Ten Rules for the Holiday Season

DSC01393.JPG1. No one has to get up at 4 am to shop anywhere the day after Thanksgiving, or any other day of the season. There will be more specials and sales during normal business hours in the next month. (FPS*)

2. A big bowl of chocolate by your side throughout the next few weeks will do much for your disposition. You don’t even have to eat any of it. Just having it there will make you feel cheerful. Trust me – this bowl sits out at Loopy Central and we like it here. (Most of these kisses make their way to you, but not all of them. ahem.)

3. You can take off any day or evening for knitting and no one can question you. You’re going to be “working on holiday gifts that need to get done on time” – even if some of those “gifts” are for you. (You get gifts, too.)

4. Calories don’t count on Sundays. Yes, it’s important to watch what you eat during the holidays, so that you don’t gain weight like some people are apt to do. But calories don’t count on Sundays, so make that your day to indulge.

5. Yarn purchases between Thanksgiving and the first week in January all fall under the “holiday budget”. Because you never know when you might need another skein or two of something, or when you might need another knitted gift. So stock up.

6. There’s nothing wrong with “wrapping” gifts in cute gift bags. (aka – “pop them in the bag with some tissue and call it good”). There is knitting to be done and you know darned well that wrapping all of those gifts with paper that needs to be cut and messing with tape and ribbons and such will take away from good knitting time.

7. You can send holiday letters pre-printed from your computer, or you can send cards with just your signature, or you can forgo the cards altogether. And no one is allowed to make you feel guilty about that.

8. At least two nights a week need to be set aside for “Family Movie Night” during the holiday season. (aka – “I need to knit tonight – you know, to get the holiday knitting done – come watch a movie with me.”).

9. Stores and malls are dangerous places (filled with crazy people in the parking lots, and flu germs at this time of year – think about it). You might want to do your shopping online and save the stress and your health. (Etsy is one of the best places to find wonderful gifts for everyone on your list. Or at least the ones you’re not already knitting for.)

10. If you don’t want appliances or kitchen utensils, or another jar of bath gel, or a store-bought sweater that really isn’t your style, then fill out your wishlist at The Loopy Ewe and let people know what would REALLY make you happy this year.

Sheri didIforgetanyimportantrules?Becauseweneedtohavethemallwrittendown.

*FPS (for pete’s sake)


  1. I like those rules. Especially the one about not getting up at 4 a.m. Which I didn’t do. And I asked my SIL, who was going to do just that, if she planned to go to bed last night. She did.

    I really do care for my SIL. But that’s nuts.

  2. Great rules!

    NO getting up at 4:00AM. Thanksgiving is for spending with loved ones… All night and into the next day when everyone is off work together. So that’s what we did.

    Kids and Adults make Christmas lists.

    The longer you believe in Santa, the longer you receive “Santa” presents. 🙂

  3. Loved your ten rules. Can you imagine getting up at 4:00 am. Not me I agree Thanksgiving is meant to be spent with loved ones, family and dear friends. ( That is the whole weekend) How nice to stay home by a cozy fire and knit, knit, knit. Hope that everyone had a wonderful day and could extend it. Sheri you’re the best. Hugs

  4. PS a big bowl of chocolate by my side, will do much for my disposition, you bet it will not to mention that I have no self control when it comes to chocolate It would certainly do much for my weight too. Love the thought though.

  5. Knitted Christmas ornaments= Perfectly acceptable substitutes for the traditional plates-of-baked-goods-for-the-friends-and-neighbors. Less mess in the kitchen. Fewer inches around our waists from tasting. More reasons to buy yarn!

  6. No one should ever be alone for the holidays! If you know someone who may be alone, try to include them in your holiday plans at some point so they don’t feel left out.

    I’ve spent more than my share of holidays alone and it sucks. Christmas is hard enough when you have no family, but, to spend it alone? Unspeakably hard.

