A Stocking That Fits

We use two sets of stockings at my house – the stocking for show and the stocking that Santa fills.

See the pretty needlepoint stocking? I bought that, and three other pretty stockings like that, from Lands End years ago. Those are the stockings we hang on the fireplace mantle every year.

And for years, Santa tried to stuff those stockings. Only, they aren’t very big so a lot of times, the stocking stuffers didn’t fit and had to be placed next to the stockings as opposed to in the stockings.

I had it on very good authority that Santa? Was a tad irritated with our stockings and threatened not to stuff anymore of our stockings unless we did something about it.

Enter the red, felt stocking in the picture. As you can see, they are WAY bigger than the needlepoint stockings and can hold a smorgasbord of odds and ends – Santa was very happy and has been stuffing the toe of those stockings for a few years now. (They magically appear Christmas morning. I had to talk Santa into allowing me to take a picture of this stocking with the promise that I would return it as soon as possible).

He just stuffs the toe of the stocking because to stuff the whole stocking? Would end up costing more than all the other gifts Santa brings us – combined.

I actually got these huge red felt stockings from my mother (Santa just borrows them, you see). My mother is the stocking QUEEN in our family.

In fact, she’s quite famous for her stockings and even though we laugh and joke about how her stockings are the best part of Christmas, we’re actually being serious.

Her stockings ROCK.

For as long as I can remember, my mother has made our stockings special. She would stay up all night and wrap scores of little dollar store gifts to put into our stockings. And after the regular gifts had been unwrapped, we eagerly anticipated burying our heads into our stockings to see what sort of goodies were nestled inside.

As the family grew and me and my siblings got married and had children, the stockings got a bit out of control. Instead of wrapping a few little gifts for three stockings, now my mother wraps about 20 gifts for 12 stockings – each.

And the kicker? They were always different every year. One year they were burlap sacks, another year they were the red felt stockings. And I can’t think of any others off the top of my head, but they were always so cool and very impressive lined up against one wall just waiting for us to tear into.

And the funny thing is? The gifts are all something small and useful – like toothbrushes, calculators, measuring tapes, address books, tire gauges, insurance holders, a can of peanuts … just a variety of things we use everyday but never think to buy.

Yet we LOVE her stockings. There’s something so fun about tearing into all those little gifts and KNOWING we’ll use them at some point in the next year.

And there’s always one more surprise buried among the other gifts, like a gift card, or some money, or a cute coffee mug or just something we’re not expecting.

My husband especially loves the stockings. My mother doesn’t believe me when I tell her this, but honest to God, he really enjoys her stockings. After all, this stuff is right up his alley – things he can, and does, use on a daily basis. In fact, half of the things in our garage are from my mother’s stockings.

Christmas will be a little different this year. Not everyone can make it down so it’s going to be a much smaller group than we’re used to. But one thing I hope stays the same? My mom’s stockings. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with this year.

Thanks for making our Christmases so special, mom!

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