Journal Your Christmas – Christmas Stockings

So, I’m way behind on my Christmas posts because of our vacation (which was well worth it). I even still have more vacation pics that will come later. This post is related to the one that Amy did about stockings, so you can see more here at her blog too.

As a child, we lived in a 2 story house, so my mom always hung our stockings on the railing of the stairs. We slept upstairs so it was always really wonderful to come down in the mornings and see our stockings brimming with goodies. She usually didn’t wrap the items inside, so we could get a sneak peek of some of the treats before we even got all the way downstairs.

My mom isn’t much of a “keeper” of things, so I don’t have any stockings from that time. I’m not sure if she started the tradition of placing an orange in the toe of the stocking (see Amy’s blog too) or if she was carrying it on from her family. My theory is that they put an orange in the toe because in the winter in Ohio, oranges were a special treat. Sometime, I really need to ask her. I honestly don’t remember what else we got in there, probably candy canes, little toys like jacks and balls, etc. I do remember life savers in there too.

When our kids were growing up, we wrapped most of their little stocking goodies. I think because I like to draw out the suspense as long as I can, I want to have as much as possible wrapped. It’s just too quick to pull out an item and see what it is right away. It takes a little longer in prep time, but it’s worth it. We also added the tradition of including a toothbrush in their stockings every year. (Good time for it with all the sweets around.)

When Terry and I got married, his mom gave us his family stocking (pictured here). I think we may have used it the first year or two, but as you can imagine, it’s a bit worn and a little small for our liking, so we replaced it somewhere along the line. I love having it here and will pass it along to the kids someday for posterity. It’s made of very thin felt and his name is written in that green glitter glue stuff. Very cute!

When Amy was born she was the first grandchild on Terry’s side of the family and her Grandma Hann (or as she calls her now – Grandma Irish) was so excited about a grandchild and especially that she was a girl (she had 6 boys, then adopted a girl). In celebration of Amy, Grandma made her a GIANT hooked rug-type stocking and hung it at her house. It was at least 3 feet tall or more. To top it off, she actually filled it with presents too. Can you say “spoiled”? Amy was definitely the center of attention in this big family, to say the least. Anyway, I don’t have a picture of it handy. In fact, I think Amy may have it (in storage probably). Fortunately, Grandma didn’t continue the tradition with the other grandkids…she would have gone broke filling them all.

After Kevin was born, I made these red ones. I sewed them from a reversible quilted fabric, then added the iron-on letters at the top. Each one had a different kind of trim on the cuff. You might notice something a little quirky about one of them. See if you can figure out what’s wrong and I’ll tell you later.

A few years ago I bought 6 of these navy and white ones at the after-Christmas sales at Target, along with a matching tree skirt. I think they’re made of wool with the snowflakes embroidered on. I actually bought 2 each of 3 different designs. I haven’t put permanent names on them yet, but I have enough for a few “new” family members in the future. I know they’re not traditional colors, but still love their classic simplicity.

In our home now, we don’t really have the perfect spot for hanging the stockings together, so I just scatter them around the living room hanging them on various knobs. We also usually have a stocking for our cat, Shredder with a couple of treats and maybe some catnip in it. She loves her treats and also loves playing in the piles of wrapping paper! I’ll have to see if I can find one of those pictures.

On Christmas morning we always open our stocking gifts first, then move on to the ones under the tree. We have a great “system” that I’ll write more about another day.

O.k. did you figure out what’s wrong with the red stockings? Terry’s “Dad” stocking has the letters “D” backwards. When I was ironing them on, I put the first “D” on backwards, then put on the “A”, then noticed that the “D” wasn’t right. So if I ironed the other “D” the right way, it would bring attention to the fact that the first one was wrong. I think with both of them the same, people tend to not notice quite as much. Funky huh? Oh well, nothing’s perfect. It will be a funny story for the grandkids someday…

Note: don’t miss the new post about my sister Sharon below.

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