I never met my maternal grandmother, the woman whom I'm named for. She died before I was born. In fact I don't know many people who did know her, which I think is a shame, for the little that I have heard about her makes me think we would have gotten along well. She was a craftswoman, her passion was weaving and she created some gorgeous things. She also made beautiful evening gowns and other clothing for my mother's dolls - dolls that I played with as a girl and I look forward to giving to my daughters some day. My family's Christmas stockings were also all made by my grandmother. My mother's older sister, husband and two daughters, my mum, dad, and me all have my grandmother's handiwork complete with their name on the top. Each one is slightly different - but the three granddaughters all have a reindeer on the toe. The third reindeered stocking was found, without a name, in my grandmother's things after she died. It may have simply been that she made an extra when making the two for my older cousins - it could have been expected that my mother would have at least one kid, after all. But I like to think that my grandmother made it especially for me, her namesake.
I love my stocking and have used it almost every year. This year in early December I suddenly realized I desperately wanted my stocking to hang in my room, even if Santa didn't come all the way to Japan to visit me. So I fired an email off to my dad to ask him to mail it to me. His reply? It was already in the mail to me!
Over the years when new members have joined our Christmas I've made them stockings. I haven't stuck with my grandmother's template, and each one has been unique. This year I decided to make one for U. I couldn't decide on the design - reindeer and snowmen just didn't seem right (in an aside - despite the fact that western snowmen are three snowballs, the snowman on my stocking is only two - like a Japanese snowman... I wonder why??). Then U told me how he used to put out a regular sock on the end of his bed for Christmas. So I decided to decorate his stocking with the same tartan-type pattern that decorates most of his socks. I'd like to think that my Scottish grandmother would have approved!
(and yes, U's stocking still has pins in it, it is not finished. A bad bout of something has flattened me for the past 10 days and my thesis is due in less than 3 weeks... I have promised U that it will be fully finished and pin-less by next Christmas! His stocking does have his name on it, but I decided to block it out, so you'll just have to trust me on the fact that it looks good!)