A Christmas Gift that Keeps on Giving


We all have projects that just never seem to get finished. Quilters sometimes call them UFOs–Un-Finished Objects–and these projects are almost always the source of guilt and self-criticism.

It’s bad enough when the projects are for ourselves. Worse is when the project is a gift.

Two years ago, Christmas 2013, I started to make a quilt for my parents based on a favorite photo of their grandchildren. I got pretty far, but then bogged down on the background. I just couldn’t find one I was satisfied with. Rather than have no gift for my parents, I gave it to them attached to a temporary background. I also gave them a promise to finish the quilt.


So, flash forward two years.

I returned from a trip a couple weeks before Christmas with the thought: Hey, I finally have time to finish the quilt!

The universe disagreed.

Two days after my return, despite our unusually mild weather, the bottom step of my parent’s front deck was slick with frost. My mom slipped and broke her fibula. It’s a blessing that my folks live next door so that I can take the time to help her–time that would have been spent finishing the quilt.

Oh well. Unless the universe intervenes once again, my plan is to feature the quilt “Kissin’ Cousins” in an upcoming blog. Stay tuned.

In the spirit of the season, when all our faults are forgiven, I say we should give ourselves a break. Finish those UFOs. Or don’t. Either way, it’s okay. The projects we leave unfinished, or even why we leave them that way, are no true measure of who we are.

After all, we ourselves are the ultimate UFOs. We are always becoming. Stronger or weaker. Smarter or not so. Healthier or not. In fact, being finished as people can only mean one thing.

So, however you celebrate this time of year, may you enjoy it thoroughly. May you be able to breathe deep, let go, and truly see those around you. Or, be able to look back and appreciate those no longer with you. My parents and college-age son will be here with us. My husband’s dad won’t be. He’s the first parent we’ve lost and we’re feeling the loss even more during the holidays.

Excuse me while I go give my parents an extra hug.

Until next week; A Blessed Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Kwanza Greetings, and… a Spectacular New Year. Stay safe. And watch out for frosty steps.


8 thoughts on “A Christmas Gift that Keeps on Giving

  1. Merry Christmas to you and yours and sending speedy healing thoughts for your Mom. Thank you for your new blog. I was lucky enough to hear you speak in East Hartford CT several months ago and I was entranced with your work. I plan to work up 2 spirals from your Serendipity book during the next couple of months. I’m newly retired and plan to start working at a more creative level now that I’ll have time to do so. All the best wishes for a Happy New Year.


  2. Thanks for the more expansive view of UFOs and the blessing of being UFOs ourselves! Happiness and healing to you and yours now and in the coming year.


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