We started a new tradition last Christmas of a Christmas Eve box. Except that last year I left it to the last minute and it was all rather rushed. The part I was most disappointed by in that rush was Mia's stocking - it was a poor quality shop bought one. But she's little and didn't notice and it was full of presents and she had a lovely morning. But I knew that with another baby on the way, Christmas 2016 would involve hand made stockings.
So I've been looking at stocking patterns online for months, but nothing really fitted the bill. I just didn't fall in love with anything I saw. Whilst I grew up with stockings, my husband's family tradition was pillow cases, so I started to think about that as an alternative. And then I saw some drawstring bags and knew I had found my solution.
I used Jeni Baker's drawstring bag tutorial, but upsized it. The bag front and back were 17" x 21" before I boxed the bottom of the bag. To keep it festive, I appliqued a stocking (using some helpful clipart) and the girls' names onto the front of the bags. I learned from the mistake my parents made, and didn't make the bags too big -
The print that I started with is from Makower - I liked it as it was colourful and modern and not too traditional - I'm not keen on red and green everything at Christmas. I added in coordinating solids in pink, orange, light blue and navy. These bags went together so easily. My one mistake was that I bought the cord before I read the instructions and it was a bit tight. For next year, I'll buy some longer.
Into the Christmas Eve box, along with the stockings, we put some new Christmassy pyjamas for both girls, some Christmassy cups for their juice on Christmas eve, some colouring and activity books and crayons, an age-appropriate nativity book, "The Night Before Christmas" book, the DVDs of "The Snowman" and "The Snowman and the Snow Dog", and a new Christmas Tree ornament each. Just a few things to make Christmas eve magical, and keep Mia entertained for a few hours. I was kept entertained on Christmas eve in the kitchen! This was a new-to-me chocolate cake recipe - I upsized it to work in the cake tins I already had, and changed the decoration (I had to transport it on Christmas day).
It tasted delicious!