Updated to add and updated picture taken 2010:
My husband and I decided a while ago that we would emphasize the religious part of Christmas as much as we can in our home, since the kids will get plenty of the less religous part of Christmas elsewhere. We don't have anything against Santa Clause and happily display things we've been given as gifts, but we don't actively seek out Santa decorations.
I started our stockings before we had kids. I wanted ones that had some kind of matching theme...but that I could continue to add matching ones later as we had kids. We decided to do "Nativity" stockings, with a stocking for Baby Jesus. The idea is that through December we do gifts for Baby Jesus by doing service for others, write those on a piece of paper, and put them in Baby Jesus's stocking.
So far we've got Baby Jesus with His own stocking, Joseph (Dad), Mary (Mom), and a Shepherd Girl (Firecracker). (Baby Jesus has been kindly sharing with Boy the last two years for Christmas morning, so it was really time to make more stockings.) Here's what they look like:
And here's what they look like on our former bookshelf now puppet theater...hmmm...will they hang on the puppet theater this year too?
I made them mostly out of cotton calicos using applique. The patterns for the figures are just coloring pages I got of the internet...so if you want to make a stocking with a different pattern, all you need to do is find a simple kids' coloring page you like. I'm in the process of making an Angel for Sweet Pea and a Wise Man for Boy and taking pictures as I go along, so I can post a tutorial. So if you're interested check back! This will most likely be my last craft project before the big move to central Washington because I just found out I'm scoring essays for the rest of the month in addition to packing. Yikes!
Jane shared this awesome idea in one of her comments
"I wanted to share my cousin's stocking tradition. They do not do Santa at all with their four kids. Instead, they hang the stockings and they all conspire to sneak treats for each other in them through out the days leading to Christmas. It's just a family tradition. She might sneak a pack of goldfish crackers in there one day for the kiddies. The next day her hubby might sneak a small goody for her. It's all about the fun of surprising each other and delighting in gift giving-small scale."I love, LOVE, LOVE this idea. I think it goes great with the idea of giving gifts of service to Baby Jesus, and there aren't many things Firecracker loves more than being sneaky with surprises...except she'd be so anxious for us to find something she left, she'll probably tell us right away. Thanks for the suggestion, Jane!
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|ELF OWL, 8x10 - From NJoyArt||Fat Quarter Bundle of Joy - From Sisters and Quilters||The True Reason for the Season - Art Print from Prints of Peace|