22 September, 2012

Christmas stockings

 Jen's post here made me remember ...

Years ago, at a market in Bangkok, I had bought a bunch of very cheap but colourful knitted Christmas stockings.  There were very large, very long (3-4 feet long) stockings, and shorter, more "traditional" style stockings.  They were so cheap, and so plentiful, that I bought a bunch.  Dozens in fact!  (I suspect I bought them at different times, forgetting I'd bought so many the time before.  That's what often happens at Chatuchak, the weekend market in Bangkok.  But that's another story.)

I'd imagined having these for our kids, and all the cousins coming to visit for family Christmases.  When it was obvious this wasn't going to happen, only two months after I learned I'd never have children, Christmas approached.  It was going to be a difficult Christmas, one which conveniently ended up being an adults-only Christmas.  But those Christmas stockings in the bottom of the Christmas decorations box were a painful reminder.  And so I wrapped up the stockings, and sent them off to brothers (in-law) and sisters with one for every member of the family, explaining why I was giving it to them, and that I hoped they would use them and have many great memories from them, and hopefully think of us and how much we loved their kids in the process.

I don't know if those stockings are ever used.  I don't want to know if they're not.  But I do know it made me feel lighter, and happier, to think that some children would be getting pleasure on Christmas Day as a result.  Even if they weren't my kids.  (And the positive thing about over-shopping - I have enough for my nieces'/nephews' kids if they have them!)


  1. I love that you did this. Both the buying of the stockings and the giving them away. And it is so close to my heart right now, because last winter, when I was full of hope, I started a project to knit matching stockings for myself and my husband, with the idea that I would one day make matching ones for our kids as well. And now I don't know if we will ever have kids, so it is bitter-sweet to go on and finish our stockings, but I am still going to do it.

  2. When my bro and wife were expecting a child and we were planning to go back to Indo, I bought a bagful of kiddies' secondhand clothes from a flea market (I chose the good ones). I bought a few new clothing items as well for their upcoming baby. Because at that time I didn't know the sex of the baby yet, I bought neutral-coloured clothings, but 'coz I bought them from different people, I managed to get some girl's clothing as well. I figured at that time, "Well, either way, I'll bring some of these clothes for their baby and the rest we can probably use ourselves later in the future."

    Turned out they were having a boy (and he's turning 4 soon!!!) and I was left with a bunch of winter clothes (that they don't need in Indo) as well as some little girl's clothes. Last year I gave them to a friend who was interested in recycling them into artworks. :-)

    And yeah, I get what you mean about over-shopping. I also find great joy in trying to find gifts for my nephew whenever I go back to Indo. :-) Sometimes I even think I go overboard in buying him stuff he he he...

  3. :) I remember getting Halloween treat bags, filling 'em up with sweets, small toys, one-two books, and tickets to the local corn maze- giving them to my goddaughters- same with Easter baskets and Christmas stockings long long ago. I too tend to over-shop, going nuts over cute things, going "Oh, she'd love that!" or whateverso. Perhaps when my nephew is a bit older, I can do it again... :) Might be easier, thro for a boy! I like Star Wars and Star Trek, comic books, etc, so... :D

  4. This brought tears to my eyes... my mom knits christmas stockings. Every year she made heaps... sell them at market and help pay for our Christmas. It was always her gift when people were pregnant. We always talked about what kind she'd make our kids. Good on ya for passing them along. I imagine they were gorgeous!

  5. Ah yes, those days when we still imagined and bought things to bring the illusion closer. I'd forgotten about this - your post made me remember something too: I have a special little something still sitting in my bookshelf at home that I had bought for our desired kids. It's a series of four colorful books, the large picture types with a soft front cover and really cute illustrations. They are probably the only thing I ever bought with that intention, and I thought about giving them away months ago. I couldn't then, but I think I may revisit this again one day soon. I think it might be time to let them go (or maybe I will keep them because my inner child kind of likes them too!)

  6. I did a similar thing, finding items that I had put away for a "little" and years later needed to free myself from.
    In fact, just this past weekend we did it again. We just passed along a toy to a little neighbor who lit up on receiving this surprise...that made us feel better about letting it go.
    Hugs to you

  7. since I was hit with infertility at only 28, i had yet to do this... but the christmas stockings...oh! I can imagine how this feels. I love Christmas and I was thinking (with sadness) how I will miss out on having kids on that holiday. Lovely story here. THe ways we move forward and find peace.