Monday, December 12, 2011

Holidays - The Stockings Were Hung

Hello! We don't have a fireplace in our current house, so our stockings are hung with stocking hangers on a bookshelf in our family room. Here's the lineup:

And now for a few stories about our stockings!

I lovingly cross-stitched this large stocking for our daughter when she was a toddler, only to have this happen a few years later:

While living in Terre Haute, IN, I used our partially-finished attic as a staging area for holiday preparations, so I filled our daughter's stocking up there with a variety of treats, including foil-wrapped chocolates. She wasn't the only one who liked those sweets, for when getting ready to put out her stuffed stocking on Christmas Eve, I noticed the above hole chewed into it, with a few tell-tale bits of colored foil nearby! We'd already had a problem with squirrels hanging out in the attic, so I figured it was one of those creatures that was responsible for the heist.(we never did find out where they were coming in, but caught six in a live trap set up in the attic during our four years in that house).

At first, I bemoaned the damage done to an heirloom-in-the-making (or so I had fancied my work) and meant to patch the chewed-out hole, but decided to leave it as is as a sort of history behind the stocking. I'm just careful to place something bulky or wide enough in that part of the stocking so that nothing falls out!

Moving on, here's my husband's stockings:

We do a "house gift" instead of buying each other a bunch of presents, so stockings stuffers have more importance - hence, the use of multiple stockings. The Santa one is a preprinted stocking panel and I added some trims on the cuff. The red stocking on the right was made for our first-ever Christmas together. At that time my craft supplies and craft skills were minimal compared to today, so I designed a simple green felt Christmas tree with seed bead ornaments, gold cord garland and various colors of felt and embroidery floss for the gift packages under the tree.

A few years ago, thinking that this stocking now looked pretty amateur, I offered to make a replacement for my husband, but he said no, it was fine the way it was. I don't know if he felt sentimental about it, but I do know that it was the first filled stocking he'd ever had. His mom put up stockings, but only for decoration. Since I had grown up with filled stockings - and even as a kid had always thrilled to see what my parents put in each others' stockings - I made that first stocking for my future husband as a way of rectifying what I thought had been a sad omission in his life. 

I just bought the "DAD" stocking earlier today - everything Christmas-related was 1/2 off at a local thrift store. This meant that I paid a whopping 25c for it. I liked its handmade charm. Let's see how long it'll be before my husband notices this addition!

Now on to my stockings:

I made the burgundy stocking during my Victorian phase, brought on by the fact that we had bought a house in Stevens Point, WI that had been built in 1871. I tried the Victorian look for awhile but eventually decided I was happier with a more-relaxed 20th C look!

The middle stocking, made of felt, is falling apart; there's practically no back left to it. Obviously this means that very little can be put into this stocking, but I still put it out every year because my late sister had crafted it. I think she made new stockings for all the kids in my family one Christmas, but I don't recall what year - perhaps when I was junior high age. 

I also don't recall why she made them, for the red-and-white striped stocking next to it was obviously still around and remains in perfect shape. Our late mother had made these for us kids when we were younger. Maybe she just wanted to see something different hung up from our fireplace. Perhaps one of my older sisters can fill me in on the stocking chronology.

Last but not least, the youngest member of our family has her own stocking as well:

I sewed a simple stocking shape and let our daughter, then eight, decorated the front of the stocking with fabric markers. I usually just put one small cat toy or treat in the stocking. Fittingly, this year I'm placing a cat toy kit in it - I'd purchased the kit at a thrift store whose sales benefit the local humane society. 

My husband, though, has taken to putting a cat-themed trinket into Beauty's stocking - for example, one year a cat-shaped coin purse and another year, a "lucky cat" figurine. As Beauty doesn't particularly care about coin purses and cat figurines, these objects become de facto presents for me. 

(Then again, our cat probably doesn't care about getting a Christmas stocking, either, but I cared, so she got one her first Christmas with us!)

Well, that's our stocking story! And never a lump of coal in any of them - yet!


  1. The stockings were hung on the bookshelf with care, in hopes that the squirrels soon would be there . . .

  2. Uh, I certainly DON'T want squirrels in our family room! That happened once in our house in WI and that squirrel caused a lot of damage!