Waiting for Santa

img_1039This is pretty much the attitude of the Crowder-Hostetler House right now. Presents are bought (though not yet wrapped), parties have been hosted or attended, and now, we wait. Waiting is so annoying usually, but at this time of year, the waiting itself is a pleasure. Advent…the season of happy expectancy.

Embroidery (and all sorts of needlework) is, for me, a way of cultivating that spirit year ’round. You have an idea for something, a vision of sugarplums or whatever dancing in your head. You run to the fabric or yarn store to buy what you need before settling in on the sofa to realize your vision. If you could buy it at a store and save yourself the trouble of making it yourself…you wouldn’t, because the pleasure of making it is part of the value of the thing. If you sat down and finished the thing in ten minutes, you would feel yourself cheated of…something.

In our society that expects lightning-fast everything, there is a deep, ancient, visceral pleasure in being made to wait while something develops, slowly but steadily, into something more than the raw materials it was made from–be it a sock on your knitting needles, a stew simmering slowly in the crockpot, a tomato growing on a vine, wine aging in a barrel, a spark of attraction turning into real romance, or of course, a fetus, miraculous or otherwise, becoming a person. As prosaic as stitching is, I think it has that same magic, the enchantment of waiting, about it. Your hand keeps moving along, repeating the same essential motions over and over and over, for hours and days, and then you look down and are amazed at what to your wondering eyes has appeared.

Happy Advent, everyone. As I wait for the launch of my web shop, I wish you and yours a season full of whatever brings you peace, joy, and a touch of magic.