As a little girl, one of my fondest holiday memories is of my red and green hand-knitted stocking made by a family friend. I remember the excitement I felt each year when it was time for my Mom to finally carry the box of holiday decorations up from the basement.
I knew, neatly folded along with my siblings’ stockings, was my stocking that would soon be hung on the living room doorframe in our third-floor city apartment. I am one of six children and nothing signified that the holidays were near more than a doorframe dressed in six stockings! All these years later, I am now a grandmother, and I continue to find my greatest of holiday joy when I am hanging my own children’s and grandsons’ stockings on the doorframe in my home.
Whether one is using the same sock for years or trending a new one annually, the stocking is more than a tradition, it is a family heirloom, a treasure that spans generations. We buy them, sew them, knit them and gift them to stuff with trinkets, treats and more. No matter what nationality or country, there are many legends and stories about the history of the stocking, but for most in the United States, many will agree, it all started in 1822 when Clement C. Moore wrote the poem “A Visit From Saint Nicholas,” more commonly known as “The Night Before Christmas.” Moore wrote it as a gift to his children and without intention, he gifted the world.
For so many people, there are lots of other sentimental, handmade decorations that signify the wonder of a holiday or occasion. From pumpkin potholders and handprint turkeys to tree ornaments — nothing really beats the personal value of a crafted gift that someone took the time to create.
For the last several months, as we all try to navigate through the pandemic, we are spending more time at home. And now that colder weather is upon us, we will be indoors more often. This is an opportunity to seize the moment to make special keepsakes and gifts. The whole family can do it too! Kids can explore their creativity and make things for family, friends, neighbors, teachers, nurses or even a local nursing home. The possibilities are endless, and we can encourage literacy by using books to discover ideas.
There are countless crafting books available for all ages and I have included a few suggestions below. If you want to surf online, Country Living Magazine has various Thanksgiving crafts for kids on their website: countryliving.com/diy-crafts/g22626432/thanksgiving-crafts-for-kids. There are other crafting websites, as well, including kidscraftroom.com to search.
Until next time, stay healthy, stay safe, be creative and take it one page at a time!
Knit Christmas Stockings
Created by Gwen Steege
Ages: beginning knitters and up
Create beautiful stockings and keepsake ornaments with 19 patterns. Simplified, detailed instructions accompanied by illustrations will assist the first-time knitter while offering a cost-effective and straightforward approach for the seasoned veteran.
Fun and Easy Crafting with Recycled Materials: 60 Cool Projects That Reimagine Paper Rolls, Egg Cartons, Jars and More
Created by Kimberly McLeod
Recycle and transform! This book offers hours of fun with 60 crafts utilizing materials that most already have around the house. Paper roll activities, indoor mini gardens, ornaments, jar globes and so much more! This is one of my favorite craft project books because items needed are accessible and there are projects suitable for ages 5 and up. It’s a perfect book for kids to craft holiday gifts.
The Arts and Crafts Busy Book
Written by Trish Kuffner, Edited by Bruce Lansky
This is a fantastic winter boredom buster for all ages, even toddlers! Get ready to be creative with 365 activities and craft-related recipes to experience just for fun or for crafting that special holiday gift. Make a story book or cornstarch finger-paint and even colorful salt. Whether it’s a party favor or a necklace, there are hands-on crafts to do with simple ingredients and materials found at home. This book is an iParenting Media Award Winner too!
Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Stockings
Written by Meredith Corporation
Nothing says Christmas like a stocking! Create and sew your own holiday stockings using 30 design ideas with patterns and step-by-step assembly instructions. Make a simple sock or one embellished with sparkling trim, gems or fur. The possibilities are only limited by imagination. This book includes color photos of finished stockings.