and the stockings were hung…

My Nana had a friend named Darla. Darla was a Christmas crafter, a breed of woman dear to my heart. She hand knit stockings for longer than I’ve been alive. The stockings she made were carefully stitched together with bold red and green yarn, tightly enough to hold their shape, and loose enough to hold just about any large object Santa could stuff inside. Over the years, my Nana had ordered a stocking to be made for every member of our extended family.

Growing up, our Christmases moved with us from house to house, an ever evolving celebration we shared with our changing family. All that time, my stocking stayed the same, as did it’s tradition. Mine had a snowman on the front. Every year, I’d look forward to decorating day, when I’d pull the family’s stockings out of some old cardboard box, separating mine from the bunch just to gaze at it again. On Christmas morning, my brother and I would wake up our mom and then beeline for those beautiful bulging bags of goodies. As a rule, our stockings were the only thing we were allowed to open until my mom joined us.

Sadly, my Nana’s friend Darla passed away a few years back. I’m not sure if she ever knew the joy her stockings brought to me or the many other children she had knit them for. Mine and Matt’s hang on our fireplace mantle. Mr. and Mrs. Claus. I had always thought our children would have the same ones, hung there beside ours, as I had seen mine hung next to my mom’s throughout my childhood.

Then one day this past September, while leisurely perusing eBay’s Christmas category, I came across these. 12 Styles – Personalized Hand Knit Christmas Stockings. The very same stockings Darla had knit in her day! They must have been made from an old pattern that another crafter was using! How random that I might have stumbled upon them here! Christmas fate. My heart beat loudly. Before I even knew what I had done, my fingers entered our credit card number, and bam! Ordered! Maple and North would have have the same stockings as the rest of the family. Not made by Darla, but their purchase most certainly inspired by her, as we are reminded of her Christmas crafty talent this time of year.

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