I'm not a person who shops for Christmas gifts year round, buying sweet little gifts for people when I run across something appropriate, in say March. This year, inspired by Martha Stewart and other craft bloggers, I've decided to make my own Advent calender in the form of little stockings that I can fill with things better tailored to my daughter than the standard chocolate filled calenders. Actually, that isn't true. Nothing is better tailored to my daughter than chocolate, but I want to do something that could potentially involve the whole family or at least feature candy better than what one gets for $1.99. Because I am still somewhat new to sewing and my machine, I need to begin this project now. Especially since I've further complicated it by deciding to make Christmas stockings as gifts too. I need to work out designs and the necessary supplies this week so I can place orders and get things moving.
This year we've decided to spend the full Christmas holiday with my in-laws at a rented beach house. We made the decision to only be with one family because the traveling between the many family parties shoved into two days produces toddler meltdowns, plus last year my mom added some things (more and more candy) to Clover's Christmas stocking after I had filled it and gone to bed. This was despite a conversation we had before where I explained that as the mother, only I would fill Clover's stocking and that my mother should leave it be. This is typical passive-aggressive behavior exhibited by my mother. I should be used to it, but I am not.
My parents go all out on Christmas, pretending that my sisters, myself and now Kevin are children, filling our stockings from Santa and flooding the area under the tree with tons of gifts. It is almost embarrassing, but we love it. I am almost surprised they don't still video tape us running down the stairs toward the tree in the morning.
This Christmas will be my first away from them and Kevin's family does Christmas in a much more reserved way. They can wait days to open gifts, whereas I am used to a melee of wrapping paper upon waking Christmas morning. Kevin's family also doesn't really seem to care about lists or what people may want or need when giving gifts, which leads to disappointment and always someone mumbling, "What were they thinking?" after the gift exchange. I've decided to try to infuse some of my family's traditions into Kevin's family gathering this year, thus the stockings. I thought it would be fun if I made stockings for everyone, then filled them after everyone went to sleep on Christmas Eve. This would be their gift, as well. It sounds fun and easy, but it could just as easily be difficult and not well received, like when I sent Kevin's parents an email last year as a way of announcing our pregnancy with Rocket. There were three photos attached and a fourth attachment that was a scan of the ultrasound photo. We didn't hear from them. For days. Finally Kevin asked if they got the email, had to further prod about there response to the photos, and he was told they saw the ultrasound photo, but thought it was some sort of accidental attachment. I should also note that when Kevin's parents do not understand something, they usually assume that I am retarded and screwed up in some way.
This brings me to the stockings. My goal for this week is to get a general template of the stocking shape made and some idea for the designs, so I can figure out how much wool felt is needed and what colors I need to track down. I am worried that I am beginning too late and that I'll run out of time. At the store the other day, Clover laughed and said, "They think it is Christmas!" when she saw the decorations already out. Because stockings are on my mind, this year I don't think that the stores are rolling out the holidays too soon. Soon I hope to be knee deep in Christmas too.