In preparation for the holiday season (yes, Mr. Bill O'Whathisname, holidays, holy days, inclusive of Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and other winterish celebrations, making this a season of holidays), the Selfish Knitters and Crocheters group on Ravelry organized a selfish swap, officially titled the Secret Veruca WFT Swap.
(Miss Veruca being the patron yarn-grabber of the group.)
The theme was holidays, and we all picked favorite real or made-up holidays, as well as describing our likes and dislikes in thorough surveys and wishlists. It is a selfish swap, after all, so asking for precisely what one want was highly encouraged.
But there was nothing selfish about the loading up of boxes to send off! Upstream "swapners" had a whole lot of fun filling boxes of goodies for their downstream partners.
My downstream "swapner" gave me an easy theme: National Chocolate Day. Not a problem finding things to fit the theme. I went for quality over quantity, though the quantity was pretty good, too, and much of it was made by hand, but selfishly, not by me -- by artisans instead, some of them local:
The box I sent out contained a skein of hand-painted sock yarn from Three Fates Yarn in the closest colorway that I could find to mint chocolate, several bars of organic Dagoba chocolate (including one with chilies in it), hand-made Hood River Cherry Pinot truffles made at a wine bar and bistro in town, a big pack of I Dream of Chocolate tea from independent tea blender Tea Time Garden, a tea brewing basket, and handmade chocolate sandwich cookie stitch markers from The Winemaker's Sister.
Then I waited and soon came a box from my upstream swapner!
Holy cow, what a load of goodies! There's hand-dyed spinning fiber, hand knitted mitts and a cowl and a tawashi and a potholder, Tazo tea, a sample of wool wash, little Christmas decorations, some English toffee, shortbread cookies, and two skeins of Lorna's Laces DK. Score!
So what was my holiday? It was more of a holiday tradition: the coming of Father Time on New Year's eve. When I was a kid, we'd stay up until midnight to ring in the new year (literally -- Mom had a brass dinner bell that we rang with great enthusiasm). Then we set the table for breakfast, but everything was set upside-down, plates, bowls, cups, and all. In the night, Father Time came and set everything right again and filled the cups and bowls with candy, nuts, fruit, and small gifts. The gifts often went with things Santa had brought at Christmas, such as clothes for a doll or cars for a race track set.
My grandmother always said that the tradition was from England, but I've never met anyone else who even knew about it, so maybe it's something her family made up. Anyhow -- if anyone else wants to borrow Father Time Night, feel free!