I pulled a photo from Christmas Eve 2002 that I absolutely love and started putting the layout together. However, I knew it was really the story behind this photo that makes me smile, so I added a large journaling block on the left side of the layout. I am so excited to have this memory documented.
Journaling reads: Christmas of 2000, I was in my own place, alone for the first time in many years, starting over, wondering where life would lead me, struggling emotionally. I put out my miniature Christmas tree and hung a little stocking on the wall, determined to have the best Christmas I could, knowing it would probably be Grandma’s last Christmas. Brenda noticed the stocking and began to slip something into it when she was visiting, or have one of the kids slip something in. By Christmas Day, the stocking was full of little gifts – what a wonderful blessing for such a tough Christmas.
The next year, Robbie and I were engaged to be married two days after Christmas, but I was still in that same house. I had a real Christmas tree that year and found a huge stocking at the store one day. I hung it on the wall and jokingly mentioned to Brenda that my stocking was up if she wanted to start filling it. We all got a good laugh out of it, but Robbie was the one with the real surprise. When he showed up on Christmas Eve, he filled that stocking and then surrounded it with a ton of gifts. What a great first Christmas together and the beginning of my being totally spoiled!
The next year in our home in Rockwall, I hung up my big stocking and found a miniature matching stocking in with my ornaments. I hung it up and joked that it was Robbie’s stocking! (This photo is from that Christmas, 2002.) In fact, we had purchased matching stockings that year, ones that we have filled for each other for the past eight Christmases. However, we continue to hang my big stocking and Robbie’s mini stocking up as decorations every year.
Every year seeing these stockings brings back wonderful memories:
(1) My family loving me by filling a stocking for me during the worst year of my life.
(2) Robbie filling the big stocking only days before our marriage with gifts that reflected his love and understanding of me.
(3) The laughter and smiles we get re-telling that story every time someone sees these two stockings displayed together.