And the Stockings Were Hung…

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas around here!

The kids spent a good part of last weekend cleaning and putting up Christmas decorations. Even the guys helped – although I think they weren’t as excited about the decorating as they were about eating our traditional chocolate fondue while they did it!

To me, decorating for Christmas is a special time when we share the memories of Christmas’s past and pass on traditions.

Traditions like our red Christmas stockings.

When we were born, my siblings and I each received a handmade red Christmas stocking from Grandma Griner.

Since we never had a fireplace mantle to hang them, every year Mom would hang those 5 stockings on the wall until Christmas Eve.

(Okay – something I’ve wondered for years – how in the world did Mom get them to stay on the wall all month?)

Then – just before bed on Christmas Eve – we would take our stockings and safety pin them to the couch – most of the time using diaper pins (you know the ones with little pastel duckies and bunnies on them!)

Little Mom

And we would sit, in order of age, in our handmade jammies, with excited faces, and take a picture.

Every year.

Even the year we had mumps.

Trust me – some of those pictures are really embarrassing! Especially when we got into our teens.

When each of us got married and started our own families, my sister Teresa continued the tradition. She presented each of our children with their very own red Christmas stocking, just like the ones Grandma made.

Since I also don’t have a fireplace to hang them, our stockings get hung on our open staircase until Christmas Eve, when – you guessed it – we take them down and hang them on the couch!

And I bet you’ve figured out what we do next!

Christmas stockingsThat’s right – we sit the kids down in birth order and take a picture of them  – in their jammies with excited faces just before they go to bed.

Every year.

Even the year they all had the head colds and bright red chapped noses.

Trust me – some of these pictures are really embarrassing, too!

crazy Christmas stockings

Especially now that they are in their teens!

But what a special memory!

It’s a tradition that ties us together, past and present.

A special bond we share together as a family.

And as my kids start leaving the nests to set up their own households, their red Christmas stocking will go with them.

Then, in December when they pull out the Christmas decorations, they will see their bright red Christmas stocking and remember.