Dec. 12th * The stockings were hung by the chimney with care….

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Okay, so it isn’t exactly the chimney. We do have 2 chimneys in this house, and one in the room. But the old mantle tilts, and we have always hung our stockings on the railing.

I love garland around the house, but it is terribly expensive when you purchase it by the foot. So we only have garland in years when I have time to harvest pine boughs from our land, or when we need to trim the tree and it has a generous amount of trimming…such as this year. All of this had to be trimmed off the tree to make it fit its space.

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The stockings themselves are a hodge podge of old and new. The one above, with the train around it, belongs to the man about the place… and was made for him when he was small. The tiny felt boot next to it, was for the youngest boy on his first Christmas…. it was pinned to his bassinet. I made it out of wool felt, and he still likes to see it hang at Christmas, even though it is very tiny and won’t hold much at all.Next to his tiny one is an old red one, also made of felt, that belonged to my grandmother. She made a bunch of these for decorative purposes when my mother was a teen. I love the decorations sewn on them… I no longer see spangles like these.

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img_0884.jpg This one is mine. Made by my grandmother for me when I was about 7 or 8, it has the 70’s love of calico and Raggedy Ann in evidence. The little Ann and Andy are made of felt, and stuffed, so they are 3 dimensional. In those days, my grandmother would make an entire set of stockings for the family, all matching, and all in the latest trendy theme. For me, our eclectic mix suits better.

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The oldest son was the recipient of this lovely stocking. Both his and his dad’s are made of velvet rather than felt. And then their favorite childhood things were put on the stocking. My son received his for his third Christmas from a relative in my husband’s family. A love of trains and a love of my Old Raggedy Ann came out on this stocking too.

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The middle son has one covered with his passion, birds. I made this for him when he was about 3… and loved watching birds at the window. It is one of those felt stocking kits… where you do the embroidery, embellishing and sewing up.

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We have far more stockings than there are members of the family. Sometimes the extra ones have been used by visiting guests… sometimes the dogs find treats left for them in the smaller ones. Opening of the stockings has always been a very favorite part of the Christmas morning. Santa loves to find tiny things to fit inside them. Usually, cool bandaids, interesting pencils or erasers, fun toothbrushes, a small wooden animal, some chocolates, or even a tiny car find their way inside. Kitchen spatulas, chip clips, a small candle, sometimes some earrings are found in mine. We open them up, spill their contents on the floor, ooh and ahh, and then pack them up again. For days we relive the joy of exploring the tiny treasures, many of which are really just utilitarian everyday objects.

The best part of the stockings are the bells on the bottom. Santa has to work very carefully as he fills them, so the jingle won’t give his presence away. I think we all listen extra carefully during the night in the hopes we will catch him at his work!

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