On our mantle are many stockings. Each stocking has a name embroidered on it. One each for Ron and me. One for each of our children and grandchildren. One for our son-in-law and one for our soon to be daughter-in-law. One for my brother and Gretchen who lived with us for a short while.
I hang each stocking every year, even for those who are absent this year…or forever.
I am grateful for these people, my family: Robert, Gretchen, Ron, Mark, Meredith, Lyz, David, Taryn, Adam, Andrew, Peter, Margaret, Elijah, Colin, Jacob, and Lucy. (I’m grateful for my extended family who don’t have a stocking on my mantle as well.)
There also hangs a stocking with no name. It’s the stocking closest to the tree.
This stocking is there in case an unexpected guest joins us for Christmas. It reminds me to welcome those who may not have a safe place to be or may not have family to spend the day with.
Many times over the years we’ve welcomed strangers, family, and friends to join us. We’ve filled the extra stocking with candy and a small gift or maybe a bit of cash to give our guest, to show them love and kindness.
Christmas. A time to celebrate and share the love of Emmanuel, God with us.