Then I headed to the store to buy a couple yards of red velvet, lace and beads.

I’m embarrassed to admit it took me about three Christmases to finish the project. But eventually I made six stockings out of their Christmas dresses, piecing them back together in a “crazy-quilt” pattern. Then each one embroidered their own names on their stocking. Of course, I made a couple matching, more masculine stockings for the boys.

Along with the trappings of childhood, they left their Christmas stockings behind when they left home. Now, these tattered Christmas stockings are among my most prized possessions.

As I watched Emily hang her stocking the other day, I realized that her days as the last child at home are too quickly coming to an end. The brevity of life, and even more so of childhood, gave me a new perspective on Christmas.

Of course, as a Christian, I want to share the good news that Christ was indeed born–but that should happen everyday. That is the essence of Christianity.

All of what we hold dear of Christmas traditions, the carols the stories the lights and splendor — whatever says Christmas to you, most likely began as a child.

Giving gifts are really for us. When you’re a parent, it really is more blessed to give than receive. Nothing beats lighting up the face of a child on Christmas morning. But it really has to be a lot more than that. We have to create memories. And frankly, very few toys make the grade as being so special they carry the memory of it into adulthood.

The only thing that we can really give them, that will last forever, is their memories of Christmas as a child in our home. What does that look like? How does that feel? Will they want to recreate it in their home for their children?

The stockings that hang on my mantel won’t be full of candy and cheap toys this year–but they are filled with memories.

Creating memories and giving our best to the people we love–that’s Christmas.

What about in your house? When you strip away all the trappings–what makes your Christmas? 


Photo Credit Shutterstock:  Inara PrusakovaElena Elisseeva