My ex-partner and I always filled a stocking for one another on Christmas Eve, playing Santa for one another and then playing Santa together for JT. Filling her stocking was one of my greatest Christmas pleasures; I would search high and low for the perfect items for her. As Christmas approached last year, and I was playing Santa alone for the first time, I suddenly realized that there was no one to fill my stocking. And, as excited as he would be on Christmas morning, I realized that JT would notice if Santa didn't leave me a stocking.
So I set about collecting items to fill my own Christmas stocking. It was a sad and lonely business. It brought me little joy.......honestly, I felt pathetic. But JT noticed that Santa had included me, and he looked through the treats in my stocking (sad for me that no toys were involved). I was glad that I had looked after the detail.
This year, I was absolutely determined to enjoy the process of filling my own Christmas stocking. Key to that was acquiring things well in advance of the holiday, tucking them into a secretive corner, and then promptly forgetting about the tiny treats I had bought myself. The Etsy artisan website was key to this process. And I'm pleased to say that it was a great success. When I filled my stocking tonight, I succeeded in making myself actually excited to explore the treats tomorrow morning.
And I wonder if this is an appropriate metaphor for the larger questions in my life. But tomorrow is Christmas, a day for childhood joy and wonder, and so I will leave those questions for another day.