Thursday, 8 December 2011

The philosophical knitter

I went to pick up my son at school last night. No, I'm not a horrible mother! It was only 4:30, but in Canada, in December, it's pitch dark at 4:30 and feels like night. The kids were on the playground so I had to wait a few minutes outside for him to gather his things. It was only 0C / 32F, but it was windy and I was freezing!

We are all aware intellectually that there are homeless people and poor people in our neighborhoods but, particularly with the effervescence of the holidays around us, I find that it's easy to put these realities out of our minds.

Last night, I was just struck by how cold and miserable I felt on a rather warm Canadian winter night. I quickly hurried to my warm car, which took me to my warm home where my hot supper was waiting. Today when I went out, I was able to put on a warmer coat, hat and boots. I was freezing for 5 or ten minutes yesterday. What do less fortunate people do when they are cold and hungry all the time?

Beautiful, but cold, Quebec City!

I certainly don't want to dampen anyone's holiday spirits! I simply wanted to share this revelation with you. The holiday season is about love and giving, but we are so bombarded by the idea that we need more of everything (my children certainly think so!) that we forget to appreciate what we have. The amazing blogger, Sonya of the  Kanelstrand blog has two beautiful posts about getting back to the real meaning of the holidays. You can read them here:

I also had another revelation last night (it was some night!). My husband and I watched the end (end because he was channel surfing!) of my favorite Christmas show - A Charlie Brown Christmas. It's a wonderful cartoon and fills me with all kinds of terrific childhood memories. Snoopy was my father's favorite character.

The revelation came at the end when my husband read the copyright date, 1965. Charles Schulz's message was that Christmas had become too commercial (remember Sally asking Santa for 10's and 20's?). It has been 46 years since this show first aired. Are we more, less or just as commercial as people were back then? Does it matter? I think it does. What do you think?

Finally, I must mention wool. You saw part of my stash in yesterday's post. I accept my fiber addiction. That's apparently the first step to recovery!

My resolution, after this night of revelations, is to use up my stash making hats and mittens to give to the less fortunate in my community to help them get through our long Canadian winters, and to help me remember how very lucky I am!


Sweet Posy Dreams said...

Laurie, that is a wonderful, generous idea to make hats and mittens for those who need them.

One of these days (not in winter!) I have to get up to Quebec. My sister-in-law and her husband live in St. Lambert and teach at McGill. They have asked us to visit but we still haven't made it. I hear Montreal is a pretty wonderful city.

Laurie said...

You really have to come! Montreal and Quebec are both beautiful cities, in winter too!

Abby said...

Yes, "Virginia" there is a Santa Claus, and he (and commercialness) has been around for a long time! Commercialness goes along with gift giving in our culture. But I do agree that we need to teach our own children that this does not have to be. Off to read your friends posts! Thanks for posting them and Thanks for what you are doing for the less fortunate.

Splendid Little Stars said...

Someone said to me recently, in regards to all the gifts expected, "It's not YOUR birthday!"
I have been thinking of all my blessing this year.

My husband's favorite is A Charlie Brown Christmas. Mine is the Grinch.

This year I'm working on gathering gifts for a Christmas store where kids from low income families can "shop" for presents for their parents.

Kanelstrand said...

Now, since this is such an important post I will read and comment for I am afraid I will forget my thoughts until I get to the end.

We are so often having the same conversation at home - about how would it be to survive a relatively warm winter day. Since we don't have homeless people in Norway we often refer to old times, when people used to walk barefoot in the snow at 0 to -15 C and had to go back to a wooden plank home with snow literally being blown inside through the slits. I cannot even begin to imagine what it is to be in need in such a weather.

And our children... I wonder if they will ever appreciate what they actually have or they will continue growing up needing more. It is the consumer society persuading parents that they have to buy their kids' love and it is so hard to fight back all the pressure!

Ha! Believe it or not, I was not ready to see links to my blog in the next paragraph! Thank you!

And about the commercial society... when you look back in time and read the great Greek and Roman philosophers, they also believe that the world has gone totally berserk with debauchery, avidity, materialism... so I guess the story has always been the same. I doubt that at a certain period in history there lived a greater number of intelligent people.

And at the end - I love your resolution!

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