Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Finding my voice!

I return to the world of blogging full of motivation and enthusiasm. Sadly, I’m a tad light on content right at the moment. However, I will find some, and all my readers will be full of milk and honey and other forms of happiness!

On this, the last day of 2014, I’m thinking about Christmas with my family over the years and how our traditions have grown and changed, as our family has grown and changed.

For as long as I can remember—possibly for as long as I’ve been alive—my whole family has had Christmas stockings that were hand-knitted by my dad’s mom. (I suspect my dad and his brother had theirs before they can remember.) They were decorated with reindeer, Santas, trees, snowflakes—many Christmas/winter images. They also had each of our names knitted along the top rim of the stocking. Allow me to emphasize that: every bit of the ornamentation was knitted. Nothing was glued, nothing was stitched, nothing was painted. It must have been an incredible amount of work.

They were such an institution in our household that I remember being baffled at other kids not having elaborate, handmade, personalized stockings.

Christmas in my house has always been so full of love and acceptance and warmth. My older brother could rarely visit home (starving college student followed by starving actor), but he would always make it home for Christmas. And yes, we gave presents and we’d usually all “get a haul,” but especially once we became adults, that wasn’t the point. We loved being together.

Sitcoms and movies make family holidays look like a chore full of drama and no small amount of racism. That humor has always been lost on me. There may be stress related to Christmas shopping or Christmas travel, but come Christmas day, no one ever got out of their pajamas, metaphorically speaking. And usually, we never got out of our physical pajamas, either.

Our family has grown in the intervening years: All three of us kids are married and my younger brother now has a son of his own. Our Christmases include spouses and, very occasionally, in-laws. And the spouses and grub, who are just as much family as the native Lymans (obviously), are nonetheless lacking in handmade personalized Santa/tree/reindeer/snowflake stockings. My grandma just turned 90 this last Christmas, and her days of knitting have passed, unfortunately.

This is a true sadness.

So, one of my goals for 2015 is to start (and hopefully complete?) knitting stockings for the three spouses plus baby.

Our mantel is getting crowded.

The more, the merrier.

Do any of you have Christmas traditions you want to share? Comment below!