December 18 – Christmas Stockings
Did you have one? Where did you hang it? What did you get in it? Do you have any Christmas stockings used by your ancestors?
I seem to recall having stockings when we were growing up, but not terribly fancy or large. We didn't have a hearth, so they hung on one wall that was faux brick. I have very vague memories of these, and I don't remember what we got in them, if it was anything traditional or just a few smaller items of various sorts each year.
After I started dating my wife, I was presented with a large knitted stocking made by her great aunt Sally. Sally had made stockings for everyone over the years. These are fully large enough to have been worn by adult men. Each had the person's name across the top, and an image knitted in to the leg section. Mine has a traditional snowman head with top hat and pipe. Sally also made stockings for each of my first two children, but she passed away before my youngest child was born. Fortunately, my sister-in-law was able to make one for that child in the same style, so now my whole family has a beautiful stocking hung up. We don't have a hearth in this house, either, so we hang them up from the stair railing in the hallway.
The fillings aren't always traditional, either. Like most, we put small gifts in them, frequently practical items. However, we started one tradition of our own - we include a can of Silly String - the spray cans that shoot out long streams of stringy foam. After everyone has opened their gifts, we commence the Silly String fight! Loads of fun, but the cleanup afterward is somewhat of a pain.
This and all other articles on this blog are © copyright 2012 by Daniel G. Dillman