There it is!  If it weren’t for the photos I would not have believed that I had a Christmas stocking, at least not until I after my brother was born, which wasn’t until I was 16.

My friends and my stocking, which is just behind me, 1968

I’m sure Mom made it.  Since I don’t remember having a stocking I sure don’t remember ever having anything in it.  I wonder if Mom made the stocking this year (1968) because we had a fireplace for the first time.  I was an only child at that time and we clearly didn’t have stockings for my parents so mine looks pretty lonely hanging by itself on that mantle.  Notice there’s a fire in the fireplace and all the kids are in short sleeves.  This was in Long Beach, California and I don’t remember any cold days.  As a side note my dad developed the photos himself during this time and some of the photos have white drips on them as he learned how to develop the slides.

My memory is blank on stockings until Christmas 1978.  I was 17, my brother was 1 and earlier that year we moved into a new house in Durham, NC that had a fireplace.  I know Mom made those stockings and we have a photo of them as though they were a big deal.

Now we have a family of 4, Christmas 1978

I can see in the 1978 photo that David’s stocking has something in it.  I do not recall ever having anything in those stockings but the proof is in this photo.  Soon after this photo was taken we got a stove for that fireplace to use it as a primary heat source.  I remember because my bedroom was freezing but the den was toasty.

Several moves & years later we were in Moore, Oklahoma again in a home with a fireplace.  Our stockings and our lives changed in 1983 when my parents divorced.  Mom made another stocking that was quite different from the others and we hung it in place of Dad’s.  The new one was for my brother’s cocker spaniel, Sunshine.

Christmas 1983 Mom and my brother, 3 matching stockings & 1 for our dog

Stockings must have never been a focus since I don’t remember them except in homes where we had fireplaces.  It seems they were more the appropriate Christmas decoration rather than an item to hold gifts.

When I had kids of my own, I began using stockings for decoration on our mantle plus stuffing them with goodies for my kids and husband.  I get up first and fill the stockings with small gifts.  Often the kids begin Christmas morning with their stockings.

This is my submission for the Advent Calendar Christmas Memories 2009.