My red felt stocking is one of my clearest Christmas memories as a child. Mom would find one thing that all of us received. One year it was little teddy bears. Another year all the girls got a white Bible and the boys a black one. A tiny, antique porcelain baby found it's way to our stockings one Yuletide. Always there was an orange, an apple, nuts and candy. It was many years before we stopped having stockings at Mom's. We still all have stockings at Gramerly's. There is the Captain with a stocking I made for him. It was all felt, sequins and embroidery on the front. Drummer Boy and Rae had a handmade one also, of course. Those too were found by the same small creature who gave my angel ornament a face lift (literally). Apparently those felt socks make great nesting material. Christmas Treasures no longer go in cardboard boxes, but totes, and are not stored in the attic anymore either.
I didn't make new ones and all of our current ones are store bought.
When my three were growing up, they opened a gift from their stocking each day. Usually, the gifts were numbered and the first gift out of the stocking was an ornament. Now we open stockings at the Christmas Party, so the ornament is now a gift of Advent.
I remember how tons of ornaments were all on one branch on the bottom of the tree. The tree was always full of candy canes. Do you remember the days when candy canes came in only peppermint? The Captain loved them and wanted one every time we went by the tree. He had very few teeth that first Christmas, but those two on top and two on bottom made quick work of miniature candy canes.
I think the first flavors were cherry, then cinnamon, then every kind imaginable. I believe Jolly Rancher are the ones on my tree this year.
So, the stocking are nestled all snug on the couch, as there is no mantle big enough.
My favorite stocking memory is from when we still had stockings for everyone at my Mom's on Christmas Eve. That year was the debut of the book "The Polar Express." A teacher brought it to school and I loved it. I was always the storyteller at Mom's. Not only did I bring the story, but I had placed a big silver bell in the toe of every sock. I envisioned reading the story, then all the little one's opening their stockings and being so very excited to find a silver sleigh bell of their own in the toe. That year, mine were maybe seven and nine and this little mister, my nephew Jameson, was not quite two. I took these pictures below, unbeknownst to his parents, as their gift.
So, we're all gathered round the twinkling tree lights, stockings in lap, quite caught up in the telling of the little boy's visit to the North Pole.
All eyes on me, just as I pictured in my endless daydreams of sugarplum and such.
With much drama I read, "He put his hand in his pocket, and Ohhhhhh, the bell was GONE!
To which this little sprite loudly despairs, " Well S*#T !" "Santy Cwass ooosed dat bell!" Let's just say the sweet moment was lost when all other cherubs proceeded to fall out in the floor in hysterics. Oh, well. It was certainly memorable.