So I can be a little bit of a grinch at Christmas. But when I was pregnant with Ez I decided I really wanted to make Christmas special for her. As a young child I had such magical Christmas celebrations. As I explained in my previous post, my mother doesn’t do things halfway. So while we didn’t have a lot of money when I was little and my parents didn’t believe in getting me the kind of toys I saw advertised during saturday morning cartoons, I had some of the most magical Christmas celebrations I could imagine…they were creative, cozy, and so loving. There were homemade gifts, lots of baking, stringing popcorn and cranberry garlands, cutting the tree, not a a tree farm, but up some random hill, close to Christmas.

One year when I was, perhaps, five, my parents created whole Santa/Christmas scene, tracking boot prints in soot from our fireplace to the table next to the tree where the chair was knocked over. They sprinkled cookie crumbs everywhere. It looked just the way you would imagine a travel-weary Santa, overstuffed with cookies, would leave the house of the last child he visited. I can still remember my parents, bags under their eyes, giggling that Santa “had too much fun last night.”

I was thrilled, as you might imagine. It still makes me giddy thinking about it…and it remains one of the few (and by far the nicest) memories I have of my parents together.

This was the kind of experience I wanted for my daughter. But when on the day after her first Christmas we wound up calling an ambulance for what we now know were seizures, likely exacerbated by fatigue, over-stimulation, and schedule changes, Christmas (and all holidays, really) started to feel like a list of tiring obligations that I worried might just land us in the hospital.

Last year we moved into a new home with a fireplace, which for some reason helps me feel more Christmas-y. And I have been pushing myself to get into the spirit. I put on Christmas music in the car with Ezzy and sing. We are doing our best to take the small steps toward baking and decorating (we have to do everything in pieces, dictated by naps and meds and therapies and appointments and Ezzy’s moods). I have made some of the charitable donations I do in lieu of gifts for adults–which feels so nice.

But the thing that has made me feel the most Christmas-y of all is sort of a simple thing: a stocking.

Esmé has a stocking…but it wasn’t anything special. I had bought it quickly on a whim the christmas right before she was born–worried that she might arrive early and would be in need of a stocking. But stockings really are special signs of this holiday…and when you have a beautiful braod stone fireplace to hang them in front of the cheap just a little too pink stocking I had for Ezzy looked so out of place.

The other day when my friend Amber, the creative force behind Obsessivision, put up this picture of a homemade stocking she had made for her niece, I knew what I needed for Ezzy: a beautiful all-her-own stocking…one that would last for years. So I asked Amber if she would make one for Ezzy…and somehow, amidst what I know is a terribly busy season for her, she created this cozy, lush stocking for Esmé.

And I cannot wait to fill it up with treats for my sweet girl!

Don’t forget to take a peek at Obsessivision…especially her etsy page where she sells these adorable giraffe puzzle blocks (which she was kind enough to donate to the TCS silent auction last summer).

Alright…I’m off to mix up some more cookies!