It really is the most wonderful time of the year -- people are cheerful (for Baltimore at least), Christmas lights are twinkling, holiday tunes are blasting through the airwaves, and Starbucks has their yummy holiday beverages (I'm aware some of these things aren't priorities for everyone). Since Christmas is hands-down my all time favorite holiday, I am especially stoked to get to decorate my OWN nest for the very first time. I'm also mega excited to establish my own holiday traditions.
My Mom has had a HUGE influence on my Christmas traditions; she's always done a great job of making my holidays incredibly magical, so I'm all about carrying over her traditions to my new house. One big thing my family has always done: stockings. Yes, in our family Santa doesn't ever dissipate from reality, and kids young and old get a stocking full of treats on Christmas day. Stockings are always opened first on Christmas day before breakfast; after breakfast, the presents under the tree become fair game. It's awesome. Probably the only thing I usually despised about stockings were the clementines my mom would stick in there...they always ended up rotting at the bottom of the stocking since children obviously prefer chocolate over fruit. Funny thing though, now I adore clementines so my poor future children will have to suffer with squishy clementines in their stockings as well. Suckers.
So back to stockings.
For my very first Christmas, my Mom made me a stocking featuring an adorable little teddy bear holding a present and my name hand-embroidered at the top. The stocking also has some sort of chocolate stain, which is another adoring feature of my stocking that I am so very fond of. Every year she fills up my stocking and mails it to me, and every year I send my empty stocking back to her so that she can fill it again the next year. I expect my bear stocking to be plump on Christmas day for every Christmas to come.
|Christmas morning 2009 with my stocking and Teddy (also from my first Christmas).|
I've gotta spread the stocking love, so it's time for me to become a Stocking Santa for Chris, Rooney, and my future chillens. I came across three beautiful ivory crocheted stockings at a flea market this past fall and snagged those babies up for $4 a pop.
|My flea market beauties!|
I'm sure you know by now, that I rarely buy things and use them as they are, and if I do it's probably because they were really awesome as is (or expensive). I usually opt to purchase things that I can get my paws on and make my own. Needless to say, I had a vision for these stockings and the vision was quite simple: embroider my name, Chris' name, and save the third stocking for a future pet/child. Coincidentally enough, we adopted Roonster a couple months later, so he gets the third stocking to hold his gifted squeaky toys and raw hide bones. So with my vision in mind, I put on Scrooged (arguably one of the best Bill Murray movies of all time) and stitched away.
|Cute 'lil family <3|
My new shabby-chic stockings happen to fit in quite well with my mantle decor. To hang our neat little stockings we used white hooks that we screwed into the underside of the mantle. It's best if you lightly mark where you want each hook with a pencil, then drill a small hole using a drill bit about half the size of your hook's screw. Once you have your holes drilled, you'll find it's super easy to get your hooks screwed in exactly where you want them. I personally prefer the hooks over stocking holders that sit on the mantle, since it frees your mantle up for any sort of decor that you're feelin'. I also think they're sturdier. You know, in case someone gets a stocking stuffed with coal.