The year I was born, 1956, my mother made our family’s first Christmas stocking. My stocking is certainly vintage, approaching antique. It’s held up pretty well considering its age. Maybe better than its owner!
The number of stockings increased through the years as my sister and two brothers joined the family. Our mother made them all. Mine and my sister’s are made of a fine, lightweight red fabric. Our names and trimming on the stockings are in lace, with sequins sewn on for sparkle. There is a little bell on each toe. Our brothers’ are more masculine, made of sturdy red corduroy.
Our stockings were not “… hung from the chimney with care.” We did not have a fireplace when I was growing up so the place where we hung our stockings changed from year to year. Sometimes they were tacked to the wall.
One year we hung them on our antique pump organ.
I don’t remember worrying about the fact that we didn’t have a fireplace to hang our stockings on or how Santa would get into our house to fill them. I’m sure Mom and Dad told me Santa would find a way. And he did without fail. Each and every year, Santa filled our stocking with treasures. Jewelry for the girls. Toys for the boys. Socks, candy and money. We were always so excited to see what surprises were tucked into our Christmas stockings.
Over the years, stockings were added to the line-up as spouses and a grandchild joined the family. Their stockings are grand but don’t have the “patina” of the vintage Christmas stockings, the original four.
Mom and Dad have a fireplace now but not all the stockings hang at the homeplace during the holidays. Us kids don’t get home for Christmas every year. No matter if we are home or away, the filled stockings follow us. When I dig into mine each year, I am happy that the “Santa” magic continues and I feel connected to my far-flung siblings, knowing that, wherever they may be, they are discovering their “stocking” treats too.
After Christmas, the stockings find their way back to the homeplace and are carefully stored, ready for Santa to fill four very old, and very loved, Christmas stockings the next year.