Christmas and the Great Knitting Project
By David Burton
My wife has been knitting like a crazy woman since June, trying to finish up a mountain of hand-crafted garments so we can give them to our loved ones for Christmas. It’s a project she and I had agreed would show our family and friends how much we cared for them, while at the same time keep us from going further into debt in these tough times. For us, as for most Americans, 2009 has been all about trying to keep our heads above water.
I’ve been 100 percent supportive of the knitting project from the start. I see it as a practical solution to this year’s holiday gift-giving dilemma, and one that requires little effort on my part besides being supportive. All I’ve had to do thus far is suggest which color yarn might look best on which loved one. I’m also required to render my opinion on how each item turned out, but since my opinion is always the same—“Oh honey, it’s beautiful!”—I can do that in my sleep.
My wife, however, is having second thoughts. She looks upon the growing pile in front of her—scarves, sweaters, shrugs, hats, socks, etc.—and worries about both her talents as a knitter and the message she thinks the garments might convey. “I don’t want people to think we’re cheap,” she says. “I’d hate for them to think we don’t care.”
I have no such worries. I look inside the large plastic box where my wife has been storing her Christmas handiwork, and see it for what it truly is—a box of time. The box represents hours and hours of patient labor, day upon day of careful and meticulous crafting.
Each and every gift in the box represents a week or more of my wife’s life that she chose to spend with the image of a given loved one firmly in her thoughts.
Forget the silly notion that it’s the thought that matters when giving gifts. Thoughts are cheap—it’s time that matters. Our seconds and minutes are limited and non-renewable resources pulled straight from a rapidly diminishing stock, and once that stock is gone, that’s it. Personally, I think my wife’s time on earth is an invaluable commodity, and I can’t imagine a more precious gift than a week or two more of it.
We in the medical-cannabis community, as with any community gathered around matters of health, understand that when we talk about “quality of life” we’re really talking about quality of time. We insist that our time is too precious to be spent in unnecessary pain. We know that cannabis enhances our time—it helps make the mundane hours seem less mundane, the playful moments funnier and more enjoyable. More than that, many of us have read the research that suggests cannabis can actually slow the aging process and the progression of certain diseases—it gives us more time to live our lives as we see fit.
If you’re like so many other Americans this holiday season and find yourself worrying about how to please your loved ones when money is in such tight supply, consider giving them something that can’t be bought on any shelf: Give them some of your time. Set a day aside to take the kids to the park. Devote an afternoon to driving elderly family members wherever they need to go. Spend a few hours visiting someone too sick to visit you. Or take a cue from my wife and pour your time into crafting a loved one something by hand.
These gifts will be remembered long after the parts have fallen off even the expensive toys on the market. Now if you’ll excuse me—it occurs to me that I need to spend a lot more time helping my wife with the knitting project.