December 22, 2019- The Stockings Were Hung....
You would never know, if you just looked at the stockings hanging in my home, that there are only two people who live in this house. You might also draw the conclusion, seeing them hanging across the bookshelves, that I also lacked a fireplace.
On the second point- there was not a fireplace in this house when we bought it nearly 20 years ago, but my amazingly talented hubby built one in the family room a couple years after we moved in. I had had a fireplace in our previous two homes and deeply missed having one. I adore it and love using it on those chilly winter days, but it is not nearly big enough to accommodate all of the stockings that must be hung each December. And somehow, hanging them on the bookshelves, when you are a writer, just seems perfect.
Yes- there are only two of us living in this house, but this year, there are 8 stockings hanging up. That number has varied slightly from year to year. Of course there are the ones I hang every year for the members of the immediate family, but if we have extended family with us for Christmas, they get one as well that year. I have an enormous bin of stockings in the attic. Some homemade and hand-embroidered; some store bought with gold initials emblazed on it to indicate its owner. Some years, new ones are added to the bin.
The stockings that are hung have changed over the years, reflecting the new members who have joined our family, or the loss of a loved one who is no longer with us. Some have even shifted owners. For example, the “Mom” stocking that was mine, was passed to my daughter when her first baby was born. And my late mom’s “Nana” stocking was pulled out the year my granddaughter was born and I became Nana. This year, there is a brand new stocking that has joined the display- the one for Piper! My second granddaughter was born this past July, nearly 7 weeks early. She spent more than 6 weeks in the NICU, but is now a delightful and perfect 5 month old.
While I love buying Christmas gifts for those on my list, I simply adore filling stockings for my loved ones. It is a year-long endeavor where I am constantly on the lookout for little things that are just perfect for that special someone. The unique measuring spoons for the chef; special colored pencils for the artist; a handmade bud vase for the gardener. When we travel on vacation, I am always on the lookout for stocking stuffers. Handmade scarves, hand painted t-shirts, or unique jewelry. This year’s stockings are peppered with Italian leather goods, olive oil, and blown glass! And of course, every stocking must have some sort of unique and individual ornament for the recipient.
The stockings become more than simply vessels in which to put gifts. They become a symbolic love-poem for those near and dear to me.
Wishing you all stockings filled with love!