  7. Your rules sound good to me. And, I like that big bowl of chocolate, although, if I had that sitting around, I would eat it – I have no discipline when it comes to certain things and chocolate is one of them! I don’t keep it in my apartment and constantly crave it…so I always look forward to the Loopy kisses when ordering yarn – a nice little pick me up so I don’t overindulge… : )

  8. Two of my most important rules. Absolutely earth shattering:

    1. Potato chips broken in half, have no calories. Potato chips with broken bubbles,and broken in half, take away calories.

    2..Dark chocolate can be considered good for you according to the medical community. So every time you indulge, it’s called medicinal chocolate.

  9. I had heard that the broken cookies didn’t count since all the calories leak out but not about the potato chips.

    Good gifts for knitters. Coupons for knitting time. Free and the knitter in your life will love them.

  10. A bowl of chocolate last you a few weeks?! I’m lucky if it lasts a week here 🙂

    I agree…online shopping IS the way to go! And I’ll do ya one better…..buying gift cards online. No worry about sizes, colors and styles! Gotta love that.

    I got up at 7:30 and left at 8:00 and managed to get a couple awesome deals today. Usually I wouldn’t go shopping the day after T-day unless my life depended on it….but I had birthday money burning a hole in my pocket 🙂
    (I got a $250 leather jacket for $70) 😛
    I’m a happy girl.

    Now I’m home with my woodstove, my daughters sock to finish knitting….and it looks like snow!

    Life is good.

  11. Rule #11 (or whatever comes next): You do NOT have to do all your cooking from scratch! Let’s face it, many (most? all?) of us have to work AND accomplish all our other holiday activities and the goal is really to spend time with loved ones, so why not buy a pre-made pie instead? Or any number of other great items? This used to be a guilt trip for me and others in my family, but the older I get, the more I appreciate the time I spend with family and friends and the less compelled I feel to display any culinary wonders (there are lots of other opportunities to do that during the year when I don’t have so many other things “on my plate.”

    Doesn’t mean you can’t make lots of cookies or whatever, but there is no rule that says you MUST.

  12. Oh man! Too late Sheri! I got up at 7a.m today. In all my 53 years I’ve never done that. But I’m in the midst of making some 20 or so ballet costumes and I needed supplies! And they were really really on sale. However – my husband knows about Loopy Ewe for shopping!!! 🙂

  13. No. 5 is great! Really great! And all the others – they’re so good and much needed to keep one’s sanity. Thanks so much.

  14. Very good list. You’re amazing if you can have a bowl full of chocolate around, & not eat the entire bowl.

    Rule #6 is not only a time saver, but a good way to not waste paper. Although wrapped presents usually look good very good (I say usually because I’m the worst at wrapping), gift wrapping paper is very wasteful. Gift bags on the otherhand just keep on giving & they are just as beautiful.

    One year I sent out e-mailed XMAS cards. It is difficult though when you start receiving lots of cards & you know you haven’t “snail mailed” any.

  15. Love the no four am rule, I agree totally. They were starting at midnight and one last night as well. There is nothing in this world that is worth that kind of craziness. The madness is just starting and all that insanity does nothing to reinforce the true meaning of the season…

  16. You are absolutely right. I wouldn’t go out there with all those people even if I
    could. I did use to like to wrap my presents with big fancy bows and a lot of
    stuff. Don’t think I can do that this year. They will be in a nice bag with tissue
    paper. Some of them are wrapped but the rest will be in a big bag. I still eat
    my chocolate. My knitting and my chocolate are the two staples I have to have.
    I don’t have as many presents for my grandchildren as I usually do, so they are
    going to get something they love: MONEY.

  17. Right on, Sheri! And another one I’ve added is that “I don’t have to make knitted gifts for everyone at Christmas. I can send plants, and make gifts of knitted items at other times when the recipients will be surprised and pleased and the knitted gifts won’t get buried in all the other (and usually too much) material stuff.”

