My double-themed Christmas knitting fervor this year is almost complete: I sent off my niece’s white knit-in-the-round-with-DPNs hat (picture in the last post); the reversible double-knit potholder for my sister-in-law is pretty, but too small and better suited as a washcloth; the knit-in-the-round socks are beautiful but also too small for my mom, so that the lovely patterned reinforced heel slides onto the foot more than it should. Now they will go to my sister-in-law for her January birthday and I will make another pair for my mom – then, finally, the knitting double marathon will be over, for the time being.
I can’t help but knit something special for my mom for Christmas. It is for her the most important event of the whole year. It is a time that brings us all back to her childhood, growing up on a dairy farm in a town of Norwegian immigrants where her mother always made the traditional Norwegian dinner at Christmas, and which we continue to make every year: lutefisk, lefse, Swedish meatballs; rømmegrøt (a cream porridge) and yifta. Beautiful sugar cookies – krumkake, sandbakels, fattigman, rosettes, and drømmer cookies – were made by my grandma, my great aunt Imogene, and other relatives, neighbors, or members of the Norwegian Lutheran church where my grandma played organ for more than forty years. At the dinner table on Christmas eve, after church, my grandma and grandpa passed the food with a “vær så god”: here you go, your welcome. Tusen takk, is the reply. After dinner we sang with my mom’s sisters Silent Night, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, and Jeg er så glad hver julekveld (I am so happy on Christmas eve) around the piano, all of the songs that my mom now puts on repeat on her radio for most of December and probably January too.
With such rich traditions and meaning I can’t give my mom something simple. And so I knit for her, though not always perfectly. Happily, my daughter saved my too-small-sock gift by giving my mom the best knitted surprise of all: a pink wool necklace which she knitted on her little, five-year-old fingers. Vær så god, mom!