When I was a child, my mom handmade stockings for each family member and decorated them to reflect our individual personalities and interests. We kids were allowed to get up as early as we wanted on Christmas morning, as long as we kept quiet and opened only our stockings. My sister and I usually carried them to our beds, where we unwrapped all the goodies stuffed inside before falling back asleep for a little while.
When I left home, my stocking came with me. Like me, it's getting older and a little worn around the edges, but every time I look at it I am reminded of my mother's love and all the happy family Christmases from my childhood. I've continued Mom's tradition by making a special stocking for my husband and each of my daughters.
In December 2005, just after we had been told we were expecting twin girls, a Christmas miracle occurred . . . my husband went out into the snowy evening and actually entered a fabric and craft store. He bought two plain red stockings, ironed on the letters to spell the names we had picked out for the babies, and hung them from the mantle in honor of our unborn daughters. He asked everyone who was at our house that Christmas to write down a prayer for each baby and put it in her stocking. I've since tucked those prayers into the girls' baby books, so one day they can read all the blessings, love, and protection we prayed over them.
Stocking stuffers at our house range from the useful, such as a new toothbrush, to the luxurious, like designer perfume, to the inexplicable . . . my mother always included a can of smoked oysters and placed a manderin orange in the toe of each stocking. I've long forgotten the significance of those particular food items, but I continue that tradition . . . no matter what else my loved ones might find in their stockings, there always will be an orange and smoked oysters!
What kinds of "stuffers" go into your family's Christmas stockings?
Dinner last night: pizza