  18. 11. When you ask for people to buy you yarn for Christmas, they will not look at you like you are weird and instead promptly buy you Loopy Gift Certificates!

  19. Rules are great especially #1. There’s nothing including knitting supplies that would get me out of bed and shopping buy 4:00am. I’ll pay the difference or do without.
    They showed a line forming at Best Buys last night on the ll:00pm news and they were opening at 5:00. There must have been at least 75-100 people there to spend the night and temperatures were in the 30s. I rather stay in and knit. By the way I started playing my Christmas music today. Bring on Santa.

  20. I think people have lost track of the real reason for the upcoming season. I think some folks have begun to substitute gifts for real affection. It is easier to buy a big what ever on sale. Why else would they get up way before daylight on one of the few Fridays we get for a holiday in the entire year?!? While not the most expensive or in most cases the most flashy, hand made items are gifts from the heart and usually reserved for those we care for the most. And for those special people, we will stay up ALL night to complete that special gift, and never think twice.

    Oh by the way, a couple extra low cal tricks….calories are afraid of heights! So put those goodies up high for a few hours and the calories will flee, leaving a calorie free snack. Additionally, anything eaten by the light inside a refrigerator in the middle of the night has no calories. Also, no calories in yarn! Get lots.

  21. I have only hit the “Black Friday” shopping thing 1 time, several yrs ago and will never do that again!!!! As for gifts, my immediate family are gettin hand made (knitted of course) gifts this yr if I get em all done (LOL) Chocolate, nummy, my hubby will love that rule!:-)

  22. I’m with you… on-line shopping, and no fighting the crowds at 4 am!

    My mom and I had planned to run to a quilt shop to buy material, but making more pies to make all the rest of the family happy won out!! We were happy to do it. Of course we will run out tomorrow for a bit, but the family will always remember the pies, and *that* is what counts!

    I follow many of your rules already… did you know that whole foods are best for your body? In other words, don’t share your treats, eat the WHOLE thing!! It’s healthier!!


  23. I love your rules! I’m going to print out copies and posted them all over the place. When someone gives me grief about what I’m doing, I will simply point to the rules.

  24. … I guess I am the only one around here who gets up at 4am to go shopping the next morning. Mom and I have been doing it every since I left for college, for every Thanksgiving we’ve been able to spend together. (Sometimes its been a bit spotty.)

    I don’t know why everyone always assumes it’s about the “stuff”. I mean, yeah, I know a few people who camped out at Best Buy for a laptop… because they needed it for school and can’t afford it otherwise, but most of the people I know go in groups of friends and family, stick together, and march about the store, laughing and playing in addition to buying much needed items at a fabulous price. (The big steals this year was a set of knives to replace the ones that don’t cut things anymore and a crock pot that will actually fit a pot roast. Also, pajamas. I got a lot of pajamas. I love pajamas.)

    I’m also probably one the few who hardly ever makes handmade gifts for the holidays. Don’t get me wrong. Friends and family are constantly have socks and scarves and hats thrown at them, and I pick out yarn and patterns with people other than myself in mind. However, gift giving at the holidays is supposed to be joyful and fun… and I find that the stress of trying to get all these knitted items done in time for The Big Day takes away from that fun. So, instead of spending two months before the holidays knitting frantically, I spend it plotting and planning and scheming until I figure out the perfect gift for everyone. Generally, provided I get it done a few weeks before The Big Day, the process is stress-free and the meaning behind the gift is not that I made it with my own hands, but that I spent the time to really figure out something to give that the other person would love.

