This fall I had the joy of crocheting Christmas stockings for my young friend’s family. I love to crochet, especially when someone requests a specific item. This Ravelry pattern was easy to follow and well written. By alternating the starting yarn, I adjusted the pattern slightly each time, resulting in four distinct stockings. If I had to choose, I’m not sure which one would be my favourite!
As I crocheted, I was reminded of the several sets of Christmas stockings packed away in our crawl space. Each stocking era seemed to reflect the ever changing nature of our family history.
Life was simple when we were first married. We had a miniature fake tree in our apartment — no real trees allowed! Our first stockings were also sweet and simple, the traditional red and green knit into a pattern. When our little ones came along, I managed to find similar stockings for them as well. Living in apartments, moving frequently, we made do, hanging our stockings on any available ledge. How exciting when we bought our first house — it had a fireplace! Our little knit stockings hung proudly on the mantelpiece that first Christmas.
The children grew, we made yet another move, inheriting a rough cut cedar planked wall in the basement family room, along with two fireplaces. Since our decor leaned towards mountain man hunting and fishing lodge, the cedar wall was ideal for displaying the bear rug and antlers, along with duck decoys along the ledge. Keeping the decor in mind, the pre-printed deer fabric was a natural choice when it came time to set aside the tiny knit stockings. Note the lace trim identifying my stocking, a touch of class to be sure. One of the knit stockings made a reappearance when our little pooch joined the family. She loved to shake her stocking, flinging it about until her treat popped out.
The cedar wall was replaced with drywall, the bear rug folded away, and we began to revamp our decor. The deer stockings were no longer appealing. Then our daughter married and a new son-in-law joined the family. Perfect. I sewed a new set of stockings for Christmas, making a bold move away from reds and greens. We even switched our tree decor to white, silver and blue to coordinate with the new look.
After sewing five stockings plus a tiny one for our pooch, I still had enough patterned fabric left to sew an extra stocking. I reasoned I would sew it, and set it aside, just in case our son married one day. We joked about the “sixth stocking” and what it implied. Just a few years later we delighted in welcoming our new daughter-in-law, and the “sixth stocking” found a home.
We haven’t had Christmas at our house for a few years now. The stockings remain packed away in the carton. It feels a little silly to hang them up, with just the two of us here. Plus, my decor has changed yet again, and none of the stockings feel quite right. So why do I hang onto them? The gifts they contained have long been forgotten. But not forgotten are the memories — the most priceless gifts of all.
Has your Christmas decor changed over time? Do you have any favourite memories associated with Christmas stockings?