It's that time of year again, when people begin to search for the perfect gift to express their love for each member of their own little world. I read a book last year that actually suggested knitting several extra scarves to keep in a basket, rolled up and tied individually with ribbon, to offer as impromptu gifts to those guests (or possibly the postal worker) who might stop by and catch you unprepared. Seriously? Do you know how long it takes to knit a SCARF? By hand?
I ran through Sears today on the way to the portrait studio, (can we pause to appreciate the irony of "The Little Drummer Boy", a song about giving from the heart despite poverty, being piped over the loudspeaker at the mall?) and noticed tables laid out in the middle of all the aisles, piled with "small" (think size, not price) things that would make good stocking stuffers. You can imagine my surprise when I spotted an entire table of what appeared to be hand-knit socks, in a chunky-weight yarn. "Wow," I thought. "They actually look like they were really knitted by hand. Someone is definitely going to be passing those off as 'made for you with love' this year!" A sock knitter myself, I had to stop for a better look. Sure enough, each pair carried a small label that assured they were "hand-crafted."
That's the joy of the season! Nothing really says "I support slave labour in the third world" like hand-crafted socks you bought at the mall.