  25. Great Rules! And I agree…when I saw the advertisment for the 4AM opening of a few local stores…I thought…are you serious…what could be that important to purchase for someone at that hour of the morning….However, getting up at 4AM to knit something special is more like it……I’m glad I have such a big stash of soccer yarn in case I have a Knitting Emergency at 4 AM…

    And you forgot one important rule…Starbucks Peppermint Mocha Lattes everyday during the holiday season!@

    Blogless Diane

  26. Welllllll, I got up at 3:45 am yesterday. My daughter is almost 17 and wants necklaces and bracelets for Xmas. At first I said, “Good luck with that.” But Kohl’s had a sale on jewelry. Things that were regular price $65 and $75 on sale for $15. That’s the only way she was going to get jewelry. And then I went to Starbucks for a Peppermint Mocha.

  27. My husband did the getting up at 3:15 but he does that most weekdays anyway. He went shopping for a couple of things that were reeeeeeally cheap in the small hours and was taking himself out to breakfast by 7:00. He was quite pleased with himself. This from a man who doesn’t want to shop anywhere that doesn’t sell lumber and tools…

  28. Usually I’m one who balks at rules, but I love these rules, Sheri! I enjoy sleeping *way* too much to get up & go shopping at 4am. (Plus, I had to work yesterday.) I don’t particularly enjoy going to the mall on a good day, & do my best to stay out of them this time of year. My shopping tends to be mostly online & at stores that are in strip malls & little plazas. If I have to go to one of the big malls, I try to park right by the store I need, & enter directly into that store. Chocolates & Starbucks – definitely! And knitting in the evening with a warm kitty on my lap!

  29. I’m going to print this and stick it on my fridge. Excellent rules to live by :)!
    (I saw footage of “Black Friday” on the news and it looks like “Boxing Day” – 26 December does here. Seriously, who needs to go shopping the day after Christmas? FPS!)

  30. We didn’t do the 4 am thing, or the midnight thing, but we did the 5:30 thing and still came away with some nice sweaters, robes, etc for ourselves. My mom started this tradition with us about 10 years ago, though she hasn’t been here with us for the last two, we decide each year that we just have to go do it again, even if we decide last minute. Kim is 13 now and really gets into the shopping thing. I don’t think we waited in any lines more than 20 minutes. Two of our four stores that we went to had no lines at all!! The fourth one had a line too long and I figured we could come back another day. We were home by 8:15 and fixed us some yummy fried egg sandwiches and more coffee.

    Dh just pointed out to us that it is snowing (not quite), icing? It’s little ice pellets raining down outside. I’m so glad it’s a stay home Saturday, full or warmth from the wood stove, Thanksgiving leftovers and lots of knitting and whatever warm beverage.

    Have a good weekend!

  31. I think my MIL was out by 4am Black Friday! She thinks it is fun. There isn’t money, yarn or chocolate enough to get me out there!

    Anyone else addicted to the Hershey Candy Cane flavored Kisses? Normally, I am a chocolate girl but these are seriously addictive!

  32. I really think I should take these rules to heart. Especially the one about shopping online instead of going to the mall. I detest crowds, especially in malls; it’s so much nicer to stay at home by the fire. I intend to do most of my shopping right here on my laptop this week. Another rule I try to remember is that people who like handknitted presents will apreciate them just as well in January, February etc. so not to get too stressed if all the gifts don’t get done. That said, I will certainly take advantage of the deadline to get in as much guilt-free knitting as possible!
    Now, I think I will have to get to work on rule 10, and make my Loopy wishlist, in order to make life easier for everyone else in my family this year, so they can avoid the mall too. That’s almost like a gift for them, isn’t it?

  33. Oh, yes, the Candy Cane Kisses are teh yum!!! I need to go hunt me down some of those.

    Love the rules, Sheri! I did that early shopping thing one year, but I was mostly along for the ride with some in-laws, so I wasn’t punching people out to get to whatever the toy of the year was–that was THEIR job. I just watched the cart. 🙂

    I’m all about shopping on Boxing Day, but NOT at a store. I hit the museum shops online and stock up on Christmas cards and ornaments for next year. I got enough goodies from the Museum of Modern Art last year to keep my friends and family in cards for several years, and it was embarrassingly cheap. Almost “soon the police are going to show up at my door” cheap.

