best part and my other daughter who just had my first grandson in October spent the day with us along with the baby of course on his first christmas, though he didn't know it (mind you, this daughter and I have had many problems in the past but none on this particular christmas day). I made homemade pancakes for breakfast which makes anyday special. We had no x-mas tree this year and no gifts to open because we enjoyed gifts for the majority of December because we are not very traditional so we let ourselves and our kids spend our christmas budgets gradually throughout the month. Though we don't have very large budgets, we each found a few treasures. I, myself, treated myself to a quart of cold stone creamery for one of my gifts, you can't beat it. I truly hope that there was something in the holiday that you found to treasure. As long as you have at least one person who you love and loves you to spend the day with, the joy of the day can be salvaged. Hugs.

Tessa said...

Carol - Merry Christmas - lovely ornament and a lovely idea - I sent a few stitcher Christmas parcels this year and it was a lot of fun, I wished I could have done a few more. I have kids that still really enjoy Christmas and even my 15 year old still enjoys getting a stocking. However, I have one sister-in-law that I have to grit my teeth for - Phew - makes Christmas Eve hard work and like walking on eggshells. I know how lovely your work is and I expect that everyone who receives one of your ornaments will be thrilled, it is the giving and not receiving that is the spirit of Christmas so I hope you are blessed with the Christmas Spirit all through 2009 :)

Susimac said...

Thats a sweet idea Carol

Glad to read that your mum is managing to get about now and coping with the prosthetics.

Nic said...

I'm sorry that your Christmas wasn't all that you could have wished for. I've had a few of those myself, and I think your idea is a lovely one.

mainely stitching said...

I'm all for "re-writing" the holidays to suit the reality of our individual situations. Fragmented family, at a time when everything around us is screaming "quality family time!!" just sucks. We don't have any extended family contact over the holidays, which always makes me sad, so each year I try to make little adjustments to make it more of an ideal Christmas for us, rather than what the greeting card companies say we should be enjoying. ;)

You take care, and don't forget that you have lots of "family" in the stitching community!!

Karoline said...

Sounds like a lovely idea Carol. Joy is lovely, congratulations

Bliss said...

Hugs from me to you - it sounds like you need one! Don't give up totally on the family. I hope you enjoy executing the plans you have for your 2009 stitching schedule.

Sherry said...

Carol, I totally agree with you. So much of our family has passed away or moved on, our kids are grown and really have no desire to celebrate with us. If I didn't have my stitching friends and my husband, Christmas would be so empty for me! You have such a wonderful idea and I totally agree about re-writing Christmas!

Sometimes, just because you have kids doesn't really mean you have family.

cathymk said...

Sending you a little Christmas hug sweetie. Love your idea. Looking forward to seeing your ornies decorating your blog.

karenv said...

What a lovely idea Carol :) I love your first one, very sweet!

Redwitch said...

Great idea Carol! You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family as they say. My family is fragmented and I don't have children so I know how you feel. I like seeing other family Christmas's on fellow stitchers' blogs but it's not quite the same for me.

Susan said...

What a lovely idea, Carol - I know that after my DD passed away, I had absolutely no Christmas spirit, and I just dreaded the holiday season, especially as none of "my" family lived near me (all my immediate family live in Australia, and I am living in the US) It returned 6 years later when my DS was born; I still feel like my DS is the only reason I celebrate these days, so I can understand where you are coming from.

I hope that Christmas 2009 is filled with joy for you!

Jamie said...

I feel the same way. After my parents passing, my sister and I parted ways because of her drug addiction and scrabbles over the estate. My eldest daughter is in a very abusive relationship and her husband won't let her or my granddaughter be part of my life. Of 4 adopted children, only one was home from Christmas and she wasn't too cheery herself.

But what a wonderful idea you had to reinvent the spirit of Christmas. May 2009 be a year of giving and mending old wounds.

Carla said...

That's a wonderful idea, Carol! And the first ornament you finished is lovely!!

Melissa said...

Carol-what a lovely sentiment. I know what you mean about family and that lost connection. Sometimes we know what causes it, sometimes it's us having to do all the work to the lines of communication open with no work from the other family members, believe me I know that feeling well.

I finally let all that go as much as emotionally possible.

What a sweet plan you have for
2009.

Melody said...

Carol, what a nice idea. I think sometimes Christmas just doesn't "measure up" to what we would like it to be.

My husband works at a company that doesn't close for any holidays. So, he had to work on christmas eve and christmas day. That is hard for me.

I am glad you have thought of a way to make christmas more meaningful for you.

Your ornaments are always beautiful.

Lynn said...

