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For our first anniversary, I though we’d make a Christmas keepsake for guests who come to stay with us around the holiday time.  If everyone likes it, we can potentially do a version every year!

While brainstorming on what the gift should be, I was inspired by the recent “Tiny Feet” exhibition at the Plum Gallery.  Why not make a Christmas stocking with a Chinese flavor?  For those who know a bit about Chinese history, women, especially in the royal and wealthy families, used to have their feet bound to about only 3 inches long starting in their childhood.  Women with tiny feet supposedly looked delicate and attractive to men when they walked and swayed from the imbalance.  While the feet finding custom is now seen as an evil, sexist tradition that kept Chinese women subdued for centuries, some of the design and crafts that went into making the tiny shoes that covered those feet were exquisite.

I brought up this stocking idea to my guest-friend Hiroko and she also thought this ideas was interesting.  So when she came to Shanghai a few weeks ago, she helped sketched out a design for the stocking and then we went to the fabric market to pick out the fabrics together.  We chose four different patterns and colors for the stocking to give it a luxurious look and feel; the fabrics we used are also the same fabrics that people make “qipao” dresses and “mian-ao” jackets out of.

Each of the stockings is sewn by my housekeeper’s neighbor so each one looks a bit different and unique!  For a limited time only, we will sneak these little stockings into the guest rooms as parting gifts.  If you want one, come stay with us soon!