Tuesday, October 7, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...

In light of the fact that I cannot eat the majority of the Halloween candy I used to love (Ohhhh, Almond Joy! Milk allergy be damned!), I'm just moving straight past the holiday of tricking and treating and onto my favorite holiday...CHRISTMAS. I picked up a ladies magazine dedicated to all things Christmas over the weekend and now I am GEARED UP. I also chatted with my parents about their Christmas plans/intentions while they're out visiting us. Not only do I get to spend the holidaze with my family, but I get to host it at MY HOUSE! Whoa.

Due to a series of ridiculously ridiculous unfortunate events, we have to move again. And without getting into all the ghastly details, one of the pluses of the new place is a fireplace and mantel. Hello Stockings! My grandmother made my childhood Christmas stocking, and what the moths and mice didn't eat (we had a crawlspace problem in my first childhood home), time mostly has. I mean, these things are pushing 30 years old at this point, and while I love them, I cannot say they are the most practical or sturdy stocking out there. So I thought it might be fun to check out what stocking availability was like out in the big wide world, iffin I want to procure a few to festoon my mantel come the baby Jesus' birthday.

Here's what I've found!

The Hable Christmas stocking at Garnet Hill is my personal favorite. I particularly love the shape of the stocking, which is kind of long and narrow-ish. Also, the assortment of bright and festive colors and designs mean even a large family or group of friends can have their own individual stocking without duplications. OR, if you want a streamlined look, get a whole bunch of the same stocking and have them monogrammed! These are priced at $48/each.

Next we have the Mod Stocking from The Company Store. These are whimsical and fun, with an old-world pointy toe to the stocking but an overall modern look. They are available in stripes and dots. I particularly love that they've stuck to a traditional palette of red, green and white but have chosen variations of those colors that are non-traditional and hip. They are also monogrammable...and I'm partial to nicknames on stockings. In my case, our stockings will read Bunny (my honey) and Ginger (me!). These are priced at $29/each for a large stocking and $25/each for a small.

Etsy seller rikrak has managed to create an awesome line up of fun and quirky stockings in a color palette similar to that of IKEA. Bright pinks, greens, blues and oranges will perk up a drab Christmas mantel and allow folks, especially kids, to choose a stocking that suits their year-round preferences rather than just their seasonal picks. Using felt, rikrak (naturally!), and other accoutrements, rikrak has created one of kind stockings that even the most traditional family could love. rikrak also has mini stockings available, to give special treats to friends and coworkers if the mood suits. The stockings are available in a variety of designs and are priced at $18/each.

Pottery Barn has an assortment of stockings available, however my favorites are the Classic Ticking Strip stockings. What can I say?! I'm a purist. These remind me of flour sack/linen dishtowel stockings I've seen in vintage and second-hand shops...the kind of stockings my grandmother would've made for my family after the Great Depression (uh, well, I guess we're close to it again)...quick, easy and cheap. While these don't necessarily fulfill any of those requirements, they are quite lovely AND monogrammable. These are priced at $19/each (and there is a tree skirt to match!!!).

If you're into purchasing environmentally conscious stockings with a little bit of flare, check out betzwhite's stockings on Etsy. These stockings are made from felted sweater remnants and have a certain old-world, vintage appeal. There isn't a huge variety to choose from, but what is available happens to be darling. I'm particularly fond of the masculine grey and red stripe I've pictured above, and I know just the guy who would love it too. There are also more gender-neutral and feminine choices available, and I imagine they would have the soft fuzzy appeal of a well-worn sweater. These are priced at $42/each.


If you're a traditionalist, which is absolutely ok with me, head on over to L.L. Bean and pick up some of their Heirloom Needlepoint Stockings. These remind me of the stockings I grew up with, which were needlepoint too, and are available in six different designs, including a polar bear and adorable labby puppies. I mean, can't you imagine a mantel swathed in holly and evergreens, flickering candles in bright white or deep red, and pewter stocking hooks holding an assortment of these lovely stockings?! You can also get these monogrammed and at $22.50/each, the price is right!

I'm sure this is just a smattering of what's available out there, but I thought it was a good headstart into the holiday decorating process. Personally, I'd suggest you grab any stockings you need to purchase early so that your preferred styles and colors don't sell out. Also, remember! Monogramming always requires a few extra days. I always forget that.

Merry Stocking Shopping!

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