Monday, December 27, 2010

Time to Make the Stockings

And a very merry, holly jolly day after day after Christmas to you! We've had a action-packed Christmas weekend which included me turning into an incompetent but very determined Martha Stewart facsimile when I decided that at all costs, I would make my children handmade stockings before Santa came. This was an ill-advised move. For six years, my kids have gotten by on using other people's stockings or generic ones from the 99 cent store. But this year when we couldn't locate any of the shitty store-bought ones, it occurred to me that instead of replacing the shit with more shit, I could, theoretically, give the gift that lasts a lifetime by crafting stockings from fancy wool/ felt blend and then sewing on the kids' names, felt decorations, and sequins. At first, I balked at my own proposal, but then I remembered that my mother had made these exact type of stockings for us when we were very young and my mother's no seamstress either. If she could do it, then certainly, INDUBITABLY, so could I. Better, probably. Once I realized I could compete with my mother's accomplishment, it was a done deal. I bought a tonnage of felt and sequins and got to work.

After working til nearly midnight on the night before Christmas Eve, I had cut both stockings and sewed on Christmas trees and Seconda's name. This took me about five hours. I realized that to meet my goal -- attaching a faux-fur trim on top, and decorating each tree with sequins. loads of felt presents under the tree and a simple night skyscape of shooting stars, moons and candy canes -- I'd probably have to work from that moment until New Year's Day. It took me 10 minutes to knot the end of the freaking thread to say nothing of actually threading the thing.

So on Christmas Eve, I brought the work-sack full of felt to my parent's place, the which I basically turned into a Stocking-Manufacturing Sweat Shop. While my mother and father cooked, I barked orders at the rest of the crew - my sister was appointed head of Cutting, David was Official Threader, my cousin was a freelance sewer. Then when my grandmother finally got sprung from her duties frying riceballs, I roped her into the operation and THAT'S when shit got started in earnest. Nonnie, who worked as a seamstress in swimsuit factories for several decades, knows her way around a needle and thread. In the time it took me to knot the end of the thread, she'd already sewed on five letters. I am not even exaggerating. It was like having a contest between sometime who was sewing with their fingers and someone who was sewing with their toes.

Our group effort paid off and by the time I went back to my place on Christmas Eve, I had a few minor things to add, and then to close the stcokings up. These two things took four hours. As I pushed midnight, sewing frantically while David dozed, I realized that the next morning, when the kids woke at 6am, all bushy-tailed to see Santa's offerings, I'd be in one colossally shitty mood, and probably end up shouting at my kids all because I stayed up into the wee hours making a freaking homemade stocking NO ONE ASKED ME TO MAKE.

Now that this insanity is behind me, however, and the stockings are fully adorned, the sequins shimmering, the adorable felt presents lined up in adorable rows, now I"m delighted at the endeavor. My children, who at this point don't give a flying shit about the fact that I overcame incompetence and burned the midnight oil to achieve the feat, will look on these stockings in a few decades and remember me fondly. Or maybe they'll think, "Yeah she was one self-obsessed nutty broad, but hey, these are damn cute stockings."

Yeah, I realize it would have been a good idea to include pictures but I was too busy making the things to photograph them, and now I'm in Jersey, enjoying being snowed-in and listening to my parents argue while cooking dinner. Photographs later, readers, and prepare to be dazzled.