Monday, December 1, 2008

One Less Stocking

Jim and I began putting up the Christmas decorations last night in preparation of hosting his Christmas party here this weekend. As I placed the decorations on the fireplace mantle and hung up the stockings, I thought back to a request Andy had made on Saturday. He asked if he could have his Christmas stocking. I made all four of our stockings, and two for my mom and dad which have now returned to me, by hand. Each one is similar in that it is constructed of felt and sequins with a hand embroidered name across the top, yet each design is unique to the person for whom it was intended. First there were two stockings hung by the chimney with care, then a third and fourth as our family grew. Andy and Megan will spend Christmas with her family in Indiana this year, though they will visit with us after Christmas. Andy wants to hang his stocking up there next to Megan's. I guess his request really brought home to me that for the first time in his life, he will not be with us for Christmas. We must share him with another family now. I thought about the first Christmas after we got married. Jim's mom proclaimed that we would spend Christmas with them (we were in St. Louis, they were in Iowa and my folks were in Ohio), and that is what happened. My parents got us for the first Thanksgiving, his parents got us for the first Christmas, and we alternated each year until my folks passed away. Looking back on it now, I wonder how my mom felt that first year when the baby of the family wasn't with her? It is the way of life, I know, and I'm grateful we will see them at all. So I'll pack up his stocking and mail it off to Huntingburg. But the fireplace just won't look the same with only three stockings hanging there.

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