The Keeper of the Stockings

There are traditions that carry through the generations- no matter the distance, no matter the time. From Austria to California, from before I can remember, to this Christmas morning soon to come- stockings are one such tradition. 

My family’s stockings have all been painstakingly created stitch by stitch, sequin by sequin by my aunt. They hung in our house each holiday- added as we arrived, our spouses arrived, our own children arrived. Each carefully chosen and created for its owner.

Creeping down the 16 steps each Christmas morning in an eternal quest to be the first, our stockings would be perched in the corner of the couch. It was as if the magic of Santa hung in the air around those bountiful scraps of felt. 

Long past the age of the innocent magic of Christmas, it came time to remove the stocking from the wall to a new wall. Or so my sister thought. Thus the keeper of the stocking was born. My aunt, prompted by the keeper, once again found herself painstakingly sewing felt scraps into beautiful stockings. For you see, the set could not be broken up. Each stocking on the wall got a match to go live on the other wall. Its partner got made twice- once for the keeper’s wall and once for the partner’s wall. 

As littles were born to their bigs- two stockings were made by the same fingers that to date has sewed at least 40 stockings. Ones for the keeper and ones for the owner. 

The thing about the keeper’s wall of stockings is that it feels like home. I’m forever grateful to the seamstress whose work enables me to continue the magic of Christmas morning stockings in my own home. The thing about traditions is that someone needs to carry them on. So, dear family of mine, I call keeper. 

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6 thoughts on “The Keeper of the Stockings

  1. I can so appreciate handmade stockings. I made my children’s stockings years ago and that is still one of their favorite parts of decorating. I love the line, “Creeping down the 16 steps each Christmas morning in an eternal quest to be the first.” That is a Christmas card image!

  2. “Stich by stich, sequin by sequin”. I feel these words and the love behind them. Traditions are something to behold. I think about so many of our students who don’t have the chance to build traditions due to frequent moves or moving with different families. That’s why the traditions that we can provide them with at school are so vital. Thanks for bringing that thought to the forefront for me today.

  3. “Creeping down the 16 steps each Christmas morning …” I love that line. you are so right, it’s not tradition without a keeper. I’m so happy you have become the keeper of such a delightful tradition for your family.

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