Christmas Inspiration: White Felt Stockings For everyone
Holidays and Celebrations
Christmas Inspiration: White Felt Stockings for everyone
Up to date on March 10, 2016 Carolyn Augustine moreContact Creator The Story Behind Our White Felt Stockings
In our family, considered one of our most treasured traditions is hanging our white felt Christmas stockings up for Santa. These aren’t any ordinary Christmas socks. They have been hand-made by my Grandma Eileen, who after making them for her personal kids naturally made them for us too.
The “Christmas Socks” as she calls them, had been made from heavy white felt that she cut with pinking shears to create a zig-zag impact on the edges. On the front of the white Christmas socks she appliqued multicolored felt photos, ornately reduce and layered and hand-sewn with beads and sequins. Every sock, although sharing the common white felt design, zig-zag edging, and turned-down cuff, was unique, just as each individual was distinctive. And at the highest of the sock, the particular person’s identify was stitched neatly in pink lettering.
These Christmas socks are one of the nice reminiscences that make up my early childhood. Within the early 1970s, I lived with my mom, my grandmother, my grandfather, and my infant sister on an Indiana farm, the place my grandfather grew rows and rows of corn in the fertile Hoosier soil. My dad, a GI, was stationed in Turkey on the time. Though he was allowed to bring his family with him, he took one look on the Turkish soldiers holding automated machine guns on the tarmac at the base, and decided that it can be higher for us to remain in the States. He by no means regretted this decision, but was pressured to return residence when his father was dying from lung cancer.The American Pink Cross flew him dwelling, and even made positive he had somewhat spending cash to get there.
My memories of these occasions are sketchy. I remember the doll-sized patchwork quilt my grandma made for me out of scrap cloth from potato sacks. I remember the brilliant pink robes she sewed for me and my sister, and lengthened over a three year period because we have been gangly, skinny children, and we liked those scratchy homemade polyester robes!
And that i remember my grandfather before he died. He had misplaced all of his hair and he was worn and emaciated from the cancer. He had a gentle bristled hair brush, and he would let us comb what was left of his hair. He was a gentle man. My grandma says my husband appears and acts too much like him. I remember when my grandpa passed, I didn’t feel unhappy, as a result of I thought I could write him a letter in heaven. Christmas hadn’t been too far in the distance, and i remembered writing a letter to Santa, who obtained the letter and even brought me a couple of of the issues on my Christmas record. So writing to my grandpa Bob in heaven wouldn’t be too totally different, and I used to be certain he’d write me again.
On the day when somebody, maybe my father, or perhaps my grandmother, instructed me that I might write my grandpa Bob a letter, however he would by no means, ever write me again, I then understood the finality of loss of life. I used to be solely 4 years outdated.
My very own father was only 23 or 24 years outdated when his father died. The Air Power reassigned him to Grissom Air Drive base, named for the astronaut Gus Grissom, which was only about an hour’s drive out to the farm. My grandmother moved away from the farm out on Thompson street to be nearer to her work, and bought a bit of home on Kelly Street.
I don’t remember how my grandmother took the loss of life of her husband. I only remember weekend drives to her home the place she fed us delicious home-cooked meals that includes my favorite meals–corn on the cob! I remember her faded couch, which was as soon as a shade of blue between turquoise and aquamarine. I remember her finger-rolling my wet hair and fastening it with bobby pins, so I might look identical to young Shirley Temple, and i do not forget that she painted my fingernails red, identical to hers. And that i keep in mind that she cherished to feed us grapes. However grapes have been a luxury, and we had been only allowed to eat 20 grapes every.
Again then, I knew very little about my Grandmother’s previous. I knew only that she was my grandmother, and that she lived on a home on Kelly Avenue.
On Friday or Saturday night we watched the Jim Henson’s Muppet Present on the flooring in our scratchy pink robes with our wet hair destined for Shirley Temple curls. On Thanksgiving Day we watched the Macey’s Day Parade, and on Christmas we decorated the Christmas Tree with messy silver tinsel and hung our white Christmas socks in eager anticipation of Santa’s arrival.
Everybody had a sock, except for my grandmother. My father’s sock depicted a prepare, a Christmas tree, and a rifle, amongst different issues. My aunt’s sock has a bigger Christmas tree than the remaining, as a result of hers is the primary sock my grandmother made, in 1956. My sock has a bit of pink wagon, a christmas tree, and a rocking horse. She made that one in 1972.
I called my grandmother at present, who still lives in Indianapolis. I had a concept, and that i wanted to know if I used to be proper.
In 1955, my grandpa was recovering from a spinal fusion within the downstairs of their white clapboard farmhouse. My father was a self-employed farmer, so that they didn’t have health insurance. My grandmother worked odd secretarial jobs. She was a gifted typist, and typed over one hundred phrases a minute accurately. She was organized, and good, and was ready to assist pay their medical costs to the doctor who carried out the surgical procedure.
As a result of grandpa was recovering from the surgical procedure, he spent two months sleeping downstairs while Grandma slept upstairs together with her two children. Two days after Christmas, disaster struck. Mice from the encircling corn fields got into the home and chewed by means of the electrical wiring. The house went up in flames, and they lost everything, together with my grandmother’s prized cedar rocking chair, which she inherited from her father, who died and left her and her three brothers orphans throughout the nice Depression. She lost her baby furniture: a crib, a playpen, a high chair, and the kids’s bronzed baby footwear.
