Growing up we always opened Christmas stockings and gifts from Santa on Christmas morning. It was always something I looked forward in and as a child I believed in Santa.
When I got married and started having children I began to wonder how the whole "Santa" thing would be handled. I wanted Christmas to celebrate the birth of Christ and I wanted everything we did to point our children to the true meaning of Christmas. I loved the idea of hanging stockings by the fireplace and the fun of opening them on Christmas morning so we decided to do "Santa" a little differently.
I made stockings for each of the children reflecting some aspect of the birth of Christ, or his ministry here on earth. The stockings all held practical gifts (a new toothbrush, toothpaste, chap stick, a small toy, or a small Bible, or a Christmas book). The first stocking I made had a nativity scene with an angel and the word "noel". I stitched the patches on and then went around the fabric pieces with paint to keep them securely in place.
For the next stocking, I made it in blue (since it was for a boy) and put a star on it for the star the wise men followed and put a lion and a lamb on it. The lion and the lamb both point to Christ as Jesus is the "Lion of the Tribe of Judah" and the "Lamb of God".
For the third stocking I put on a cross to represent the reason for Christ coming to earth...to die on the cross for our sins. I also added a shepherd because Jesus is our "Good Shepherd".
For the fourth stocking I put a crown on it because Jesus is the "Prince of Peace". The patch on the bottom of the stocking has Jesus as a babe in the manger.
For the fifth stocking I put the three wise men at the top of the stocking and pictures to represent the gifts they brought to Jesus.
For the sixth stocking I put a cross with the lamb on the top patch, to once again represent Jesus as our sacrifice. At the bottom I put a picture of the cup and the bread to represent the Last Supper and Communion.
Now, the question is what will I put on the last stocking? Yes, my youngest has celebrated two Christmases without a stocking (well, at least one that is homemade). I'm not sure what to put on the stocking to continue to tell the story of Christ. Any ideas?