As far as I'm concerned, Christmas is all about the giving and I think your idea is a lovely one. I only wish that you could be present in each friend's home to actually see the joy that I'm sure will result in your giving. You are a very special friend to so many stitchers and for that I think you are truly blessed. Merry Christmas!

Von said...

Family and pain are far too often intertwined, unfortunately. I'm so glad you're rising above the situation to make and spread happiness. Wouldn't it be wonderful if that attitude caught on?! :)

Barb said...

I've never posted to your blog before, but you hit a nerve and I just had too. I used to get so depressed at Christmas time but I've learned to not take it so seriously anymore. I did find myself a little blue the other day and blurted out a few things that were better off left unsaid. I am happier away from my brothers and sisters and I would rather see them under less stressful times. Now I work retail and working the day before and the day after gives me less time to think about things.

Hurray for you for reinventing Christmas for yourself! What a great idea you have.

Your stitching and finishing is beautiful. Happy New Year!

Dani - tkdchick said...

Carol I'm sorry to hear that your family turns the holidays into a big disappointment for you!

I'm sure the start of this new traditon will make you feel like the holidays have become special. What a great idea.

LoriRay said...

What a great attitude you have -- turning a negative into a positive. Way to go! *standing ovation*

I look forward to seeing your stitched ornaments all year long. :-)

Danielle said...

I know exactly how you feel. My family holidays are less than desired. I saw you posted this ornament on the freebie gallery. Do you have a link to the pattern? I'd love to stitch it. Thanks, Danielle

Dianne said...

I'm so sorry that your Christmas was made sad by family members. I can so relate to this- mine went on for months and months. My siblings were all in the same place yesterday and were civil to each other-not to say that any new leaves were turned over for good, but I was glad to see my mom happy.
I'm so glad to have my stitching, art and blogger pals too.
Take care of yourself Carol. Happy 2009!

Connie B said...

Carol, that is a very nice thing to do! Happy Stitching! Everything will be fine in 09! That's my new motto!

Daffycat said...

Gorgeous start, Carol! What is that saying...Friends are the family you choose for yourself. Too true!

Cindy F. said...

WOW Carol! That's absolutely beautiful! Stitching and finishing are gorgeous:)
All of our family are everywhere but here....closest being ds (4 hrs) and even he is moving over 1900 miles away in February.
I love your spirit. You are a true inspiration and a bright light in many of our lives:) Your re-writing of Christmas is a beautiful plan!

shakatak66 said...

One of the joys of moving to Sydney is that I finally have 'family' to spend Christmas with - my very best friend's brother and his wife from NZ ... otherwise I have no family here in Aussie. Even so, I refuse to get down, and for the last few years have religiously put my tiny little tree up each year, and for when I'm on my own at Christmas I make myself up a little stocking with some choccies, stitching threads and bits I've picked up during the year, with a little half bottle of bubbly wine ... along with some Christmas carols in the stereo, it's still a nice Christmas when you have to make do on your own :) Dad always used to spoil Christmas for me, so every Christmas afternoon I'd head to my best friend's place for the rest of the day, where they had a true family spirit. I think your idea is really sweet :D

ollie1976 said...

I completely understand what you mean. Hugs.
-Jen

laurie in iowa said...

Your generosity and goodwill will reap you many joys. May 2009 bring you much happiness.

Simone said...

What a wonderful idea Carol! It seems that a lot of stitchers are cutting down with exchanges, but there are a lot of new ideas coming up.
I really like "Joy". It's a good start!
Sorry to hear, that you're having Christmas blues... :(

DonnaTN said...

Years ago I read that if you cannot change a situation, you can change the way you react to it. Your idea is a wonderful reaction to a less than wonderful situation. Good for you!

Teri said...

Carol, what a wonderful idea!! Why not celebrate Christmas all year round and with those who love the spirit of giving as much as you! Your finishes are always so beautiful. I love the beaded edges on the ornaments. May the year ahead be a beautiful one!

Vonna said...

Carol, I am quickly trying to catch up with everything, but I had to drop in this post to say, if there is anyone in the world that has Christmas in her heart all year long, it is you. My heaven's you give and give and give. If that's not what the season is all about, I don't know what is and what is so special about you is that you do it freely with no expectations - that is love at its fullest.

Merry Christmas and a very blessed New Year to you, I count myself lucky to be included as a friend in your court of admirers :o)

And I think your basket of ornaments for next Christmas Season is a perfect example of your loving generosity and kindness. Love you!

Michelle said...

Carol, I think that's a lovely idea! It will probably help to focus on the joy of Christmas, AND you get to enjoy it all year long by stitching ornaments! How fun. Love this one!