These are our sentimental Christmas stockings, hung on our fireplace every year, in hopes that Santa Claus will think we have been good and fill them with lots of treats.
I know they are a bit on the tacky side but they represent a lot of good feelings and great memories.
They don’t match each other or the living room where they hang and certainly don’t look like those hip and elegant stockings you see in the Pottery Barn catalogue or stockings you may see in the display windows of Sak’s or Macy’s but they are our Christmas stockings and we love them.
My son picked them out all by himself when he was five years old. The Santa Claus stocking was for his father, the gingerbread one is for me, his mom, and the Christmas tree is for him. I remember watching him in the store looking at all the different choices of Christmas stockings and at first I think he was a little overwhelmed.
He walked around and around and kept looking and picking up all the different stockings and then decided on these three. He had such a big smile on his face when he handed them to me and was so excited that we were actually going to buy the ones he chose.
Every year he looks forward to hanging them up on the fireplace, even the Christmas after his father died.
I wasn’t going to put decorations up that year because, well because, it was enough for me to get out of bed and form a complete sentence never mind dealing with Christmas decorations. But my son insisted we get a tree and put up the rest of decorations.
All that I did was buy the tree and bring the boxes down from the attic. My son and a wonderful friend of his did the rest. I was in and out of the room while they were working and placing the decorations anywhere they wanted. I really didn’t care what it looked like.
I do remember coming into the room when my son opened up the box containing the Christmas stockings and I sort of held my breath to see if he would hang two stockings or three. At that time, my son had a lot of anger about his father which was perfectly normal. He was angry that his father had died, that his father had left him, that his father hadn’t made better health decisions and he was angry that it was Christmas and his father wasn’t there.
I felt a lot of these things too but there’s a big difference between an adult dealing with those thoughts and feelings and a thirteen-year-old boy.
I watched as he held the stockings and walked towards the fireplace. I truly expected to see him hang only two, but then he surprised me and put up all three. He didn’t say anything and neither did I.
It’s been quite a journey since that very first Christmas after his father’s death. I admire how my son has handled this difficult situation and the adult that he has become. He is amazing!
My son still loves Christmas and EVERYTHING associated with it.
And every year, he still always hangs three stockings.