“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year."
~Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
I have been feeling increasingly weighed down lately by the things going on in my country and in the rest of the world. I find myself not wanting to look too far forward, in apprehension of what may be coming. A few days ago, while going through a stack of my Christmas designs, I had an idea for a project to lift my spirits and keep me looking and moving forward, focused on the JOY and BLESSINGS in life.
If you've been visiting my blog for a while, you know I love Christmas and stitching Christmas ornaments. I've shown all my stitched ornaments, and the Christmas tree they decorate (if you need to catch up, click on any of the Christmas labels in the right sidebar). So I have quite a stack of ornament-sized designs... not to mention every issue of the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament issue.
While looking at my collection--and chastising myself for not having more of them stitched--my mind wandered (as it often does) to wondering how many I could get done before Christmas. This led me to check a calendar to see how many weeks it is until Christmas (21, if you were wondering, too). Then I started daydreaming about how cool it would be to stitch an ornament every week until Christmas. And I connected that to how I've been feeling lately, and thought what a great way that would be to push back against the negative thoughts and emotions I've been having.
Naturally, I would have to blog my progress. Then I started worrying about not being able to get an ornament done every week. And about what to call it. A Christmas ornament "challenge"? I pondered all this for a day or two and realized that stressing over how many ornaments I could actually get done and calling it a "challenge" were both the wrong approach. The goal is to focus on JOY and BLESSINGS... not to freak out over finishes and certainly not to consider it a "challenge" (too much pressure!).
And so, "The Keeping Christmas Project" was born: a leisurely, five-month stroll toward Christmas, stitching as many ornaments as I can along the way. Will I stitch 21 ornaments by Christmas? Nope. Do I care? Nope. My Keeping Christmas Project is already fulfilling its purpose. I'm looking forward to stitching some beautiful ornaments and sharing them here, hopefully bringing a little joy (and enabling) to others as well. I am already pushing back, and it feels good.
This isn't a challenge or a SAL, but if you'd like to join me--in a leisurely, no-stress-allowed way--please do! Leave a link to your blog in the comments so I can see your ornaments.
Here's a start, a freebie available here.
Merry Christmas, y'all!