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A stocking hand-stitched with love

I have started a tradition of making cross-stitch Christmas stockings for my three daughters. These stockings are so detailed that it can take me several months to make one. Sometimes, as my husband likes to tease me, it can take years. And unfortunately he's right, because it depends on how much time I'm able to spend on them.

After I completed the cross-stitch part for my oldest daughter's stocking, I took it to a seamstress to have it sewn together, since I don't own – or even know how to use – a sewing machine. Although I could have sewn it together by hand, the result wouldn't have looked as professional.

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Later, I hurried to get a stocking completed for my middle daughter and ended up finishing only days before Christmas. Knowing that I didn't have time to take it to a seamstress, I stitched it together myself.

Although the result wasn't bad, I still planned to take it to a seamstress after the holiday, to have her resew the stocking for a more polished look.

However, the stockings were soon put away, and it wasn't until the following December that I remembered my intention. Since it was early in the month, there was still time.

But when I explained to my daughter, who was then 5, what I intended to do, she became upset. She didn't want a stranger to "make" the stocking, she told me. I realized – with surprise – that it was special to her simply because I had sewn it together myself.

My daughter taught me something about these stockings: They were a labor of love, and it didn't matter how good the finished product looked. It meant more to her simply because I had made the whole stocking myself.

Someday, when I finish my youngest daughter's stocking, I will remember what's important.

But if I happen to forget, my middle daughter will always remind me.