Every Christmas Eve, without fail, I curl up with a glass of wine, a warm and snuggly dog and a pile of socks in need of repair.
It’s a tradition I started about a decade ago that helps centre me before the onslaught of cheery faces and socialising that Christmas Day entails. It’s my self-care ritual before my autistic brain is overcome with the chaos and cameraderie of the season.
My family usually go out for Christmas Eve pints, but they have long learnt that despite my love for them, my socks need my attention that night, so they imbibe without me… and we’re all better for it the next day when I arrive batteries fully charged and able to enjoy the day’s feasting.
This year – as with last year – is to be quite different, however.
My family aren’t off to the pub tonight. And tomorrow, I won’t be joining them in their celebrations.
Despite this, I am clinging to my sock tradition. Somehow, it feels even more important this year.
I’m not sure if I’m deriving comfort from the preservation of this tradition when so many other customs fall necessarily by the wayside, or if repairing that which has been worn away this past year is an act of self-care and regeneration.
Whatever the reason, I examine each patch, I observe its unique shape and then I chose a contrasting yarn to repair it.
The contrast is important to me. What is the point of repairing something only for your hard work to disappear? It took time and effort to get that hole there, and time and skill to repair it. Both are worthy of acknowledgement. So, I use orange yarn on a grey sock, green yarn on a black one. Each repair declares “I made it through, I have the scars to prove it, and I’m wiser for them.”
I know it’s just a sock, but it feels like more than that right now so this evening, I intend to curl up with a glass of wine, a warm and snuggly dog and a pile of socks in need of repair.
I highly recommend it as a Christmas Eve activity, if you’re so inclined.