At the time, I was working full time (and then some) for Boeing. Boeing closed the plants down for the week between Christmas and New Year's Day, so we had the whole week off. And that's when I would indulge myself by stitching one of those larger Christmas designs. But instead of framing them, I created a very personal tree skirt. I started with heavy duty red felt, trimmed in green grosgrain ribbon. Every year I crudely appliqued my stitched piece, with the year included somewhere on the design, on the tree skirt. Sometimes the chosen design had some significance. Other years, it was just something I wanted to stitch. I even let my husband choose his favorite (among my preselected choices, lol). They are randomly placed and of various sizes and shapes.
Last year I realized there was no more space for the larger designs and I was prepared to abandon a thirty year tradition! Then, while searching for ornament designs to stitch, I had an epiphany. The Prairie Schooler "Christmas Alphabet" provides a way to continue the tradition. So I stitched the "R" design, which is my husband's initial. This year I'm stitching the "T". Since we have no children, my husband suggested that the upcoming years should be our dog's initials. That gets us through 2017.