Friday, December 12, 2008

Holiday Traditions: Christmas Stockings

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


twinmamabee said...

Your post really choked me up. What amazing stockings - they are so personal and made with love.

We always got an orange and a banana, but I would personally love to get a can of smoked oysters in my stocking - yummo.

What your husband did for your little twin girls while they were on their way was beautiful - that is a loving twindada.

Helene said...

What a beautiful tradition!!! I'm sure your girls will treasure those stockings well into their adulthood!! And what your husband did in honor of your twins before they were born..that just melted my heart!!

I'm dying to know the significance of the smoked oysters!!

Anonymous said...

Love your stockings for Christmas.... specially the designer perfume.

glitzen said...

No WAY! We always had an orange and smoked oysters too!!!!!! Thats so wild. I also have continued the tradition. We always had smoked oysters for breakfast, along with egg nog. But not at the same time. Hee hee.
Beautiful stockings, and I love what your husband did when you learned of your future blessings to come. He's a keeper, huh?

Kim said...

G - I've always wondered if the oranges and oysters were a Finnish tradition, because of my mom's side of the family. But maybe they're an Alaskan thing? Hmm . . .