The Return of the Stockings

Dec
3


I haven’t been able to find our stockings for a few years. Our first Christmas here, I sorted through the boxes, found the Christmas things, but didn’t find the stockings. I came up with some “makeshift” stockings and figured I’d find the “real” ones by the next year when holiday-time rolled around. But I didn’t. Last Christmas, Morgan missed her stocking so much, one day she cried about it. I felt terrible. But I couldn’t find them anywhere. I harbored a secret resentment that some other person had them and just wouldn’t give them to me. This suspicion was not completely unfounded in my experience with this person, however, he said he didn’t have them. I tried to not ever think about the stockings because it really bothered me that they were missing. All three of the kids’ stockings plus my own, which was handmade by my mother.


One day last summer when I was going through boxes in the basement, I opened a box (of NOT Christmas things) and there were the stockings. I could hardly run upstairs fast enough to show them to Morgan. This Christmas, we would have our stockings!

This week, I set about starting to get out the Christmas things and wanted first to get out the stockings. I went through all the Christmas boxes and couldn’t find them. I tried to think of all the places where I might have put them to keep them safe after having misplaced them for so long. I searched every nook and cranny where I thought I might have stashed them. Then I went back to the basement and found them exactly where I had found them before because in a surprisingly rational moment last summer I apparently decided to leave them right where I found them rather than hide them from myself.

Hunh.

Anyway! Here they are. Ross’s stocking is a stuffed reindeer that holds out the stocking. I got it at a department store in Texas. I thought it was cute.

It’s kinda bulky when you go to pack them away, but I love it. It makes me think of baby Ross.

Weston’s is a machine-embroidered Santa stocking, store-bought, of course.

I wasn’t doing much crafty stuff when they were babies. His stocking has a crafty, quaint look to it, though, and I love it because it makes me think of baby Weston.

There used to be a lot of Batman action figures stuffed into those two stockings for a number of years.

Morgan’s stocking is a Victorian-style creamy white beaded stocking with lace. Some of the beading came on the stocking and some of it was added to the stocking by my mother, who also added Morgan’s name.

My mother picked out this stocking.

Along with Morgan’s name, she added the pink glass beads and flower embroidery.

She put her name in beads at the bottom, too.

This is my stocking. It’s completely handmade by my mother, in felt and embroidery and beading.

It’s a mini-scrapbook of my childhood. From my birth….

….to my first train ride, first plane ride, a felt-and-bead replica of the house where we lived in Washington, D.C.

There’s more on the back. Baptism, first bicycle, Brownies, piano lessons, the Bicentennial, first glasses.

The little pink house that says H.H. is the “Hunting Hut”–the brand name of a little dollhouse I had and played with a great deal.

When I learned to drive, and my first car. (It was a little blue car, just as depicted–a Toyota Tercel.)

Every year at Christmas when my mother got the holiday decorations out, she would update and add to the stockings if there was something to add that year. She kept it going right through college and my wedding then she gave the stocking to me.

If you’re interested in making a stocking like this one, it’s really simple in its basic form. It’s cut out of felt and sewn together in the beading along the edges. All the beading and embroidery to decorate it is the hard part.

An extra piece of felt is along the cuff of the stocking to add color.

To sew additions on, my mother would have to stick her arm down in the stocking to pull the needle back and forth without going through both sides. I can imagine how difficult it must have been to sew the parts all the way at the bottom of the stocking, getting that needle in and out of one layer of the felt only.

She sewed her initials and the date she started it at the back on one side of the cuff.

I never told her the stockings were missing, by the way. She would have been appalled and disturbed.

And that is the story of the stockings, how I lost them, how I found them, how sometimes I’m wrong, how I’m shamefully disorganized, and best of all, how Morgan won’t cry this year because she doesn’t have her stocking.

The End.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on December 3, 2010  

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  1. 12-3
    1:26
    am

    oh, oh, oh, everyone should have such a beautiful stocking, Suzanne. I can imagine the stress of not being able to find them. (I lost my childhood, hand appliqued, sequined and felt stocking for nearly five years!!!)

    Perhaps your mom was looking in on you and and lead you to them—her way of being with you this holiday season.

  2. 12-3
    1:27
    am

    I’m so happy that Morgan won’t be shedding any tears because of her lost stocking, because there are plenty on my keyboard after reading this. It’s great that you found them, especially since Ross will be home. What a fantastic surprize for him. Thanks for sharing your “new found treasures” with us.

  3. 12-3
    1:34
    am

    Suzanne, I love this story, I think Bonita is right your Mom was looking in on you. I have some very special stockings my Great Grandma made for us when we were little and I treasure them, I also have misplaced them at times and found them. :fairy:

  4. 12-3
    3:58
    am

    Fitting year to find them. Your Mom is there this Christmas for the whole family.