After the primary house on Thompson Highway burned down, my grandma and grandpa needed to rebuild their lives. My Grandma Eileen continued working as a secretary to repay medical bills, and my Grandpa Bob continued his work on the farm. They grew corn and potatoes, and raised turkeys. They saved an unlimited garden and bought eggs to the grocers.
In 1956, my grandmother made her first Christmas sock. She had gotten the pattern from a good friend. I’ve heard family stories in regards to the devastating results of the fire on Grandma Eileen, my dad (who was solely four), and his six-year outdated sister. It was a making an attempt time for a family recovering from such a loss, and perhaps these stockings, so white and perfect, represented a new starting.
Jump ahead to 1983. My father once again is stationed overseas—this time in Lakenheath Royal Air Power Base, a joint venture between the British Royal Air Drive and the United States navy. Once again, he receives horrible information. Grandma Eileen has been diagnosed with a mind tumor, and she goes to have an operation. The probabilities of survival are slim.
We hurried back from England to be with my grandmother. I remember we made friends with a lady on Kelly Highway who lived three homes down with her dad and mom. We played with some scruffy boys who lived in the neighborhood and caught headlice taking part in with them. We caught lightning bugs and spider woman costume shirt mens stayed per week with my Aunt Fayne and Uncle Paul. Uncle Paul was my Grandma’s youthful brother, and he was tall, and handsome, and had a big smile. His home had a basement, and we played Monopoly on a number of completely different days with my 13-12 months old cousin and her boy-subsequent-door pal.
The surgical procedure was a success. The tumor was eliminated, and she was miraculously alive.
Except, after we returned to see Grandma Eileen, she didn’t look the identical. One half of her face was sagging, as if she had suffered from a large stroke. Her mouth hung down on one aspect, one among her eyes was sewn half-shut, and she had lost control of the complete right facet of her body. Her proper hand and proper arm labored poorly, if at all, and she may now not sign her name, let alone thread a sewing needle.
This was a troublesome period for my grandmother. She had misplaced so much. She lost her father when she was eight and needed to live in the Indiana Masonic Youngsters’s Home, an orphanage in Franklin Indiana. She had lost her residence in 1955. She misplaced her husband in 1978. And now, she had misplaced her mobility, her skill to walk unaided, her skill to signal her title, work as a secretary. Most of all, her prized independence.
In the years that adopted, my grandmother needed to learn to walk with a walker, to drink from a straw, and to use her left hand to sign her name. It has been a protracted, rough road. However to Grandma Eileen it was just the life she was dealt. And she knew she needed to perservere.
In July 2008 my third daughter, Evangeline’s sock arrived within the mail. The stitching is uneven, and the purple lettering on the highest of the stocking reads “Elvie.”
I remembered that my Grandmother has been making these stockings with her “unhealthy hand” for the last 25 years. And my coronary heart softened. I imagined my grandmother holding the needle along with her left hand, which she has discovered to use imperfectly, and with a lot much less precision than she’d like. However the work is so stunning. Sometimes it takes Grandma nearly five minutes to position the needle behind the felt in the proper place so she will do the quality of labor she prefers. She has been comissioned to make over 30 of those stockings during the last 25 years.
When i picked up the telephone in the present day, my Grandmother remarked that she had been hassled by a telephone sales rep. He wished her to buy handcrafts made by the handicapped. She would have favored to help out, but she was on a fixed income, and she has stockings to make.
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Thank you heart4theword, she did indeed keep up the tradition for a very long time, and is making three more this 12 months for my new sister-in-regulation, niece, and my own fourth baby. I have to post a pic of the one I am making for my grandma. 🙂
heart4theword 7 years in the past from hub
Some fascinating family history right here! Your grandma kept up with the traddition for a very long time:) She is going to love your hand made socks, your making for her:) Thanks for sharing your recollections here on hubpages! Enjoyed reading about your life growing up:)
AuthorCarolyn Augustine 7 years ago from The Land of Tractors
Thank you a lot! I believe it may be easy to search out inspiration within the so-referred to as ordinary features of life if we know the place to look. I have a deep respect and regard for the masons, as discovered from my grandmother. They’ve been awfully good to her, and for 70 years have stayed in contact along with her and other “house youngsters.”
duncan.murdoch mcInnes 7 years ago
as a mason it heartening to see such good in a world that appears to have gone mad and misplaced its good roots
AuthorCarolyn Augustine 9 years in the past from The Land of Tractors
Thanks Bob, Kt pdx, and Jerilee. Such a writing is not good for the adsense but it is soooo good for the soul. I’ve at all times wanted to put one thing like this down on paper.
I am enthusiastic about making my Grandmother’s sock, too! I’m going to put the Bell Tower from the Indiana Masonic Youngsters’s Residence and a sewing machine on it. And naturally, a Christmas tree, as a result of all of Grandma’s stockings embody one.
Jerilee Wei 9 years ago from United States
Very sweet hub! You might be fortunate to have such fantastic memories and still have your grandma.
KT pdx 9 years in the past from Vancouver, WA, USA
What a beautiful reminiscence and a continued tradition. Extra power to your grandma!
Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick
Thank you for sharing this story.
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