There are nine Christmas stockings hanging on our fireplace mantel now, along with nine snowmen for each member of our family. Miss Teena created the stockings to look like moccasins, each one a unique creation and made especially for a member of our family. I created the snowmen in the same manner, each one unique and to fit the personality of each of us. The snowmen are to go home with each of us after the holiday but return with them next Christmas. This is my little way of letting the kids and Grandkids know that I want them home as a Family for this special time.
Miss Teena and I begin our hunt early in the year for special little treasures for each stocking and I must say Miss Teena takes great strides to insure that each is significant. Over the years I’ve not put myself so much into this hunt for stocking treasure as she has. But there have been times when I’ve come up with the special little something and Miss Teena rewards me with that beautiful smile of hers ( could it be that after 29 years, I can still surprise her?) This little tradition has grown in the years to be quite important to our children and they always want to see the new stocking as young ones are added to our growing family. Sometimes while shopping Miss Teena will yell at me to come look and I’ll wander over to hear her say “Isn’t it perfect?” and I’ll chime in with “Perfect for what?” “For their stockings!” she beams (with the sound of a choir singing “HERE COMES SANTA CLAUS” in the background. “Teena it’s the middle of June and its 102 degrees outside” I’ll say with a grin of bewilderment ( she thinks its a grin of gratitude for a job well done). At that point I realize this woman is serious and I ask the clerk “Do you have more of these?”
I was up late last night (or early this morning) sitting on the sofa with only the Christmas lights on and it seemed a magical glow surrounded the stockings and snowmen on the mantel. Suddenly I was filled with the joy of a Father / Grandfather knowing that his family is good. All of them have been so blessed and all of them have been such blessings! Suddenly I was frightened that Miss Teena and I hadn’t put the “right” treasures in the stockings! I couldn’t imagine a little gift worthy of showing them how wonderful they make our life! I’m in total awe of how great our kids and grandkids are to Miss Teena and I. What treasure could we place in these stockings that would show them how important they are to us. With tears rolling down my cheeks I felt a warm embrace and was reminded of words my Mother often spoke “It’s not the gift, it’s the thought.”
This is the first Christmas since Mom’s passing and it has been hard to muster the joy of the Holidays. But she was then and still is right. These tiny little stockings are not nearly large enough to hold the gifts I want for my family. I want for my family health, happiness, joy, peace, togetherness, sunshine, abundance of all that is good, wonder, magic, pride to be who they are, presence of God our creator, surprise, balance with Mother Earth, chocolate, hope, love, to be loved, and a long life.
Mostly I want them to know that I’m brought to tears often in my quiet times when I think of how perfectly loved they make me feel.
You are right Mom “It’s not the gift.....
Sharing the Journey