After all the stormy days and freezing rain we have been through, today turned out to be one of those days where you actually like winter. The sun was pouring in the windows and the late afternoon shadows were magical and blue.
We have a number of Christmas traditions that we started as a family which were not necessarily traditions that I grew up with, but are definitely part of our children's lives. One such tradition is Christmas stockings. My own family did not put out stockings, but I am glad that is part of our kids' memories. We each have a stocking with different needlepoint pictures on them. My own is of a very traditional Santa outside in the snow with woodland animals around him. This is very much in keeping with my preferences. I am a sucker for bunny rabbits and small furry things. My husband's stocking shows Tudor houses and carolers on the street. This is perfect for him as a big part of his youth was travelling to England with his own family. My daughter's stocking shows toys like a rocking horse, teddy bear and doll house. In the background is a Christmas tree with an angel on the top. This stocking is perfect for her because she always puts the angel on the top of our tree. Finally, my son's stocking has a Christmas nutcracker figure with a horn, drum, and ornaments around it. This is especially suitable because he receives a nutcracker every year at Christmas.
The stockings currently hang from pegs below a shelf that was in my parents' home. When they are filled on Christmas Eve they will be too heavy to hang so they will be laid under the tree.
On the shelf itself are some of my Santas that I have collected over the years. One of them is my daughter's and I am now starting to create a collection for her.
Here are some of the nutcrackers in my son's "army" as he refers to them. They have evolved over the years from small little figures that fit in his stockings, to larger, more ornate ones. There are always many to choose from in the stores now, so picking one out is fun.
This past week has been somewhat crazy with storms, going out of town to a wedding, trying to finish my shopping, and finally putting up and decorating our tree. I'm getting to the point where I can relax a little and enjoy my surroundings. I hope everyone is also having fun and enjoying their time right now, perhaps getting together with friends and family.