  5. 12-3
    5:44
    am

    I’m sure glad you found them. Especially your own! How in the world have you kept it in such good condition?

    I wish I had thought of doing that for my kids.

  6. 12-3
    6:18
    am

    Oh how I love treasured memories!! Worth more than gold..more than anything really!!

  7. 12-3
    6:37
    am

    What and incredible mom you have, Suzanne. I am glad you will have that stocking with you this Christmas.

  8. 12-3
    6:37
    am

    Oh Suzanne, your stocking is so creative, I’ve never seen one anything like it! It’s absolutely priceless! I’m so glad that the stockings were found! :snoopy:

  9. 12-3
    6:45
    am

    All is right in the McMinn home. Stockings were hung and Morgan smiled :D

    What a wonderful stocking your mother made you. I love how she added to it throughout the years :)

  10. 12-3
    7:19
    am

    Oh My! I have never seen such beautiful stockings…and on yours, love sewn into every stitch. I’m so Happy you found them. I can certainly see why Morgan cried. I would be crying too. I laughed at the little blue Tercel. My daughter had a red one, small, but a real nice car. I wish I had done something like that for my children from birth. What a treasure your mother has left you. Thank you for sharing.

  11. 12-3
    7:53
    am

    That is so wonderful that you have everyone’s stockings again. They are beautiful. How many precious, precious memories these must bring back. I am so glad you found them. Especially now. Will Ross get to come home for Christmas? I’ll bet he and Weston missed their stockings too.

  12. 12-3
    7:55
    am

    What great keepsakes all of the stockings are, and no wonder you were stressed at not being able to find them! But now they are found, and hopefully never to be lost again.

  13. 12-3
    8:26
    am

    Oh, Suzanne, I’m so glad you found them! The one your mother made is so precious, all the more apparent now that she is gone, I am sure. The love your mother put into that stocking!

  14. 12-3
    8:27
    am

    Ohh, I love how she put the story of your life on the stocking. That’s amazing!

  15. 12-3
    8:28
    am

    That is such a wonderful idea. Your mother was quite the woman! I am sitting here trying to figure out how I will be able to incorporate a similar idea into our life. :)

  16. 12-3
    8:30
    am

    I too shed some tears while reading this! I am so happy for you that you found the stockings :snoopy:

  17. 12-3
    8:42
    am

    Beautiful stockings.I know who you got your creativity from – your mother.Who would’ve thought of doing something like that on a stocking? Amazing. Morgan’s is gorgeous too. The boys’ are unique as well.I’ve never seen stockings like any of those.

  18. 12-3
    8:45
    am

    I am so happy you found the stockings. They are all wonderful with great stories. Your’s is so special along with Morgan’s they will help make your Christmas complete.

  19. 12-3
    8:46
    am

    What wonderful keepsakes! I’d of cried too if I had one as special and it went missing! So glad you found these precious treasures!

  20. 12-3
    8:48
    am

    Oh, I am so happy you found your stockings. The one my mother bought for me when I was a child finally fell apart. It was old felt and just melted.Of course it was older than dirt!!How wonderful that you have found them again. It really isn’t important that you didn’t make the stockings for your little ones, its the memories that go with them that are important.
    I made the felt appliqued kits for my girls and for the three grandchildren, but they pale in comparison to the one that your mother stitched with so much love.

  21. 12-3
    8:50
    am

    Absolutely beautiful! :snuggle:

  22. 12-3
    8:52
    am

    All the stockings are wonderful, but the one your mom made for you is a work of art. How thoughtful of her to add a little something every year, what a beautiful way to remember your childhood.

  23. 12-3
    8:56
    am

    Suznne, that is so sweet and beautiful. BLESSINGS.

  24. 12-3
    8:57
    am

    A true “Christmas Story” of the selfless love of a mother, the traditon of family and forgiveness in our hearts! You are my favorite writer Suzanne, you open our eyes and reach inside our hearts!

  25. 12-3
    8:57
    am

    Oh Suzanne, the stocking your mother made for you is absolutely beautiful! Updated every year until she gave it to you when you got married. Wow. that’s very special!

  26. 12-3
    9:00
    am

    They’re beautiful! It bothers me so when I misplace something. It’s even worse when the kids miss things because I “put them someplace safe”. Your stocking is a work of art. It’s so personal. What a treasure!

  27. 12-3
    9:05
    am

    Wait a minute………Where’s 52’s stocking? And Clover’s? And the rest of the animals? I think you have some sewing to do! I suggest cookies as stocking stuffers.

