Passing Down Crazy

Because Sometimes the Best Thing You Can Give Your Kid is an Addiction…To Yarn

Retail Therapy


Yesterday I took College Girl to the airport to go back to school.  We won’t see her again until Christmas.  (We talk on the phone at least once a day though.)  She’s happy at school, so that’s a good thing, but I still feel funny when she leaves.

So what did I do?  I made a little jaunt through Ulta and bought a few things.  I haven’t bought makeup for a very long time, so that was fun.

But then I went somewhere that made me feel a lot better.  I made a trek to Needlework Unlimited.  I must be going through a brown phase right now.  I walked in the door and promptly started drooling.  Just look at this.

It’s Blue Heron rayon metallic.  I now own 1,100 yards of it.  The colorway is chocolate copper.  How could I resist?  I’m not sure if it’s going to be a shell or lace.  It hasn’t talked to me yet.

My other purchase was also brown.

This is Schaefer Lola.  I’m too lazy to see what the colorway is.  It’s a little more chocolate brown than the photo.  I’m on a quest to add some sport weight sock yarn to my stash.  I was going to start these socks this morning, but couldn’t find a size 2 needle.  Then I remembered that the socks I’m currently working on owns my size 2 needles right now.

I started these last November in Mexico.  I picked them up again last week.  I guess I’ll have to finish them before I can start the next pair.  Hmmm…..forced monogamy.  That works.

Now I have a question for you?  Is anyone panicking at the thought of Christmas shopping???  I am, on so many levels.  I don’t have time.  My kids need nothing.  My relatives need nothing.  I’m feeling like if I put one more thing in this house, it’s going to blow up, spewing the contents into the street.  Last year, each kid got one gift and we purchased gifts for a family that maybe wouldn’t have had much for Christmas.  It was really fun.  I need a brainstorm like that for this year.

I’m also sure that for many people, buying gas and groceries has consumed more of their income.  Christmas shopping is going to be more stressful in that respect too.

So, what can we change?  I want Christmas to be about family and celebrating Christ’s birth.  Materialism is so rampant in our society and our kids think they need and deserve whatever they want.

And no, the irony of the title isn’t lost on me.


Author: mariajhmom

I'm a wife, mom, quilter, knitter, and spinner. I blog at

15 thoughts on “Retail Therapy

  1. Yes, I am already starting to panic about Christmas shopping. I really dislike shopping and unless I can think of something that a person really needs or something they really love, but would not buy for themselves I have a horribly difficult time.

    I am trying to figure out how to convince my family to cut back on the shopping/gifting. For extended family we already do a white elephant exchange so that’s a start, but it seems like it’s still too much within the close family. Not to mention, my mom is the biggest shopper (and the hardest to make quit) and she’s the one who can afford it the least.

    This is reminding me that I vowed last year to find somewhere else to be for Christmas to get rid of the stress…I know it sounds terrible, but it’s always been a horribly stressful time for me just in regard to all the family obligations – when to be at who’s house.

  2. Something I have long wanted to do in my family is pick names out of hat or something and have each person give one gift and get one gift. Or one that I like even better in crafty families is to make a gift instead of buy. Both encompass the season of giving and avoid the overbuying… Lovly browns, I love brown. I have brown hair so maybe that is why!

  3. mmmmm…..chocolate copper….what a heavenly name…
    You didn’t stand a chance.
    Shopping? Christmas? Used to love it. NOw? Just about every year now I threaten to go to a beach somewhere and be alone instead of doing ALL of Christmas for people (immediate family) that don’t seem to appreciate it and….oooohhhh, don’t get me started!
    I’m not sure how it’s going to go this year, but I guess we could all just take a moment to remember that we can only look after ourselves. We cannot control what other people do, say, think, or feel—-or even KNOW what or why they do, say, think or feel—and it all comes back to us!! Be honest with yourself (I’m talking to me here too) and with those around you. Honour your feelings and decisions of what’s best for you and ALLOW them to experience their feelings and make THEIR decisions based on those. Live your life by what is true for you and those around you will see the joy that living your truth brings and hopefully aim for that in their lives as well.
    So, how was that? A little more than you were looking for?

  4. It gets crazy buying a gift for everyone in the family; even little gifts add up to a lot of money. I also have no idea what some of my family members need or want as we live so far away. One could make a donation to a charity with the family members name on it and send a nice card to them telling them of their donation.
    For immediate family we are going to Disney World in January so we are just getting little gifts for each other. I’ve also gone totally insane and am knitting twenty four miniture stockings as an advent calendar and I’m putting little gifts in them for my daughter. This seemed like a fun idea until I got to the fourth one. I should have sewed them. Love your fingerless, cabled gloves.

  5. Oh, Christmas. How I love to hate the season.
    I have no solutions. It’s the same problem every year.

  6. Lovely autumnal yarn!

  7. ….one of the happiest Christmas things i’ve ever done is give a goat via Heifer International….you can also give sheep, chickens, bees, cows, geese, ducks, rabbits, llamas, trees, etc…, a whole herd….or Noah’s Ark….i’m not kidding, they have the whole shebang and they call it Noah’s Ark….i love how it works too….they give a pregnant goat, in my case, to a family in a third world country for whom the gift of a goat is a whole lot….they teach them how to care for the goat and the recipients of the goat have to share their wealth so others in need of a goat can have a much needed and welcome lift up……”to the least of these, my brothers…”

  8. I agree with Sally on Heifer International. There’s also the Salvation Army. And surely there is a place near you that would welcome your whole family coming to help serve Thanksgiving/Christmas dinners. The Food Pantries (or whatever yours is called) are really hurting for donations this year, too, and they give out food every week/month;so, they are really needing help now.

