My entire life, each and every Christmas, my parents, my sister and I have had the same red velvet stockings, topped with white satin cuffs with our names in felt letters. My grandmother made all of the stockings for us. After her children grew up and got married, she made stockings for the spouses, and then their kids. It made Christmas feel pretty special, to have matching stockings like that. But I never really thought about what went into them until I got married. At that point, Brian would have looked like the odd man out without a matching stocking on Christmas morning.
I should have known Grandma had it all in hand. I married Brian in mid-December, and she made sure he had a personalized stocking for Christmas. It even has an orange T for his Tennessee degree, which must have been difficult for anyone from Oklahoma to attach on purpose. Orange Ts aren't very popular in that state! But she made sure he had something he loved and made him feel welcome in our family.
My grandfather had several brothers and sisters, and she spent some time in the 1950's making stockings for all of them, as well as her own family. Keeping up with her own kids was plenty of work, let alone all her nieces and nephews. Then her grandkids got married, and eventually my aunt and cousin joined in to help with the baby boom of great-grandkids. Although my grandmother didn't get to meet the 2nd round of great-grandkids, she had cut out a bunch of extra stockings and cuffs that my aunt used to prepare the latest additions to the family for Christmas morning.
Here's a picture I took of Helen when her stocking arrived in 2005:
and here's a picture I took this evening with Alice and her new stocking: