December 16: Hung by the chimney with care…
We did not have a fireplace while living in Houston, so on Christmas Eve night we would hang the stockings on the living room wall, and then find them on the floor the next the next morning, filled with little trinkets and candy.
When we moved to Connecticut, we had not one but two fireplaces, and the highlight of that first Christmas away from extended family was to finally hang the stockings on the mantle, the way it is “supposed” to be.
After Geoff and I were engaged, I made a stocking for us to share. I used my angel stocking as a pattern and cut the shape from quilted holiday fabric. I cross-stitched a simple bride-and-groom with our nicknames on the cuff, and added a bit of eyelet for decoration. Simple but effective.
Four years later we had our first child, and I made her a stocking as well. I used the same pattern but different fabric, and cross-stitched an angel with her name on the cuff. Fortunately I had the foresight to buy enough supplies to make similar stockings for the other two children who joined our family over the next seven years.
Because of my December birthday lament… I instituted the tradition of wrapping each stocking stuffer in special “Santa” paper. This, I reasoned, made the Christmas celebration last a wee bit longer. Little did I know that this tradition would continue ad infinitum. I now wrap each stocking stuffer for all our children, their significant others, and the grandchildren! It is quite the undertaking … but a fun tradition that I am glad brings joy on Christmas morning.
As you notice, however, the stockings are now a vast array of styles and themes. While we have a stocking for everyone member of the family, it is a bit of a hodge-podge. My eldest commented on this a few weeks ago, and suggested perhaps we order new stockings for next year.
But now that I am retired, I think I might dust-off the cross-stitch needles and floss, find some quilted fabric, and make official “Totoro” stockings for the new family members. And… I think I might buy some extra supplies for any future grandchildren who might someday join our celebration.