  9. I am still in a phase of loving Christmas, but that is because I have two small boys. One thing we are going to do this year is Operation Christmas Child. We will fill a shoebox with goodies and write a note to the child. Then the box will go somewhere in the world to a child who is in need. I like that it introduces the Gospel and also that my kids can see how fortunate they are and how it is important to think about other people and their needs. Google Operation Christmas Child for more info.

    I have also heard of families who pick a theme, say books, and choose a special book for EVERY person they shop for, sounded fun and simple.

  10. Hubster heard about an effort to raise money to buy Christmas for people who don’t have much. The organizer made the point that the current economic crisis will mean poor people won’t get much Christmas. Their feeling is we can’t let less well off people experience less Christmas, just because people are hurting for money. Hubster pondered why the level of giving, to those less fortunate, has to remain the same, when the level of some family’s Christmas will be less.

    It’s the consumerism thing. We put a level of expectations on our celebrations. If we don’t spend X amount we must not love our kids. If we don’t receive X amount our family must not love us. This year we are getting a puppy. The girls understand this will take the place of some of their Christmas. But, as your family, they do not need more stuff. They need to learn more about giving than receiving. We prefer doing food gifts to the needy in our area. Whether collecting goods/buying to donate or making pies and treats.

    I hate the searching for something of meaning, when in reality I am only trying to find something in my price range that will be acceptable. I usually end up giving gift cards to the teenagers, so what’s the point? But I love the season of Christmas for all the get togethers and family time. I guess it’s the price we pay.

  11. Our family has decided that Christmas is for the kids. We noticed after a couple of years that the adults were swapping money in the forms of gift cards. And it works. Everyone is happier and the stress is pulled off of the adults.

    I will sometimes donate money that I would have given an adult to a charity in their name. That’s when it’s really special. My SIL raises money at her church for St. Jude’s. So at Christmas time, we’ll donate to her charity.

    On the flip side, my daughter’s birthday is a few months after Christmas and invariably we are stuffed to the gills with gifts. We have over the past couple of years had birthday parties where we ask the kids to bring a book to donate to the school library. Daughter is okay with it because she gets to read the books before we donate them. She sees it as a way to share her books with her friends.

    Perhaps you guys can do something like that?

    I know that when I was still living at home as a teenager, we all decided to require Christmas gifts that we give each other to be handmade or modified creatively in some way. Those Christmas’ were the most special. I still have fond memories of various gifts I received/made during those years.

  12. The Xmas/holiday/winter gift giving frenzy terrifies me.
    No body around me needs anything really, except healing from things like Cancer.
    and our bank account is looking a little thin lately…
    Perhaps this year, we’ll all give gifts of time… I will do X task for you….
    Whaddya think … can we sell the kids on this?
    I didn’t think so either

  13. I work closely with our Church/school help pantry. We will be feeding over 300 families for Thanksgiving and at least that for Christmas… plus presents. This year more families than ever need help. It doesn’t need to be gifts… it might be a mortgage payment, electric bill payment, prescription drug help. It is a good lesson for kids to know that times are tough. I am sure your church has many good suggestions on how you and your family can help make someone’s Christmas better.

    We make a point of doing special things together. Most of your kids are still home… none of mine are… so it is a little different for us. We go to the zoo, play cards, laugh, eat, and spend time with family friends doing the same. I am sure you will figure it out.

  14. I find Christmas really tough at the best of times – I am 12 000 miles away from my mum and sister and aunties and uncles and cousins (and summer-time), therefore last year we went away for Christmas as our big family present to each other and our 3 children. It might sound selfish but as they are now 15, 14, and 13 I figure we may not have many more years when they will want to be hanging out with parents so time together is very precious, so it was actually the best Christmas I have had in many years and I didn’t have to spend evenings alone in the bedroom with rolls of paper and sellotape! I will make a few small things but mostly I have to think about sending stuff home for a New Zealand summer (where knitting is not such a good idea), so I’ll probably knit some innocent hats for the help-the-aged campaign as a way of giving outside the family or similar.

  15. I am excited about Christmas this year, but not about gifts. We are not very well off and have trouble buying much, which doesn’t really matter to us. But my parents and sisters are big gift people and go all out, so I feel guilty not doing much or anything for them. With three kids of our own and not much to spend we really just want to buy for them though. We also bought a house in the summer and so have payments on that which we didn’t have last Christmas. It’s going to be interesting to see how this year goes. I know that our house will be a hapy one because we know why we’re celebrating, but family who aren’t in our house may not be so happy with us! My husbands family places little emphasis on gifts though and we all bring a $10 gift and do a Chinese Auction. We always have a lot of fun with it.

    I hope you figure out what to do and enjoy that chocolatey yarn! I love browns all the time:)

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