Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Ghost of Christmas Past

"And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care . . ."

That turned out to be the hard part.

The little tree with all my favorite glass ornaments and a ton of glass icicles went up very happily in my new studio; that was new, and I loved bringing Christmas into my new space. We bought our big tree for the hall early; it isn't decorated yet, but that's only because decorating the tree requires scheduling. It's the one part of Christmas decorating that I don't do all by myself.

The wreath is on the door, and the plants have their decorative stakes; the nativity and winter scenes are arranged; the dining table is dressed; the little trees at the top of the stairs are decorated, and the dolls and toys have been arranged beneath them. The pine cone candy basket that my sister made is on the coffee table; the little train set runs around it, as it always has. The poinsettia is on the bar, the M&Ms are in the little candy dish, and the Santa plate is filled with cookies.

But the box with the stockings in it sat, untouched, for days.

I just couldn't do it.

This is the first year that my daughter won't be home for Christmas; she's with her boyfriend, on the other side of the country. We're happy for her; she's a grown up, and she's where she needs to be right now . . . but seeing her Christmas stocking brought more than a few tears to my eyes.

It seems like just yesterday that I made it for her; just yesterday that she waited impatiently on the stairs on Christmas morning for the signal to run as fast as she could to see what Santa had brought. Her stocking is the green one on the right; see Santa on it? She loved visiting Santa; when she was in kindergarten, she and I visited every Santa in town. I don't think we missed a single one.

Her stocking will remain empty on our mantlepiece this year; Santa will have real snow to get through when he visits her.

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