Last year I wrote about how I had trouble marking the holidays and found myself in limbo after the New Year. Going into this year's holiday season I once again was not feeling inspired or excited about decorating or much else having to do with them. I did not mention in last year's post that the anniversaries of my parents' deaths fall right in the midst of all this – my father died on October 30, 1996 and my mother on December 23, 1997. So to say that the holidays comes with extra baggage would be an understatement.
Many, many years ago I had started making Christmas stockings for family and friends, though they are more like "boots" than traditional stockings. The boots are whimsical and more for decoration than they are for filling with gifts as their construction doesn't leave much room inside. They were my way of pushing back against the commercialization of the holiday and I used to joke when giving them to people saying, "Give Christmas the boot!"
I inherited a good deal of my mom's holiday decorations, including the Christmas Boot I had made her. I never did make one for my father when he was alive so one year I decided to make one in memory of him and then my first two cats, Diamo and Bandit. Other decorations I inherited from my mom, who had always made Christmas so magical, were her collection of Anna Lee dolls. They are whimsical creations of mice, deer, Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and more.