My 5 Stages of Holiday Sweater Grief thanks to Covid-19

A note before we get started, I do feel a little bit like I’ve felt all of the feelings about the holiday season this year. Not being able to see my family regularly, particularly the older members of my family, has been a gentle reminder about how lucky I am to have them. As I poke fun about the situation, know that keeping everyone safe this year is my top priority. Even if it makes me a little sad.

Stage 1: Denial

Back in September, I plotted three big projects. One of them was my accidental NPR shawl, another was my second attempt at the Stonewall sweater and the third was a Campside sweater. Each of these projects had a purpose: the shawl for adding some color to my winter wardrobe, Stonewall for hiking and Campside for Christmas.

As the stitches of Campside slid along my needles, I was oddly confident that Covid-19 wouldn’t get in the way of our traditions. There was even pure glee at the thought of my Cioci touching the soft cashmere blend of Capra and admiring the color. I could see us gushing on projects that we were working on and projects that we were planning. For 27 years, I have sat at my Cioci’s table and enjoyed a cooked Turkey. Why would this year be any different.

Stage 2: Anger

This stage sunk in as cases started to rise around me. Why is this still a thing? Why aren’t people following the CDC guidelines? Why do people still think that this isn’t real? Don’t people know that I’m working on a sweater that I want to show off?

Stage 3: Bargaining

At this point I had started the first sleeve. Perhaps if we all stay home and quarantine before getting together. Perhaps if we all wear masks we can all crowd round the dinner table. I’ll give up on the idea of everyone touching the squishy goodness of my sweater.

Stage 4: Depression

This stage sunk in when I received the official news in the form of a hand written note: we would not be celebrating in our traditional manner this year. I would not be knitting a few rows while we laughed about the Apples to Apples game that was taking place or sipping a coffee while admiring my Cioci’s latest blanket project (she’s a crocheter).

True, I was sad that I wouldn’t get to show off my special holiday sweater, but during this stage I was mostly upset that I wouldn’t get to spend time with my family (I can’t even make light about this stage).

Stage 5: Acceptance

I will wear my new sweater proudly, even if that means no one will be able to see it in person or admire how soft it is. There will come a day when I can see my family in person again, just not on Christmas Day. I am incredibly lucky that under normal circumstances, we are able to get together at all.

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