I hope it doesn't seem petty to post this blog about a Christmas stocking when we are all reeling after Friday's tragic shooting. I am heartbroken and furious, frustrated and terrified. And while a weekend spent preparing for Christmas felt a bit forced, a bit inappropriate even given the circumstances, I realized that these seemingly unimportant acts—working on a Christmas stocking or planning a holiday meal—are not actually petty at all. They are the building blocks of family tradition, the underpinnings of the time we spend together. And I'm longing to hold my family closer than ever this year. I'm guessing you are, too. So here goes:
I wish I had the skills to knit, needlepoint or sew entire Christmas stockings for my girls. Alas, I do not. So I decided to order these simple, personalized felt stockings from West Elm and embellish them. Here's what the stocking looked like when it arrived.
This stocking was my first attempt at blanket stitching. Thankfully a hand-sewn stitch meshed well with the imperfection of the felt. There are many variations on the blanket stitch, but I chose the most basic. I used this diagram to get started. It was easy. Seriously, if I can handle it, anyone can.
After stitching around the top, I added a few stitches to two of the snowflakes, then sewed on jingle bells (from Michael's) here and there.
When Cricket woke up from her nap and saw the stocking on the table, she climbed up and started happily jingling all the bells. I have a feeling Nora will do the same as soon as she can climb.
I'm Julia Soplop, writer and photographer. I believe there is something profound in bearing witness to moments of joy and pain in others’ lives. My husband, three girls and I live outside of Chapel Hill, NC. You can read more about me here.