One of my favorite memories of Christmas as a child was waking up on Christmas morning and seeing our stockings filled with goodies. Coloring books, crayons and Christmas candy was enough to make a little girl's heart jump for joy.
After we moved to Puerto Rico, the tradition of stockings ended for our family. I was never sure why. Probably that first year was too overwhelming for my mom and dad and there were no chimney's to be had in Puerto Rico so there was no place to hang stockings.
Still my heart longed for the magic. One reason why the stockings were so special to me was that our presents from Santa always arrived early. Several times we would ask why our gifts didn't come on Christmas Eve and we were told that Santa had too many presents to deliver all in one night.
On one hand, it was fun to see the gifts suddenly appear and to have days dreaming and wondering about what was inside, but on the other hand unless there was a big special gift, such as a bike, there was a little bit of magic missing. The filled stockings made it apparent that Santa came to our house on Christmas Eve, just like all the others.
When Matthew was born, I was determined that he would experience that magic so I made him a stock, cross-stitching it carefully. I did the same for Brie after she was born too. They seemed to love the filled stockings just as much as I did. They still do.
The number of stockings by our fireplace grew after Vic came home one Christmas and put a ratty sock of his up after we got back from Christmas Eve service. The next year, mom bought him a real stocking of his own. Not to be outdone, the following year, I got mom a stocking, putting it out on Christmas Eve filled with little items such as post-it notes, pens and DVDs. She excitedly exclaimed that it was the first stocking she ever had. The next year, there was a stocking for me. When Ashley joined our family, we added another one for her.
Much to my delight, after Maximus was born, I mentioned something about making him a stocking and Matthew happily said that he was wondering if I was going to make him one. I must confess, I forgot how much work they were and didn't finish Max's until two days AFTER Christmas. With Aurora's arrival, I've been busy working on hers. The kids keep asking me if I'm going to be finished in time. Oh, yes, I will.
It looks like we're going to need a bigger mantle...or smaller stockings.