My mother and I were out at the mall this afternoon, where holiday shoppers were out in droves – does it seem that folks are shopping more freely than this time last year? Although I’ve long been an advocate for less materialism in this season, I suppose all these people out and about in the shopping centers is an optimistic sign for the economy.
Now here’s where I admit to being something of a Scrooge about the holidays. I get quite annoyed with all the hoopla and especially with all the commercialism. That being said, even this self-avowed Scrooge is a sucker for a good holiday story. And by “good,” I mean at story that reflects the real meaning of the season – that we value our relationships with one another as the true and greatest gifts life has to offer. So when I was offered an ARC copy of Knit the Season, the latest installment in Kate Jacobs’ popular Friday Night Knitting Club series of novels, I eagerly accepted, hoping that the women from Walker & Daughter’s yarn shop could inspire some holiday spirit in my somewhat cold and jaded heart.
Well, believe me, they did. The story centers around college student Dakota Walker’s big decision – to accept an internship with the pastry chef of an illustrious New York restaurant, or fly off with her family to Scotland, for a Christmas reunion with her beloved 97 year old Great-Grandmother. Of course, she calls on the wisdom of her friends (and surrogate family), the women of the Friday Night Knitting Club, to help her make this choice. Meanwhile, these women are facing some holiday dilemmas of their own. Anita and Marty have postponed their wedding twice, and are hoping the rescheduled New Year’s Day nuptial celebration will finally come off without a hitch. Catherine is gathering the courage to make her own leap into matrimony, while Peri has been offered the opportunity of a lifetime for her own business, but one which will require her to break a promise she made to her friend Georgia many years before.
Knit the Season is a story about priorities, about discerning what really matters in life and focusing on it. And like any holiday story worth its salt, it’s also about tradition – from the food served, the candles lit, and the music sung, to the ornaments placed lovingly on the tree. It’s about recalling precious moments with those who are no longer with us, and savoring the moments spent with the ones we love.
Jacobs has become really comfortable the women of the Friday Night Knitting Club. It’s obvious she cares about them, and knows them well. So the reader, in turn, feels the same kind of attachment. I admit to wiping away a few tears as I reached the end of this heartwarming holiday story. Perhaps it’s because the book mirrors so much of my own thinking in recent weeks, thoughts about how to honor and cherish one’s family in a world where family doesn’t always matter so much.
Reading Knit the Season has given me a slightly new perspective on the holidays this year, one that’s somewhat more anticipatory than usual. So if you know someone who’s feeling less than enthusiastic about the holidays (or if that someone is you) I recommend a copy of this delightful novel as the perfect antidote. Get cozy in your favorite reading chair, with perhaps some buttery shortbread and tea at your side, and spend a leisurely Sunday afternoon the women of the Friday Night Knitting Club (instead of at the shopping mall!)
You’ll feel decidedly more “seasonal” when you’re through.