December 19th, 2004



Awoke to a world of white, we'd been sugarcoated overnight. Just a little dusting but it became a mantle of diamonds in the sunlight. Snow, glorious snow! Bring it on for Christmas!

It's a good thing we had no major plans this weekend, as my cryk invited his friend the sore throat over to stay. I feel as if I've swallowed a frog. Because of the cryk, coughing is a majorly painful ordeal both on the inside and the out. The pain pills are not nearly as effective as I'd hoped they'd be, although they ARE helping, and I've been able to sleep through most of the last 2 nights, plus had a long nap this afternoon after our outing to the madhouse shopping center.

My Christmas shopping is now officially finished, and I even polished off gifts for a January birthday while I was at it. All of the stockings that I'm in charge of will be overflowing. Anders certainly has it easy, since he only has to deal with filling MINE. Our Christmas stockings are one of the nicest things about the holidays. In my mother's family, there is a tradition that was started back around the time my parents married that each member of the family was given a handmade, knitted sock in the same pattern. My mother's 2 aunts made them; Aunt Leta did the knitting and Aunt Mary did the decorating. There are now something like 175 members of the extended family, and ALL OF THEM have one of these stockings. Although Aunt Leta passed away a few years ago, and Aunt Mary is no longer involved, other dedicated souls have taken over for their branches and are making sure that the tradition continues for the newer members of the family.

Each stocking is striped in red, white and green with a pom-pom at the toe, and a Christmas tree on both sides. At the top is Santa in his sleigh, while on the other side is the reindeer that is pulling it. Above the reindeer and Santa is the name of the person in red, and at the bottom is the year that you were either born or joined the family by marriage. The socks are decorated with sequins, beads and small buttons and toys, and they are really works of art. In Santa's sleigh on my stocking is a tiny baby doll, a baby bottle, a pair of scissors and a miniature diamond wishbone. For some reason, I'm missing little figures at the foot of the trees, but Anders has a tiny teddy bear on one side and a little white rabbit on the other, while in his sleigh is a baseball, 2 quilted booties, a red bow and a MOOSE! Martin has a baseball, a tin soldier, a blue horse, a guitar player, a train engine and a little red bike, while an owl and a lion sit under his trees. On Karin's stocking are a candy cane, a golden flower, a bike and a big brown teddy bear, plus a little pearl pig and a mouse.

I love these stockings. They make me feel so connected to my family, and it wouldn't be Christmas without them. We don't (yet) have a fireplace so our stockings are hung by the —where else?— bookshelves with care. :)

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