The end of the year is here again and with it the mad rush of the holiday season.  We start with Halloween in October, which is followed by lots of baking and planning a large dinner for Thanksgiving. We end the year in a rush that can leave you feeling that you have reached the edge of insanity. We are rushing to finish buying gifts, or making them. And then there are the slow starters that are just now beginning to shop, (I really feel sorry for those poor bastards)!  We push ourselves over the edge because we want to give our loved ones an even better holiday than the year before.  We have put a lot of thought and time into selecting the right gifts.  After it is over we are  left feeling, exhausted, broke, and mentally unstable.

And let’s  not forgot to top it off with one last celebration to end the year. Celebrating the  last day of the year and the beginning of a hopeful and exciting new year many wake up feeling like crap, now that is a greyt way to start a new year!

We scaled back Christmas many years ago with the adults drawing names and doing a gift exchange. The greyt spouse and I thought this would be easier for our kids, who were young and their income somewhat limited. Along with the name drawn, was a list of suggested gift items.  It was a lot of fun and helped  to reduce some of the holiday stress and ease the pocket book.  We continue to scale back for the holiday. The greyt spouse and I only do stocking stuffers. We try to find fun things to fill them with and also add a couple of nice things that we would not normally buy.

However, I think our society puts too much emphasis  on the holidays  as a time for family, peace and spending money. It has been ingrained in us that if we do not get together for this or that holiday, something is wrong. In the past when co-workers asked if I had family plans for this or that and I said, ‘not really’, they would give me a strange look. And why should  we be thinking only of peace and love at this time of year!  I think we need to start thinking  differently, but that is just my opinion.

I guess I feel like this because growing up it was just my parents, brother and me.  When I was very small, I do remember a couple of Christmases with my dad’s family.  But mostly it was just the four of us.  Then I chose nursing as a career,  working in a hospital.  Back 30 plus years, I worked most holidays because I lacked seniority, then later years came the fight for the holiday rotation schedule.  I learned that you can get together as a family on any day surrounding  the holiday and still celebrate the holiday.

I think is it just important to get together and spend time with your family.  Spend time with your friends. It doesn’t matter what day it is. It does not have to be a holiday. There does not need to be a lot of prep time.   Just get together, appreciate each individual for their uniqueness and love the time you have together. And do this several times, all year long.

I am going to brag a little now. I can happily say that my shopping, decorating, gift wrapping was completed a  couple of weeks ago. I do still have some baking to do and odds-in-ends to finish.  For some reason, since retirement, I really like to bake this time of the year. I give out homebaked goods to our neighbors and friends and family.  And the freezer will be filled to capacity for several months! My next blog is in the planning and I will share some of those recipes.

And I do like to decorate for the holidays. As you have seen Halloween is a biggie, but so is Christmas.

But for some reason I revolt against decorating a tree. I don’t know why and I won’t go into all the pros and cons because we all know what they are. I just do not enjoy decorating a tree nor do I have the patience do so. I know, I know, you see these pics of all the decorating and you think, what’s up with that! Yes, I am aware that I am a little oddball.

My daugther-in-law said once when we were dividing up houses for the holidays, ‘no tree, no christmas’. Actually, that worked out just the way I planned, hehe! All of the boxes, wrapping paper, and chaos, will be at their house. All kidding aside, it does make more sense. The kids will be happier in their own environment instead of being dragged away from new toys and games. Also, mimi and papa’s house is one story with no game or toy room and a basement full of clutter and hobbies and unfit for children to play in. With the kids hyped up on sugar and the excitement of the day,  the  house becomes a bit small. The idea of tossing the kids outside for an extended length of time does not always work well this time of year. Especially, if the temperature stays in the single digits!

Okay, enough about my thoughts on holidays and old age rambling. Here are the knitted gifts I made for the grandkids.

This is for my nine year old grandson. It is worsted weight and made entirely from stash yarn! His father said to make it bright and he will like it. I hope this is bright enough.

This is for my two year old granddaughter. I got the idea for this cloche from an adult version and was able to scale it down. Also made of worsted weight stash yarn.  The center of the flower has three small jingle bells. I can just see her walking around and shaking her head at the same time!

For the seven year old granddaughter who is a fan of pink.  I am hoping she will like the earflap hat and want to wear it. The yarn is Plymouth worsted.

And for the four and a half, I am also hoping so likes the idea of a fun hat.

I have gotten pretty good at resizing the earflap  hat so why not make one more. This one is for a six month old who will be eating with us on Christmas day.

All of the details for sizing, needles and yarns can be found at under ‘frazzldknitter’.

These were quick and simple gifts to knit. I am hoping they will be a hit.  Hey, mabye  I can start a tradition of fun hats every year!

Wishing you the best for the holidays, including peace and love and all that stuff! Also wishing the new year brings large doses of sanity and time for knitting and blogging!

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