Pre-Christmas purging

All year long I’ve been trying to rid myself of excess stuff. I bought a Kindle version of the book “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” by Marie Kondo and read every page (this allowed me to be virtuous, since I now own the book, but it never takes up space). One of the most powerful tips of the book, was a simple test: hold something in your hand. If it brings you joy, keep it. If it doesn’t bring you joy, give it away. This has been a powerful test for me. It has allowed me to let go of silly things like non-senior year yearbooks from high school and college, as well as old ceramic mugs purchased on my high school senior trip. Seriously, I did not even remember that I owned these things until I discovered them in a box downstairs. Into the donation pile they went.

When it comes to old crafts, however, things get a bit fuzzy. About 25 years ago, my oldest sister introduced me to counted cross stitch. I was never very good at it, but I purchased tons of threads and kits, but only finished a few.

Given my Christmas obsession, it’s not hard to believe that the only finished counted cross stitch projects I have are both with Christmas themes. Well, I shouldn’t really say finished because neither project is framed. img_25961 img_25951

These are rattling around my sewing room and I move them frequently. Do they bring me enough joy that I should finally get them framed and insert them into my life? Or should I let them go — donate them and let someone else find joy when they hold them?

Tougher question: what should I do about this half-finished project?


This lovely Amish home scene, complete with yummy quilts, calls to me. But I want to make quilts, not cross stitch them. Should it go in the donate pile? Or should I force myself to finish it? Am I failure if I donate it?

8 thoughts on “Pre-Christmas purging

  1. tierneycreates says:

    Loved this post. Yes I completely agree – her “hold something in your hand. If it brings you joy, keep it. If it doesn’t bring you joy, give it away” has been so powerful to me in being able to let go of stuff. I also appreciate how she recommends you thank the item for having served you. It might seem silly to thank an inanimate object but I found some peace and beauty in doing this. I think only you can answer those questions you asked – but I have to say the cross-stitch projects look pretty cute and would be lovely framed (if they brought you joy!) 🙂

  2. Texas Quilting says:

    I was a serious cross-stitcher from high school through my 20’s. I don’t know how many pillows and wall hangings I made but it was a lot! But then I got married, and started sewing again a lot more for the kids and haven’t cross-stitched in years. Here’s what I know though – the ones I have from years ago look really dated now. I should’ve picked projects that were more timeless than some of the ones I did!

  3. Sparkle On with Abbie says:

    Sandra, I don’t think you are a failure if you donate you cross stitch projects! All three are lovely with such perfect stitches, someone will love them… Oh I have so many unfinished projects, don’t get me started on all the polymer clay I have from when I was going to make beads and charms :p I think exploration is the best way to find what brings you joy at the moment but our moods and styles change. So, My two cents is to keep the Amish scene because of the quilts and maybe just frame what you have done with it so far, it looks pretty as is. What did you decide?

    • sandradny says:

      Abbie: Thanks for the pep-talk. I think you are spot on. I decided to keep two finished pieces from Christmas. I’m going to donate the rest, as I’m certain that I’ll never finish them. Next purging stop: my yarn drawer….

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