ho ho ho

edited to say, “HOLA.  The sewing is going really decent, but I am losing daylight and my children are feeding themselves Christmas tree ornaments.  I’ll have to take photos tomorrow and will load the etsy shop at 3pm.  GRACIAS.”

I just cracked myself up… I’ve been singing Ho Ho Ho and a bottle of rum but just realized it’s YO ho ho and a bottle of rum. *sigh* Funny.

As I sat down to ease my desire for home•made Christmas stockings, I realized I had no idea of the origin of the tradition.  A quick google search led to hundreds of versions of the same story:  

There was a kindly nobleman whose wife had died of an illness leaving the nobleman and his three daughters in despair. After losing all his money in useless and bad inventions the family had to move into a peasant’s cottage, where the daughters did their own cooking, sewing and cleaning.

When it came time for the daughters to marry, the father became even more depressed as his daughters could not marry without dowries, money and property given to the new husband’s family.

One night after the daughters had washed out their clothing they hung their stockings over the fireplace to dry. That night Saint Nicholas, knowing the despair of the father, stopped by the nobleman’s house. Looking in the window Saint Nicholas saw that the family had gone to bed. He also noticed the daughters stockings. Inspiration struck Saint Nicholas and he took three small bags of gold from his pouch and threw them one by one down the chimney and they landed in the stockings.

The next morning when the daughters awoke they found their stockings contained enough gold for them to get married. The nobleman was able to see his three daughters marry and he lived a long and happy life.


So, now you know.  It’s all about marrying off the daughters.  Isn’t it always?  I do love stockings, though.  As we get a little older, I’d like to transition from the Christmas Present Panic and move into the Presents Must Fit in the Stocking. Especially for the adults.

ANYWAY.  I found templates.  And photos.  And websites.  Thank you for all your help!  My printer and I are in the midst of performance negotiations… darn thing is seriously unionized.  It would not print even with considerable coercion.  I was left to my usual Wing It strategy and it worked lovely.  Sometimes, Winging It results in many tears and shredded fabric, but not this weekend.  I did make Curt look up from his ridiculous Angry Birds game several times and answer questions like, “Curt.  CURT.  Does this look like a sock?” “How ’bout now?”  “Should the toe be shorter?”  “Is the ankle too fat?” “Do you still love me?” Curt is awesome.

The stockings are made out of men’s shirting fabric, vintage sheets, and up-cycled sweaters.  IT makes every stocking different, which is a good lesson for me in conformity.  Wool knit has a mind of its own under feed dogs.  After playing a bit, I decided to use NO interfacing or stabilizer.  They hold their shape, but they are certainly not as stiff as traditional felt stockings.  But, these aren’t traditional stockings.   

[The NICE stocking… the toe… needs a little trimming, I see.  Too boxy.  This may never end.]

I ended up with three sizes: 

  • Grande (7×14 from cuff to heel)
  • Nice (5.5×12)
  • Elf (4×7 • perfect for gift cards and neighbor treats)     
I’ll be loading what I can into the etsy shop today as my children permit.  It’s a lofty goal and assumes no one will puke on me OR the fabric.  I hope I didn’t just jinx myself.
I hope this isn’t too personal, but perhaps you can settle a debate:  Do your stockings hang with the toe facing left or right?

About texasnorth

TexasNorth is a little farm in Western Michigan. It's home to 5 chickens, 25 longhorn cattle, a coonhound (Banjo), 1 barn cat, a husband, and 3 ridiculously funny children. The mom of this zoo has been known to mow the lawn in a skirt and roast marshmallows after dark. View all posts by texasnorth

18 responses to “ho ho ho

  • Nancy Lee

    My stockings hang as they wish…they usually pick toe pointing right though…

    which reminds me that I need 3 stockings this year as ours are in storage from the “trying to sell the house before buying another” fiasco last year ….

  • Kayce

    Mine hang just like yours in the picture! 🙂

  • Sunday Grant Photography

    i have no even read yet but I cannot wait for this stockings to post!!!!! We will be getting some so get ready!

  • Susannah

    toe to the left. but we hang ours on the side of the stairs, so it’s the only orientation that makes sense.

    you’ve succeeded in making my stocking neurosis seem normal! cole is eagerly awaiting his. at least that’s what i think he’s trying to tell me 😉

  • AmyD

    everyone’s except my older sister’s hangs toe-right. angie’s hangs toe left. over the past 10 years the family has expanded from 5 stockings to 11 stockings (6 grandkids). all the new stockings face right every year and then we all make fun of angie’s wierd stocking, cracking the same jokes about it every year. we have the ones with the names across the top, which is why we can’t just turn angie’s around.

  • Colene

    Ours hang to the right. We don’t have a fireplace, so they hang from the stair railing. Todd tried to put them up with zipties, but I would not allow that. Zipties, really?!?

  • Margie

    Our store-bought stockings (you know I can’t sew on a button) hang with the toe to the right, like your picture. I’m going to tell Wayne the perpetual printer problem he experiences is b/c it’s unionized. That line seriously cracked me up (b/c we’re not laughing at the #$%W$#$% expensive printer’s muchas problemas).

    How in the world do you have time to get all this done with two small children and Christmas only 16 days away? A life of leisure, I tell ya.

  • elly

    they all face left as you look at them… does that really mean they face right? xoxo

  • regina

    Toes pointing left. We don’t have a fireplace in our new house so we hung them from the wall.

  • madjeepgirl

    Angry birds!!!!! Hahahahaha!!!!! Love that game.

    Our stockings are toe to the right. I think.

    You crack me up Kate! I expect you to sing ho ho ho and a bottle of rum when you show up at our door! hehehehe

  • kateohkatie

    To the right. I don’t think I could handle them being any other way. ::shudder::

  • Miss Laura

    Right. Oh my gosh. Same rules as Old Glory…what kind of American are you to even ask?!

    • Miss Laura

      I may have been backwards in my comparison to Old Glory, as THAT rule states that the stars on the field of blue must be on the left…I was thinking in terms of it pointing to the right. That’s just the way my brain works, I’m sorry.

  • annie singletary

    oooo. cant wait to see them. i might need some of these, still dont have ones i love.

  • beckyswann

    It does always come back to marrying off the daughters doesn’t it…HA! so funny….peeked at the shop, you go girl!

  • Kim Aguilar

    Two of our stockings are hung on either side of our entertainment center (sorry excuse for a mantel/chimney) and our toes point out on either end. Two more are hung on each side of a glass-doored cabinet and the toes stick out there too…I debated though, for many moons, about whether to hang them with the toes pointing the same direction, and I think they look best with toes pointed to the right in that case. But, toes out is more fun.

  • steph

    they will face right. i just took them this morning to have our names embroidered and i stood in the ladies hall for a few minutes flipping them back and forth trying to decide…left…or right?? right it is…very soon…over our new fireplace. possibly signing closing papers tomorrow. holy moly!

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