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July 31, 2020 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Red stocking district

sewing box for Elf (© image. Copyrighted, no permissions granted. all rights reserved)

August sent out the memo: Wake up, Magic.(© image.)

Normally a portrait artist interviews the subject: sees what colors charm them – what jewels shine in their eyes – what swirls through their dreams.

This is not a year as ones before.

I am the family’s official Christmas Stocking elf person.

Those magic velvets that appear once a year hanging from mantels or stair banisters or doorknobs – in the spots chosen with the wisdom of a child’s understanding.

Those soft holders of childhood carefully packed and unpacked. Clutched and coveted.

Those made just for them – no other like it in the entire world. A few connecting elements among a family group, but each a stand alone, life’s anchor for Christmas past, present, and future.

Somehow the newest little one came skilled FaceTime personality performances.

A princess of mauve, not Pepto-Bismol pink. Elephants, not unicorns. One already kicking high and workin’ to fly.

One so nice to giggle and conspire with in person…if only.

Yes, you’ll have elegant, luxurious velvet since I had a hunch and, for once, grabbed a ready-made one at the end of last year – to hold just in case.

Who knew those final days out before COVID-19 would prove so valuable.

And yes, there will be matching white “fur”. Just enough leftover from the others. (Whew)

Amazon just delivered sew-on jewels – one bag faded and cheap; one bag just perfect. Who knew that going in person to a store to picky choose would ever seem like an unattainable luxury.

There’s always possible donation glitz from my Grandmother’s vintage hats. She, a jewelry maker and the original repurposer, would be tickled..

Although they may forget, I still tell them, “There’s always a little bit of family history sewn in here and there – all the way back to great – greats.” A bit of real Victorian vintage lace this time? Antique ornate buttons to adorn this tree?

Then, this little purple elephant your mom’s grandmother made for her. It’s pleased to have been released from that jungle in a drawer after being forgotten when your mom “put away childish things” and graduated to Legos. (Elephants, kindly, only remember the good times.) Maybe anchoring the design on the back. He can hoist a holly garland or a candy cane.

This will be the last one, I’m pretty sure. Time catches up with all.

The stitches aren’t as neat and even as before. I doubt anyone will notice.

Work now best done when there’s bright sunlight through the window. Work sessions are shorter. (OK. Outraged pet demands must be attended to. Ignore at your own risk.)

Not looking forward to getting sequined script letters spelling out the name just right. (If only paint pens could glide across that velvet nap…)

This is Elf Magic, though. To enchant and bridge across the years long after I am gone.

So until work is finished, there’s little time for anything else. (Sigh if only laundry and dishes would take care of themselves. I tried to whistle like Snow White, but to no avail…must be the double paned windows.)

RC Cat cheerfully offered to be a guest blogger, but the last time that was tried, there was that incident with a claw getting stuck in the keyboard. The yowling…

This stocking will be Christmas. Eventually.

Magic happens.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Related post: “Best job ever. August’s Christmas”

Christmas stocking in progress. (© image. copyrighted, all rights reserved, no permissions granted)

Christmas is waiting. Can’t disappoint. Reputation, you know. (© image)


Leave a Comment
  1. disperser / Jul 31 2020 7:10 am

    Nice and nice introspection.


  2. pensitivity101 / Jul 31 2020 8:38 am

    Lovely memories attached to each gift. I have a few of my own for the tree that go back to when I was a child. Always Magic for me.


  3. Robin / Jul 31 2020 8:38 am

    What a wonderful family tradition you’ve created! That’s a beautiful stocking and lovely reflections/thoughts. I envy those who have sewing and craft skills. I can’t even manage scissors without making a mess of things (and I’m lucky my clumsiness doesn’t result in the loss of part of a finger). Needless to say, I did not do well in the sewing aspects of home ec class. Cooking, on the other hand, I nailed. Without chopping off a digit or two.


  4. Kate Crimmins / Jul 31 2020 8:47 am

    You are starting early enough! We didn’t consistently do stockings. No fireplace unless you count that faded cardboard one resurrected from the attic each year. Not strong enough to hold stockings though. Lovely tradition and something to treasure.


  5. Ally Bean / Jul 31 2020 11:40 am

    Cute, cute. What a great project for these hot, hot days. Deck the halls with boughs of holly…


  6. shoreacres / Jul 31 2020 12:41 pm

    The one tradition I miss most at Christmas is opening my stocking. I loved my stocking. I still remember the traditions: Brazil nuts and an orange in the toe, a little bag of gold chocolate coins, colored pencils, and those trinkets like metal clickers. There never was anything truly valuable in the stocking — it was having LOTS of things that was so much fun, and never knowing what would be there.

    Now I’m trying to figure out where the needlepoint stocking Mom made went to. You wouldn’t think I’d lose them, but they seem to be gone. On the other hand, Dixie Rose always got a stocking, and I still have that.


  7. Anne Mehrling / Jul 31 2020 12:48 pm

    What an uplifting post for me on a hot summer day! John’s stocking is the oldest we have. It’s probably 70 years old. Mine is much newer, probably only 50 years old. We still have stockings for our children and grandchildren. None are as family-centered as yours.


  8. Trent Lewin / Jul 31 2020 5:40 pm

    I’m going to get really drunk just now and attempt some yowling in my back yard. That should really impress the neighbours. I like reading your pieces. They take me away, and god knows I could use some ethereal transportation these days.


  9. 1bl0gr3ad3r / Jul 31 2020 7:09 pm

    Why does learning you are the family elf not surprise any of us?? What about some of that nifty pre-strung sequin trim? Plenty of time to craft sparkly letters on some good stable backing & get them properly arranged on the newest edition. (perhaps guest blogger would work better than RC Cat helping with the name) [my humble apologies to our most wonderful royal feline — your readers always love hearing from you!] I received my first special stocking for Christmas 2019 – my first living in Estes; growing up they were our dad’s largest wool socks since, like Kate C., no chimney….

    Liked by 1 person

  10. marina kanavaki / Aug 3 2020 7:22 am

    Seems so weird seeing this in the middle of a heatwave!!!!! 😉 Happy creating!
    ps Love the title!

    Liked by 1 person

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