I have never lived in a place where the stockings could be hung by the chimney with care…It’s always more like, “The stockings were hung on the wall in a row, waiting for the gifts that St Nicholas would tow.” (Rhyming poetry is REALLY not my thing, as you can see.)
Anyway, every Christmas decoration in our house has a story, and this year, we finally asked my mother-in-law to replace our stockings. Remember my curse??
My childhood stocking still gets hung on the wall at my mom’s house year after year. That was not the one that was ruined due to water damage. It’s simple and red, and someone my parents knew made it for me years and years ago. I actually don’t know the story behind it.
In the early 2000s when Scott and I were engaged, some good friends of ours gave us stockings with our names printed at the top. They were felt, traditional looking, and although they were different, they went so well together. We hung them every year of our marriage and I LOVED them.
Ana’s first stocking has a similar story. My mother-in-law made her a beautiful one which hung on the wall next ours. Each stocking was different, but they were similar in pairs. They all had sentimental value. I was so sad when we realized that we left them in Maine and even sadder when we knew for certain, they were ruined forever.
When we discovered them molded together this summer, that was the final straw. All of the emotions I had tried to bottle up from being in Maine again, and not wanting to leave, flew out of my eyes in streams of tears. I sobbed and cried, as we dug through moldy box after moldy box, saving very little and discarding our memories one by one. It was so tough. I know they are just THINGS and THINGS are replaceable, but it doesn’t have to be easy to throw away years worth ornaments, pictures, and our precious memories.
Our first year in Nebraska, Santa brought us all the fuzzy, generic stockings. Now, I don’t want to bash the big guy, but they are tacky and impersonal and I could NOT hang them on my wall again this year. I just had to move on and they needed to be replaced by something that you couldn’t just buy at Wal-Mart.
My mother-in-law offered her amazing talents again. In September we raided her Christmas fabrics, each picking out the pieces we wanted our new stockings to be made of. However, Nat has vision that not one of us possess, and when she presented them to us a few weeks ago, they were more beautiful and special than we imagined.
She hand cut out our names and sewed them on each stocking. Now with names like Courtney, McCartney, and Anastasia, that was no small task. She even cut mine out twice when the first set of letters were too big. She added sparkles to the girls’ stockings, and baseball accents to my son’s. Mine has snowflake buttons, to give it the perfect touch. The kids LOVE the size and I know they dream about the big gifts that Santa can fit inside.
I know that Christmas is not about decorations or stockings. However, to me, our stockings are symbols of the love of our family. We are all different, unique, but we go so well together. Not to mention the number of people who love us so much they sacrifice to help us. No, Christmas is not about the stuff, but acts of love. Every decoration in my house reminds me of the love I feel each and every day.