  28. 12-3
    9:06
    am

    What an absolute treasure your stocking is, the memories, the love that went in to that stocking is incredible and beautiful. Your Mom was gifted not only in her needle skills but in her knowledge to know what really matters and like the others I think she played a part in your finding the missing stockings. May your Christmas be Merry and Bright.

  29. 12-3
    9:07
    am

    So glad your mother passed down the stocking to you, but also her talent, creativity, and passion for family memories. What a treasure…

    And I know you must feel bad about suspecting a certain someone of withholding these family treasures from you. Did you ever ‘fess up and apologize? Or maybe not start any further conversation than necessary…

  30. 12-3
    9:15
    am

    Thanks for sharing this little piece of your life. You share so much of your present day life that it was very precious to get a small look at prefarm Suzanne. I lose things ALL the time- it drives me crazy! Unorganized is my middle name. I just lost a pair of wool socks I spent a month knitting for my son’s Christmas gift.
    They will show up probably around mid-April.
    Sigh. My mother told me I had an artistic nature and that’s why I scatter things- thoughts, crafts, gifts- but I think it is mainly my brain that is scattered. :(

  31. 12-3
    9:36
    am

    What a fantastic stocking and a wonderful gift. Once again, you have inspired me. :)

  32. 12-3
    9:49
    am

    I hate it when I hide stuff from myself. Sooooo glad you found them.

    They are fantastic. We see where you get your creativity from now.

  33. 12-3
    10:08
    am

    I love a happy ending! :snoopy:

  34. 12-3
    10:28
    am

    Oh my goodness! The work in your stocking? What a testament of love from your Mom! And I absolutely fell in love with Morgans! I’m happy for you all to have your old friends back!

  35. 12-3
    10:37
    am

    Alright, you had me in tears by the end. Suzanne, this story is so moving and lovely, just like the stockings. I so love the stocking your mother made for you, with all the care and love that went into it. They are all so beautiful and I’m very happy they’ve come back to you after a short spell away. Similar things have happened to me, and once I let go of the feelings of loss and anger, the lost object magically reappears, and I’m so thankful. I guess the lesson here is to not get too attached to “things” but some things have such deep sentiment attached to them that it’s hard to let go.
    Thanks for sharing this uplifting story! :yes: :hug:

  36. 12-3
    10:38
    am

    What an absolute treasure your stocking is!

  37. 12-3
    10:43
    am

    That is the most beautiful stocking I have ever seen! What a lovely memory of your childhood. So glad you found them again.

  38. 12-3
    10:48
    am

    Your stocking is a precious treasure. But I’m sure that you already know that. So glad you have it back to enjoy again.

  39. 12-3
    10:57
    am

    Snif…snif. I love this, beautiful.

  40. 12-3
    11:18
    am

    My older sister has the same white felt stocking as yours! Any chance it was a kit or a commercial pattern?

  41. 12-3
    11:27
    am

    Your mom is truly talented. How wonderful that you found this on your first Christmas w/o her. This must bring back wonderful memories.

    I want to do something like this for my grandaughter.

  42. 12-3
    11:31
    am

    Betsy, I don’t know where she got the pattern for the stocking form, so who knows.

  43. 12-3
    11:33
    am

    This stocking is amazing. It made me cry just looking at it. All the love and work your mother put into it for you. How awesome. It makes me want to do one for my boys and they’re teenagers, but it is truly such a special gift.

  44. 12-3
    11:40
    am

    Your mother was a jewel….

  45. 12-3
    11:42
    am

    No wonder you were upset about losing them they are beautiful and the memories are so special for you. Beautiful story and beautiful pics as usual Suzanne. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us.

  46. 12-3
    11:50
    am

    What a treasure your stocking is and I’m so happy you found them (all of them) for this Christmas. Having yours during the holidays this year will be very special for you I’m sure. No wonder you are so industrious, creative and crafty; the acorn never falls too far from the tree. Your mother must have been some kinda-wonderful tree!

  47. 12-3
    12:33
    pm

    I am glad that you found them! Even happier that you shared them. The one your Mother made for you is truely a piece of her heart. You can see the love made into the details of your life sewed into a storybook stocking. She must of loved every moment of you growing up. I am sure that you made your Mom proud. You can see her pride and love for you in the stocking.

    I am gonna make these for my children. Might not be done in time for christmas…but I’ll try.

    Suzanne, can I see more pictures of Clover, please?

  48. 12-3
    1:45
    pm

    WOW I think I may have to make my grandkids them. I have time at night just watchng tv. I love them all!

  49. 12-3
    2:14
    pm

    The stocking your mother made for you brought tears to my eyes. So much love in every stitch! I’ve never seen such a wonderful, personal stocking.

