My middle name isn't LOL, I swear

My mother started this whole knitting Christmas stockings with the person’s name knitted right in it in the 1950’s with a Bernat pattern.  As she produced babies, she produced red, green, and white Christmas stockings with first and middle names knitted near the top. She went to town, sewing sequins and bows onto the trees and candles and wreath, but once I did my own kids’ stockings,  I’ve had to put an end to that. You’re lucky you get a jingle bell tied on, kid!

In the golden years of my family’s Christmases, with all eight of us kids’ stockings hung by the fireplace, it was quite a sight to see.  Eight green, red, and white stockings, chock full of stuff we didn’t need but really wanted. At some point, my grandmother latched on to the stocking knitting and produced scads of them for people she knew and a version for bazaars with NOEL in green letters instead of someone’s name.

One Christmas we asked our Mom to knit up a stocking for Grandma, and since my mother was out of practice, it turned out quite a bit larger than the usual, which made sense since our grandmother was quite a bit larger than the usual as well. Another Christmas we asked our grandmother (I think) to knit stockings for our mother and father, so eventually there were eleven stockings crowding the mantel. Still it was always clear that Sheila, born a mere 16 months after I arrived,  had reason to wonder what she had done to annoy my mother in the first few months of her life as her stocking was, and still is, a sickly shade of pea green. Maybe it was THE color in 1963, but never once since.

When we lived in Sumter, South Carolina one of our neighbors was surprised to see me knitting a stocking since it was exactly the pattern his family had always used. Shelton ran inside to find their stockings to show me and indeed it was the same, except that in lieu of sparkly decorations sewn on the trees, there were multiple plastic shotguns on the trees, hanging next to plastic white doves of peace, about to get shot to pieces, I suppose.  You can almost see the baby Jesus smile at that…and roll his eyes simultaneously, I’m thinking.

All this is by way of saying, I finished knitting and sewing up Ruby’s stocking (though haven’t fashioned the loop to hang it up yet) and Max’s is underway.  No shotguns or sparkles for them–but no pea green either, so I don’t want to hear any complaints.