‘Tis the season for festive crafting.
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For Southerners, it's never a light dusting of snow that signals the arrival of Christmastime. Instead, it's the sudden appearance of merry odds and ends all over the house that announce the start of the Yuletide season. For some families, it's not the holidays without little lighted ceramic trees and shiny, bright ornaments. For my family (and the Bushes too, apparently), it never felt like Christmas until our personalized needlepoint stockings were hung by the chimney with care. (Unlike the Bushes, whose stockings were stitched by Barbara Bush herself, ours came from L.L. Bean, I think). Now, thanks to this cross-stitch kit that's a favorite with Amazon shoppers, you can get in on the tradition and add your own handcrafted, holly jolly spirit to the mantle too.

The DIMENSIONS Counted Cross-Stitch Stocking Kit comes with everything you need to make your own personalized stocking, including a needle, detailed instructions, thread and wool yarn, and felt for the backing. The kits come in a variety of patterns, so stitchers can choose from nostalgic Christmas scenes in muted colors, like this Candy Cane Santa design, or more whimsical prints in cheeky hues, like this Santa's Sidecar design. Plus, they're budget-friendly, starting at just $19.

The cross-stitch stocking kits have racked up more than 450 5-star reviews, with at-home crafters praising the easy-to-follow pattern, the approachable price point, and the abundance of supplied materials. (A number of reviewers were repeat customers or said that they planned to buy another DIMENSIONS kit in the future.) Even so, many of the reviewers note that cross-stitching a stocking isn't a project for the impatient or faint of heart: It takes a lot of time, with most folks finishing their stockings over the course of a few months—some even a year. (BUY IT: $19; amazon.com)

If you start now, unless you've got the indomitable spirit of Cindy Lou Who and the speed of the Grinch flying down Mount Crumpit on his sleigh, you likely won't finish your stocking before the 2020 holiday season arrives. But that's all the more reason to go ahead and order a kit anyway: It'll be a craft to busy your hands during this wild, weird winter and a fun finished product to look forward to in 2021. Here's to dreaming of a cross-stitched Christmas.