December 29, 2014

On Stockings & Belonging

Perhaps the most heartwarming and sentimental part of this holiday season for me was the addition of this Christmas stocking hanging along the fireplace mantle:

While the name of our blog signifies our age difference, it's not a topic that we frequently dive deeply into and today I wanted to share one of the more special aspects from the holiday and the nuances of our own blended family.

To give a little background and context, Tim has had three matching Christmas stockings since I've known him (going on 12 years, wow!) personalized with his and the kids' names. Throughout the years of pulling out the Christmas decorations and joining in on the fun of filling these stockings to the brim, I'd always tell Tim that my Christmas wish would be to have a matching stocking after getting married. Well, this was the year that holiday wish came true.

On the Eve of Christmas Eve (say that one 5 times fast), Tim and I were sitting on the sofa admiring all the decorations, talking about how the new configurations in the family room had worked so nicely. Here's Basil, eager to give you a little peek:

In the past, we've set up the bulk of Christmas decorations in the front parlor prior to transforming that space into our home office this past spring. Since the front room doesn't lend as well to gathering now, we decided to set everything up in the family room this year. As I was looking at the 3 stockings hanging over the lit fireplace, Tim asked if I wanted to open an early Christmas gift — to which I replied with a resounding yes and a suspiciously raised eyebrow. He quickly returned from the garage (of all places to hide my gifts) holding my very own matching and personalized stocking!

I was so surprised it actually brought tears to my eyes, which in turn surprised Tim. In that moment, I don't think he realized the significance a matching stocking held for me. Sure, it's a material thing, which isn't important in the bigger scheme of things, but it does somehow symbolize being an integrated member of this family — which is the best gift I could have received.

I told Tim I was so happy that he could have just stopped there with gifts this year. Then we both laughed when he said, "OK, I can go return everything else if you really want me to..."

The original stockings came from a Lillian Vernon needlepoint collection back in the 90's — so it was a pleasant surprise that the line is even still available to make a match. Tim told me the coordinating brass stocking holders were all out of stock when he ordered the stocking, which he was disappointed over. I let him know that I was so excited about the stocking itself that the holder didn't really matter at all. We ended up looping the stocking around the leg of our cast iron Boston Terrier (one of our favorite estate finds), who did a noble job of keeping it in place along the mantle this year. And — the brass holder gives us something to shoot for next year!

For fun, here are a few shots from over the past few years of holidays in our house where you can see the 3 original stockings and our makeshift "Mary" stocking. Our system has always been to hang the matching 3, then double-stack mine and Basil's on the same hooks:

2011: Here's a shot from the first night we spent in this house just over 3 years ago. We'd moved in with enough time to snip some holly from the backyard and get the stockings up over the front parlor mantle — we still can't get over how "red" the walls were in this space back then:

2012: The next year we'd fully moved in and made a few updates to the house, (like painting the front room blue!):

See that plastic bag hanging from the mantle below? Yep, that was my stocking in 2012, ha:

2013: Last year we were still putting the bulk of our decorations in the front parlor — it's amazing to take a look back to see how much has changed, and stayed the same:

Well that was a fun trip down memory lane! Thanks for taking a moment to check in on us today — we're looking forward to sharing a fuller recap of all our holiday fun later this week, so stay tuned!

Discover More:
Holiday Decorating

P.S. Intrigued with the greeting card stand above our mantle this year? We made it from a reclaimed wood beam — check out the full tutorial with more pics in this eHow project post.

1 comment

  1. How nice that you officially have a family Christmas sock, I can see why it would make you so happy. I remember the needlepoint socks and don't think I have seen one in a long time.


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