This Christmas stocking is more than 50 years old.


 It was knitted by my Italian grandmother, and every one of her more than twenty grandchildren was given one. Then all her grandchildren’s husbands and wives received one, and their children, and their children’s children. How many are out there now? Sixty? Seventy? I tried to count but couldn’t figure it out.

Every Christmas for more than sixty years one has been hung somewhere, stuffed with the sort of things you stuff in a stocking. Go to any of my cousin’s homes and you’ll see them. Today, the great, great grandchildren have them, knitted these days by someone my aunt knows.

This is my favorite Christmas tradition.

The idea that so many in my family — kids and adults — have reached into these stockings for so many years, stockings that are nearly identical, some fresh and bright, others showing their age and yellowing a bit. From Hawaii to Florida and across Upstate New York, it’s something that binds us together, and when I hang them up I feel a connection. It’s a powerful thing, and to me, it’s what Christmas is all about.

5 thoughts on “Stocking

  1. Wow, I am looking at this at work, so will get photo from home later . . . but my sister and I have almost that identical stocking made by our grandmother, also 50-ish years ago. It must have been a popular knitting pattern at the time!!!

  2. My brother, sister and I all have a very similar Christmas stocking, circa 1961, 1964, 1966 respectively. The whites are a little cream-colored now, but still holding up well. We moved so many times over the years, it’s amazing to me that our Christmas decorations were never lost in the moves. My sister made some wonderful decorations over the years, my brother and I contribute nearly nothing to the tree other than some really embarrassing photo frame ornaments with the Smithhaven Mall Santa (1976, 1977).

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