Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Two Sets of Stockings?

Two sets of stockings?  This is has been the question from guests in our home each Christmas season.  Yes, two sets of stockings.  As my daughter-in-law will tell anyone, "yes, she has a story for everything."

As a young married bride, I couldn't wait to pick out our stockings which would grace our mantel in our first home.  On a trip to the local monogram shop, I found our future memory makers.  I didn't even stop at age 19 to think about future stockings...kids, maybe one day, but for now it was "US".  I still had those "only us" dreaming eyes.  Reindeer became my theme.  His and Hers reindeer.  Hallmark helped enlarge my reindeer theme with stuffed reindeer. I should have known that reindeer reproduce and so... within a few years, our first little reindeer arrived near Thanksgiving.  Now what was I going to do?  Start over with stockings?..NO!  I had a new Bernina sewing machine my husband had purchased for me prior to the birth of our baby boy......just make another stocking!
So our reindeer theme continued, as I added a new reindeer to our mantel with each child.
When blessed with a daughter-in-law, I had to decide what to do with our stockings.  Would we continue doing stockings?  Would I add a stocking for her?  What was going to be our tradition with stockings?  I am sure I agonized over something that wasn't that big of deal...but to this Christmas planner it was.  So the solution...all new spouses stockings would have green tops.  When mounted on the stairs, wall, or whatever that year, you would see red, green, red, green...down to the youngest.
We also changed out traditions of only Mom and Dad filling the stockings.  We decided that each person would add something small to each stocking and they would be opened on the day we had Christmas with the married children. This usually isn't Christmas day.  Over the years, there have been numerous "gag" gifts.  One year, coal was given, along with assorted candies, home-made snacks, toys from the dime store...whatever each person wanted to give.
The second set has never been filled.  This set goes on the fireplace for show only.  I went through my formal phase of decorating and hand-made these stockings, too.  Each stocking has charms hanging on it's side representing the child and their interests. Some years I find great charms, some years, nothing.  When I find something that goes with the child, then I attach the charm.  We have baseball hats, basketballs, cars, cell phones, musical instruments, credit cards, graduation caps, and a baby pacifier hanging from different stockings.

Now you know the story behind my two sets of stockings.
What is your stocking tradition?

19 Joining in with more words:

Karen said...

You go girl.. never forget the beginnings !!!! And stories are wonderful to go along with them.
they are beautiful..
Merry Christmas my friend

Let'sMakeADifference said...

I LOVE when you comment on my blogs!! Your comment yesterday made me laugh and laugh!! It is so true! I have 2 sets of children and unfortunatly although I don't mean to, my second set is sometimes treated differently.....not always for their good!! Have a great day! I love your post!

Debbie said...

Oh I think your stocking tradition is GREAT...I love the whole thing down to the 2 sets etc., and the top being different for the spouces..."perfect" and when you add grandbabies they can be stripped or something, haha...But I was caught back in the beginning when you said you have a Bernina. Me too!! And I got it a couple of years after we got married when it was about the last thing in the world we could afford, lol. But that thing has run PERFECTLY ever since and I have about used it to death. You don't run across many Bernina owners (or at least I don't)...AGAIN...kindred spirits. We don't do a whole lot with the stockings over here...I am not sure why, just never did...I stopped altogether when the kids left. I also love your idea of everyone putting a little something in the stocking for each other. You've soo inspired me I would like to start up a new tradition and get stockings for everyone ~ but after next Sept. when my middle son gets married and adds in her children to our family, there will be 22 of us and that's if Mel doesn't add one more as well, haha...think I'd better leave it alone....Have a wonderful day my kindred spirit...HUGS

Farm Girl said...

I like your idea of everyone else filling the stockings. I am going to run that up the flag pole and see if I can get them to do that. I like you have been doing the stocking thing since I first got engaged. I made my own stockings, and still do. I do have two sets. I changed the design when the kids got engaged too because I couldn't find the same fabric. I don't do stockings for my grandchildren though. I thought that was something the Mommy's should do.
I am like you I do have a story for everything, as you can tell.

Diana said...

I made our children stockings when they were little. Have added our DIL and grandchildren. They are on the mantel. Would you believe though that Hub and I don't have one?

Look forward to adding more someday though for our daughter's future family.

Vee said...

Wow...so carefully thought out. I gave the stockings to the children when they left home and have never looked back...I like your idea/s MUCH better. John and I have knitted caps hanging from our bed posts.

Anonymous said...

I love this story and your traditions. Awesome, love filled post. Yes, stockings are the first thing my kids, even now grown, go to and I love picking stuffers. I pick up stuff all year as I find something that would be just right.

e-Mom said...

LOL, those of us who live and breathe decorating, love Christmas decor don't we... including every stocking variation you can think of!!!

We've had three sets of stockings across our 32-year marriage. The first I sewed from felt, and we used until our kids were born. The second (knitted) set we used until I bought a set of "designer" stockings at Marshall's (great discount store)--about five years ago.

Those will be travelling with me to D.C. in a week, since our daughter requested them specifically.... filling them with fun stuff from the dollar store. LOL, can't wait to turn the task over to her in the future!

Your love of hearth and home is palpable. Wonderful, Janette!

Sandy said...

When the boys were small we filled
their stockings that were crocheted
by Grandma. I would pick out small
toys and candy. Now that they are
in their twenties, I just put in
a few kinds of candy but no toys.
Guess we never outgrow a love of
candy at Christmastime.
Your traditions are so special and
sweet. Enjoyed reading this.

Paula said...

Such a great tradition!! Love the idea of two sets. I am such a minimalist or maybe it's because Christmas tends to be hard for me with my Mom so I don't do much. I have a tree and single stocking for my two children. Sometimes I feel so incompetent when I see such great moms like you...but I am what I am by the grace of God. You are such a great mom!

Anonymous said...


We do not have a stocking tradition, but yours sounds quite interesting. :)


-Lady Rose

Theresa said...

Love all your stories! We just have the classic red and white stockings with our names in glitter glue. I don't have a fireplace to hang them so I hook them onto our foyer mirror.

Dianne said...

I enjoyed finding out about your stocking traditions.

I handmade mine and my husband's stockings our first Christmas--recently one of my sons was feeling sorry for us because we had the same stocking for 40 something years.

He didn't know but i cherish those stockings!

Lea said...

Love the "stocking story!" They are all lovely and I think you are obviously very creative to have come up with this idea.

Fun post! Always enjoy stopping by!

Sonja said...

You are so creative. I love that whole 'fun' side of you, and I know your kids and hubby do to!

I was just talking with a good friend from Austin who has a bernina, and she loves it! ME? Not so much... i love to do stuff with paint brushes, but sewing... wish I could!

myletterstoemily said...

i love "she has a story for everything."
what a fun mother in law!

your stocking are adorable and the
story is so cute.

i have stocking but don't put much
'stock' in them. :) i'm afraid they will
topple into the fireplace!

thanks for all your prayers and
encouragement. the Lord's grace is
overflowing today!

Gwen Toliver said...

"She has a story for everything" - Ha :) My kids say the same thing about me and they're still pretty little!

Love your stocking stories...we have 1 set we use, except this year with moving, we're just happy to have a Christmas tree. And happy to be going to my parents' where my mom will do a lot more than I have to make it seem Christmas-y! :)

Stacy said...

I love it! And I loved reading the story behind the stockings. I love that you include the spouses and signify them with the green tops on their stockings. What a beautiful way to bring the whole family together, even after they get married. You are so creative.

Our stockings were originally knit by my mother, after she had her stroke (when I was 3), she had friends knit them for her....when I got married, she had one knit for my husband and gave it to me for my mantel and with each child she has done the same. I love them and they hold such special significance.

Thanks again for sharing your story!

Much love,

Debbie said...

I loved reading the story behind your two sets of stockings. You are quite creative, I might add.

Love and hugs,

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