I finally started decorating for Christmas today.
I went out and bought a fake (ugh) tree, and got it upright and put more lights on it (a story all on its own) and I got the stockings hung up on the mantle.
Every time I post a picture of our stockings, I sit back and wait for someone to point out that one of them is backwards - because someone does it every. single. time.
The funny thing is that I don't even notice it anymore. It's normal to me.
After I got them up, I decided that I was tired and I was going to quit for the night. There's still so much to do and if I keep going, it's going to be way too late way too fast. So I sat down for a few minutes and looked at the stockings and tried to remember exactly why I ended up with one that faced the opposite direction.
It all started back in 1998, when I was dating Ex1. He told me that he had never had a stocking when he was growing up, and I was stunned. So I set about making him a quilted stocking to give to him that Christmas. I didn't have a pattern, and I didn't have a lot of money, so I used scraps of fabric and made him a quilted stocking and gave it to him.
By the time that Christmas 1999 rolled around, we had Sarah - so I made two more stockings. The toe on Ex1's stocking pointed to the right. So I made mine point to the left and made Sarah's point to the right. That way, when they were hung up "in order" the toes would alternate. When Emily was born and I made her stocking, her toe pointed left in order to continue the pattern.
Then life happened, and Ex1 and I split right before Christmas the year that Jared was born. Ex1 took his stocking with him, and Jared didn't get one right away because things were too chaotic. In fact, I made stockings for Ex2, my then-stepson, Jared, Alex, and Daniel for Christmas in 2006 - however Daniel's didn't even have a name on it since we knew he existed but we didn't know if he was a boy or a girl yet. We used the blank stocking to announce to the kids that there was going to be another baby coming. And for whatever reason - probably chaos and lack of time - those stockings all pointed the same direction.
Fast forward a few years. The Dude now has a stocking hanging with the rest.
To me, Sarah's stocking isn't backwards. When I look at the row, the first one, the fifth one, and the seventh one are backwards. They should all point to the right in order to have the alternating effect that I planned.
When other people look at it, they see the one pointing the opposite way.
In the end though, we all have our stockings. And they'll all be jammed full on Christmas morning regardless of which direction they face.
Plans change. Life changes. Things don't always turn out the way we hoped, but it's ok. It's important to sometimes stop and look at things from a different perspective and realize that an unexpected result isn't always a bad thing.