    Hope your Thanksgiving was great!! I just finished the last of my share of the leftovers for lunch today. 🙂

  34. I did the early shopping thing but it’s also about bonding time with my mom and SIL so that was good. And I’m also done going to malls after that one day, so that’s also good. Now it’s TLE and Etsy for me!

  35. Yeah no early mornings for me either. Casey above mentioned Best Buy and people lining up on thanksgiving day. Yeah I work there, and yeah they did it here too. It’s CRAZY. 😉 Chocolate keeps me sane too.

  36. Okay, I must admit, I did get up at 4 am. However so did my loved ones who were here and we had a wonderful, fun time. Even the guys went. After a little fussing but with a promise of eating breakfast out together. It wasn’t too bad. I live in a small town. Everyone was polite and appeared to happy so that made it even more worth while. We saw quite a few people who were in for the holidays that we don’t normally get to see so all in all, it turned out quite well.

    I especially like rules # 5, 8 and 10.

    Now to get online and finish my shopping………………………

  37. I am a morning person and may be UP by that time, but you couldn’t DRAG me out to go shopping on Black Friday! It is the crazy crowds that bug me, though…Online shopping is just fine for me! I have to agree on the gift bags as well – what a great way to recycle! I do use traditional wrapping paper if I can find it on sale, but no bows…those are just too much trouble and get squished under the tree half the time anyway! Looking forward to some turbo knitting time before Christmas!

  38. We were in El Paso (actually Santa Teresa, NM) visiting my oldest brother and his wife. They had a new outlet mall that was going to open at 12:01AM on Friday. We decided that was pure insanity!

  39. This is suppose to be a happy kind time but you get out around people in those 4 am shopping sprees and they are looking for blood!! They border on rudw! Half way through the morning the employees have been dealing with these people begin to get a little cranky and this is only DAY ONE of the holiday shopping season. I will be looking at my favourite yarn on Loopy Ewe sipping coffee, petting kitties and enjoying my shopping in a peaceful happy environment!!! Care to join me? Shop happy!!! 🙂

  40. I did the Black Friday shopping for the first time ever. Got up at 4:30, put hair in ponytail, brushed teeth, washed face, grabbed the coffee and away I flew. I got a photo printer ($70 off and a free carrying case) for my step-DD. I was back home by 6:30 for a relaxing cup of java.

    My rule: since I’m the one making, baking, shopping, driving, etc, I get to make all rules and change the rules as needed. No questions asked.

  41. I also agree with the 4:00 shopping rule. To make things even crazier – one mall here opened at 12:01 Friday morning. The media said there were 35,000 people there! Good grief! I make it a point to NOT go shopping the weekend after Thanksgiving.

    Also using gift bags is good for the environment – they can be re-used many times instead of paper that gets thrown away. I make it a point to put the gift tags on the tissue paper to make re-using even easier. Plus I’m lazy and gift bags are so easy.

  42. I will confess to shopping on Boxing Day at stupid o’clock in the morning, but it was a very good thing that I did. You see, my now-husband and I were arranging a 12th Night wedding in 2 weeks, and I got my wedding dress for $35. It fit like a glove and my mum started crying in the changing room because she liked it so much.

    Definitely worth the early start!

  43. I didn’t get up at 4am… I got up at 3am. 🙂 It’s something that my best friend and I do each year. We don’t buy a whole lot – we just do it so that we can spend 16 hours together without children and spouses constantly interuppting. And you can get a lot of knitting done while waiting in line. In fact, I got a pair of baby socks done that day!

    I like rule #10 A LOT. So much that I have told everyone who wants to get me something to talk to you. I hope you get a lot of emails and phone calls!


  44. #6! as i get older, the more i hate wrapping presents. you know waht i wrapped my boys’ birthday presents in? the shopping bags the stuff came in! and they don’t care either, lol.

    however, the adults do, for some odd reason. so gift bags are my bag.

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