    I also like the way your children’s stockings are each individual, not all matching. Beautiful! Those stockings will never be empty, because they are filled with memories.

  50. 12-3
    2:42
    pm

    Your lovely Mama found them for you, Suzanne. Mothers know everything especially when they are in Heaven.
    I know Ross is coming home soon but some of his buddies might not be able to get home…I’d love to send Christmas cards to them if you could find an address for me.
    Happy December 3rd to everyone.

  51. 12-3
    3:07
    pm

    That is very touching. I’m so glad you found them. I always meant to make homemade stockings but never got around to it so they also are store bought. Now that they are older (one married) we haven’t been using them lately. Maybe I’ll pull them out again…

  52. 12-3
    3:32
    pm

    That is really a sweet story. I can so identify with the losing something-finding it-losing again part too!

    I love the stocking that your mother made for you–what a treasure! Although my kids are 12 and 14, I think I will do that for them too. I will have to jog my memory a bit LOL! :reindeer:

  53. 12-3
    5:17
    pm

    I sat here and cried over your stockings!Such wonderful keepsakes.So sentimental! Danged hormones!

  54. 12-3
    8:29
    pm

    This is my first post, LOVE your website and the blogs. Hello from Maine!
    So glad you finally found the Christmas stockings! I can totally relate to your experience…a few years ago I couldn’t find my grandmothers’ wedding cake topper that I wanted to use on my own cake…finally found it just a week before the wedding, in my bedroom linen closet of all places! And just today I can’t find the cord to my camera dock…so it happens to us all I guess.

  55. 12-3
    8:31
    pm

    Wow! Your stocking a work of art. Morgan’s is beautiful too. I really like Weston’s also, I wish I could find a store bought stocking with that much charm!

  56. 12-3
    8:42
    pm

    What a great way to make memories and others feel special!

  57. 12-3
    11:03
    pm

    What wonderful memories. My mom made stockings for all the grandchildren for her mother. I am the oldest grandchild.(1959).
    so mine was always first on the mantle at grandma’s house. We always looked forward to them at Christmas, as she always filled them with oranges and candies. As time wore on…the mantle was filled with all the grandchildren’s stockings… She made homemade peanut butter cups that I have never been able to recreate. When she passed, we all got our stockings. I just found mine yesterday, and it brought tears to my eyes to remember the memories of many Christmas’s past. Sharri

  58. 12-4
    5:37
    am

    Suzanne, that is SO SWEET, I’m really glad for you and your lovely family that you re-found your treasures. The stockings are beautiful, and so nice that you have your special one too. :snowman: Your Mom was a wonderful needlewoman.
    Our daughter made Trev and I stockings last year! Also a beautiful advent callendar for her Dad (Trev)which I nearly forgot about…shame on me.

  59. 12-4
    7:57
    am

    Traditions are what Christmas is all about. So glad yours can continue!

  60. 12-4
    9:23
    am

    I get all misty eyed when I hear stories like this. What a lovely way to remember and be remembered.

  61. 12-4
    1:39
    pm

    Stockings are my favorite part of Christmas.

  62. 12-5
    2:19
    pm

    The stockings are absolutely charming. And how heart warming that you found them in time for this Christmas.
    We started our married life with hand crocheted stockings in the Christmas colors. My little sister made them at the time. They brought so much joy and fun on Christmas Day. Then we graduated to larger, quilted ones, that I made. And even then, sometimes we had to pile the stuffers above the stockings. We just loved it so much. And now, the sister that made the crocheted ones 30 yrs. ago, is now giving each niece and nephew and their spouse, when they marry, a special quilted one with a cross stitched cuff. She cross stitches their name on it and personalizes it with icons that represent their interests. And then, as their children are born, she gives them one for their first Christmas.
    The grand finale to the gift opening on Christmas morning is the opening of stocking stuffers. Its been that way for 30 some years.
    I think, someday, those special embroidered ones will tell future generations something about their ancestors.That’s really exciting!
    Some times I look at the first, crocheted ones and think about when the kids were little. And I wish , just for a moment, that they were little again.

  63. 12-6
    10:32
    am

    :purpleflower: That stocking your mom made is the coolest and most beautiful stocking I have ever seen in my life! What an awesome keepsake and heirloom for Morgan. I see where you get your crafty ways! ;) That is gorgeous! I would have cried too if I were Morgan! Glad you found them! :happyflower:

  64. 12-6
    10:18
    pm

    GAH! Stop giving me more ideas for projects! You are too good.

    THey are beautiful. I wanna cry a little when I look at yours. Your mother is a wonderful lady.

  65. 12-11
    2:52
    pm

    I love this story, and the pictures are beautiful..’grammy PS I have a grand-daughter, Morgan

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