My Irish friend encouraged me to write about this topic when he came over for dinner tonight. He helped me put up my Christmas tree on Saturday, and after he left I added the decorations, so tonight he was seeing my full Christmas set up.
Two of the new features to my Christmas decoration collection this year are two hand knitted Christmas stockings with P and my name on them. I explained to our friend that this makes P an “official” member of my family since now he has the official family stocking.
I don’t remember when the tradition started, but my paternal grandmother was an avid knitter. As each of her children married and each new grandchild was born one of their first Christmas gifts was a knitted stocking with the new family member’s name on it, which matched all the other stockings everyone else had. The uncles had a 2-dimensional Santa face, the aunts had a 2-dimensional Mrs. Claus, and all the cousins had small Santa faces with a 3-dimensional beard that puffed out with yarn.
As children we always had our stockings hung over the wood stove downstairs and received small gifts inside. We opened the stocking gifts first before opening the gifts from under the tree.
A few years ago my grandmother passed away, but before she did she gave the stocking pattern to my uncle who also likes knitting. When two of my older cousins married they received new “adult” Mrs. Claus stockings, and their husbands received Santa stockings with their names. When my eldest cousin had a kid the new baby also received a new 3-dimensional Santa stocking.
So I was excited last Christmas to receive our new stockings. I didn’t think we’d get them until we were married, but we have them now. So I guess P is officially part of the “club” now :) (see below).