Saturday, December 14, 2013

Simple Gifts #4: Small Stockings

For reasons unknown, I woke up this morning singing a childhood Sunday School song: 

"Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown
When Thou camest to earth for me.
But in Bethlehem's inn did they find no room for Thy holy nativity.
Come into my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee."

What a great song!
I'm not sure I have the words right, but that's how I remember it.
(And now all of you who know this song are singing it too. 
That makes me so happy).   

Our new stockings are so little, Santa can hardly fit anything into them.
And it's better that way.
It's too much work for the big guy to fill big unwieldy stockings, in addition to bringing all those gifts for under the tree.
Last year I made these out of old linen clothing and some pillowcases.
I've always hated throwing out (or not utilizing) the beautiful trim on the edges of vintage linens.
I used lace, scalloped edging, and even raw edges for the cuffs of these stockings.

I highly recommend making Christmas simple by getting smaller stockings.
Of all the changes I made last year, this is the one that saved me the most time and money.     

Remember, I had to hang these on dining room chairs this year, because Malachi pulled down the stockings hung by the chimney with care.
This stocking cuff has the handmade lace from an antique European pillowcase.   
This was Anna Kate's tag, but the baby pulled off all the paper tags from last year.
I replaced them with number place-cards I found at the thrift store.
(probably originally from Target)  


Here is Caleb's stocking (he is Child #2). I love the scalloped edge (also from a vintage pillowcase).
Of all our kids, Caleb was most bitter about the loss of the old, cavernous stockings.
That son appreciates candy.    
A person can be 22 years old, and a responsible med school student, and still love to open a stocking.
I remember being married by the time I was 22, and quite unhappy about not getting a stocking that Christmas.            

Isaac's stocking is in front.
You can't tell, but I left the linen edge raw. It looks sort of manly, and it sure was easy to make.

Julia's stocking edge is a vintage doily.   

I'm not giving instructions or templates, but here's an idea of the shape of our stockings.
I had to make them narrow since I didn't have much fabric.
Otherwise I would have made the tops a bit wider.   


Baby Mick's stocking.
He's too little to care that it has a fair amount of lace on it (which you can't see in this pic).   

Have a wonderful weekend.
How are you simplifying the house this year?

Here's an excerpt from one of our favorite Christmas stories:

"Ma took one of Mary's clean stockings and one of Laura's, and she hung them from the mantel-shelf, on either side of the fireplace. Laura and Mary watched her over the edge of their bed covers.
'Now go to sleep,' Ma said, kissing them good night. 'Morning will come quicker if you're asleep.'

She sat down again by the fire and Laura almost went to sleep.
She woke up a little when she heard Pa say, 'You've only made it worse, Caroline.' and she thought she heard Ma say: 'No, Charles. There's the white sugar.' But perhaps she was dreaming.

Then she heard Jack growl savagely. The door-latch rattled and some one said, 'Ingalls! Ingalls!' Pa was stirring up the fire, and when he opened the door Laura saw that it was morning. The outdoors was gray.  

Laura saw the stockings limply dangling, and she scrooged her eyes shut into the pillow. She heard Pa piling wood on the fire, and she heard Mr. Edwards say he had carried his clothes on his head when he swam the creek. His teeth rattled and his voice shivered.

'It was too big a risk, Edwards,' Pa said. 'We're glad you're here, but that was too big a risk for Christmas dinner.'

'Your little ones had to have a Christmas,' Mr. Edwards replied. 'No creek could stop me, after I fetched them their gifts from Independence.'

Laura sat straight up in bed. 'Did you see Santa Claus?' she shouted.

'I sure did,' Mr. Edwards said."

From Little House on the Prairie
by Laura Ingalls Wilder


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