Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Old Friends

I'm still plugging away with work and have barely scratched the surface on decorating, but I'm getting there, slow and steady wins the race right?!

Each year when I pull out all of my Christmas decor, there are a few items that appear like old friends.  They are the tried and true, the items you wouldn't part with no matter how much money someone offered you for them, or how tattered and torn they become.

When we remodeled our house, we had planned to add a fireplace but decided to wait and put one into the sunroom which is still in the works...maybe Santa will bring me a sunroom?!  So last year I needed to find a way to display our Christmas stockings even though we lacked a mantel.

Enter the horse pull I found at The Vintage Source's Christmas sale last year.  I love it and think it's the perfect substitute until we build our room with a big stone fireplace.

The reason I needed a way to display our stockings is because these aren't your run of the mill stockings, they were made with loving care by Mr. Tide's grandmother, Grammamom!

By the time Mr. Tide and I got married, both of my grandmothers had passed on, so I was fortunate that he still had his mother's mother and a step grandmother on his father's side.  Both women were wonderful people who treated me as if I had always been one of their grandchildren.

We married in June, and by that Christmas Grammamom had already knitted me a stocking to match the one she had knitted for Mr. Tide when he was just a little tyke!  I was both surprised and delighted to have one of these treasures made with so much love.

When our daughter came along she once again knitted a stocking to join our family of beautiful stockings.  Since our daughter was born on Constitution Day, she added a little American Flag to the stocking.  She was like that, smart, thoughtful, and caring.

Each stocking features a Santa complete with a soft mohair beard, sequined trim and two tiny silver bells, one adorning Santa's hat and another at the tip of the toe.

When our son was born, Grammamom was getting on in years, but she still managed to make him his very own stocking.  His was the last one she knitted herself for the grandchildren.  Mr. Tide's mom, a talented needle worker in her own right, took over the duties for the last granddaughter.

I keep these treasures tucked in a box in my Hepplewhite chest in the living room for safe keeping the rest of the year, but during the holidays I can't wait to open the box and take each one carefully out, admire their beautiful handiwork, and then hang them in anticipation of being filled by Santa on Christmas Eve. 

I have a few other old friends that greet me each year as I decorate, like the December angel above.  These were popular in the 1960's when I was little, and each of us had one representing the month of our birth.  Since I'm a December baby mine gets displayed each year during my birth month.  I love her pretty poinsettia and her sweet face.  She even has a little set of bells on the side of her skirt.

The little reindeer above has seen many Christmases over the years and she's a bit frayed and missing her bell, but each year when I was little she sat on my dresser next to my toothpick tree!

Did any of you have a snow covered toothpick tree?  My mom made one for all 4 of us, each with little balls that fit on the end of each toothpick.  The balls each represented our favorite colors.  My brother's were gold, my sister K had purple, my sister M had pink, and mine were blue!

It's funny how many memories you can evoke with something as simple as an old ratty reindeer isn't it?  I think that's what I love most about Christmastime, no matter how far some of our loved ones are away from us, their memory lives on through the little things we cherish.  Maybe that's why so many of us work so hard to create those sorts of memories for our own children!


  1. Hi Kat, the stockings are adorable and I remember the the birthday dolls...I am a sixties child. Christmas should be celebrated with our memories of our loved ones who have passed....makes it all the more richer. You are doing it well. Stay warm. ♥O

  2. Vintage ornaments homemade by grandma? That's incredibly sweet. I love your one-of-a-kind decor. Please do share this at my holiday link share:

  3. Kat, yes many memories emerge when putting out the Christmas stuff. I love the stockings hanging like that. Very unique and I love unique. What precious stockings created with love.

  4. I never had a toothpick tree and have no idea what they could be.
    I enjoy opening the holiday decoration boxes because they bring back such wonderful memories. And I despise putting all of it away!

  5. I love bringing out the Christmas decor because of the memories that it brings up. My tree is traditional and it holds all of the ornaments of the last 20 years. I love taking a trip down memory lane. I love the story of your stockings:)

  6. We have stockings made for us by my husband's aunt, all in cross-stitch, she added really nice things representing both of us, and since she loved Scottie dogs there was a Scottie on each of our stockings to remind us of her when she's long gone. It would be impossible to forget Aunt Margaret, she was a hoot and fun to be around!

  7. What wonderful memories these vintage items represent to you and your family Kat. Those were surely made with love. I had never heard of a snow covered toothpick tree or even a birthday angel, but the little reindeer looks familiar. xo ~Lili

  8. I have a similar December angel. She is so cute and I've had her since the 60's too.

  9. What wonderful and sentimental memories! This year I've been seeing lots of different ideas for where to hang stockings.

  10. I love all the "old friends" you have. What wonderful memories, especially the stockings. The horse pull is a great idea! It looks fabulous.

  11. Hi Kat,
    Looking at your little red reindeer brought back memories of my childhood too. I remember having some of those and a plastic sled with a plastic Santa.
    I remember toothpick trees too.

    I really love the stockings. What a wonderful tradition full of love.


  12. Oh, the story of the stockings is so sweet. Your mom taking over the knitting of the last one. Sigh. The things we do for our loved ones. They are SO cute and I like them where they are hanging, it looks pretty and rustic.

    Your little angel and reindeer are sweet, too. I remember some of my favorite things when I visit my father and see his tree and decorations. It really is about tradition!


  13. Now that we aren't having Christmas at home, some of our things stay packed away...but, I still get them out when I'm getting out the decorations and look at them and remember.

    My mom knit each one of her grandkids a stocking. She kept them and they would show up every year at Christmas. You made me realize that I have my daughter's as my mom sent it home with me last year, but not my son's. Hmm...I need to call my dad and find out where they are. They have always been special...even more so now. The old treasures really are wonderful aren't they?

  14. I love your stockings...and the sweet December angel! My pixies have been looking for a reindeer! heehee! Hope you get some time to enjoy the holidays season! I'm determined to slow down now! lol ♥

  15. Kat your stockings are very similar to mine. My mother-in-law knitted ours (mine, my daughters and my sons) to match the one that she had made for my hubby when he was little. I also have a few of my grandmothers stockings and decor that I keep in a safe place. You are so right about having reminders and how they make us feel like a child again. I hope that my children will do the same! :) I also have an angel with my birth month, but it still lives with my mom. :)

  16. The stockings are wonderful keepsakes! It's so special to have family pieces! My husband and I have stockings crocheted by his grandmother, and our children have stockings cross stitched by my husband's mother. I haven't heard of toothpick you still have it?

  17. The first foto is great idea!!! I love your angel too. By-Ag

  18. Awwww, love the reindeer and the Christmas Angel. My sister had two little ceramic angels back in the 60's and over the years has lost them due to too many moves. She mentions them every year at this time and still wonders what happened to them. Some memories just never go away....


  19. Isn't it nice to pull things from Christmases past and reminiscence? Those stockings are extra special and that sweet little dear is awful cute bell or no bell.


  20. I had that Angel for July when I was young(er). Wish I still had mine like you do yours.

    Ellen Hite


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.