The tree is up, the wine has been mulled and sipped, and the new niece's stocking is fresh of the machine (or hands if you count the hand finishing), and in the mail for decking the halls.
That's her new stocking on the bottom of the stocking stack. She's accompanied by the stocking I made for my husband last year, and all is topped off with my own almost thirty year old stocking!
Oh, how I love my stocking! It's one of my favorite homey Christmas things.
My aunt made the stocking itself, derived from Vogue pattern 1312 (also home to our family's Christmas tree skirt), and it is this stocking pattern that has become the standard Christmas stocking in our household - kids, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles -- everyone has it!
Now, I carry on the tradition and I'm the aunt making the same stockings for my own new nieces, and maybe some day for my own kids, too. But I have to admit, sewing from a pattern is tough work, at least for someone so used to winging it on my own like I do!
Anyway, it is pretty much the perfect stocking. It's sturdy, durable, big enough for toys and candy or books, cds, and gizmos without being obscenely big, you can make it from whatever fabric you like, and there's plenty of room to add whatever decoration you can dream up.
In our case, my mom gave my brothers and me our own felt applique designs that she drew, design, cut, and sewed all herself.
I have always loved my Santa stocking, but my mom has always told me she felt sorry for me that it was so simplistic in design compared to all my brothers' stockings (theirs were, indeed, far more intricate and detailed).
The story goes that my family had just moved before Christmas, and the only craft supplies my mom could find in the house for my stocking was red, green, and white felt and brown, blue, and white embroidery floss. And thus was born my Santa.
But I have always told her, I like him how he is! He's simple, happy, not too fussy or contrived, and he's so well coordinated with his stocking fabric.
Now the problem is, what on earth could I add for decoration to all the other future (and currently blank) stockings that I would love nearly as much as my simplistic Santa?