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.
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.