Stockings Buying Guide

For children, the stockings hung from the mantel represent possibility, presents, and a little bit of magic. For adults, the allure of these holiday icons is based less on magic -- but they are no less important. Stockings are an essential part of many people's decorating and often serve as heirlooms passed from generation to generation. Here's your guide to finding stockings that you and your family will treasure.

Types of Stockings

Types of Stockings

Hung by the chimney with care: Those words, part of the "Night Before Christmas" refrain that nearly everyone can recite, refer to this holiday decorating staple, the stocking. And although the traditional place for stockings is hung by the fireplace, they are a versatile holiday decorating addition to the smallest of apartments as well as the largest of homes. There are a number of different types of stockings to choose from, including embroidered, knitted or crocheted, sewn, and quilted. Here's a short overview of what to consider as you find a stocking you love.

Embroidered

Embroidered stockings may feature delicate stitching on just a small section, or they may be embroidered all over the face and back of the stocking. Names are commonly embroidered on stockings, too.

Knitted or Crocheted

Knitted or crocheted stockings may be lined or unlined. Unlined knitted or crocheted stockings may be less able to hold items without stretching. Depending on how they are crafted, these types of stockings supply pretty visual interest through their use of various stitches.

Sewn

Some sewn stockings are the simplest options for this holiday decoration: just a front and a back stitched together. Others are more elaborate in their construction, with appliques or other accents added through hand- or machine-stitching, for example.

Quilted

Stockings may also be quilted, which is another way to bring variety and texture through the use of stitches and fabrics.

Product Features

Product Features

Not all Christmas stockings are created the same—and that's a good thing. The move toward individualization of holiday decorating means that your Christmas stockings can be a true reflection of you, your home, your family, and your traditions. Even so, certain general product features will be a part of every stocking purchase. Those include personalization, accents, hangers, and fabric or yarn type. Here's a short guide to the product features you might wish to consider as you search for your perfect set of stockings.

Personalization

Stockings may have individual names on them to allow family members to claim ownership. Personalization can be added through embroidery, quilting, contrasting thread, or appliques, among other techniques.

Accents

Various accents can be used to decorate stockings. Examples include miniature bells or rickrack on the edges of the stocking, or ribbon or stripes attached with glue or stitching.

Hangers

All stockings should have a hanger of some sort to enable them to be easily suspended either from a mantel or a banister.

Fabric or Yarn Type

A variety of fabrics or yarns may be used to create stockings, including felt, quilting fabric, and cotton. The hanger should be made from a complementary material that will not stretch.

Purchase Considerations

Purchase Considerations

Santa may not really come down the chimney to leave presents in stockings, but even so, these decorating items are powerful, memory-making elements for holiday decorating. And even though stockings are beautiful and, for the most part, simply decorative, there are still practical aspects that affect their purchase. Those considerations include style, care, size, and longevity of use. As you begin shopping for a new set—or a new addition to your current collection—take these purchase considerations into account.

Style

There are options for stockings in virtually every style: contemporary, country, vintage-inspired, and handcrafted, to name just a few. Make sure your stockings fit well with your existing holiday decorating choices.

Care

If their creation involves much more delicate craftsmanship and materials, your stockings may not be easily cleaned. Understand those needs so you know how to preserve them.

Size

If your stockings are intended primarily as decoration, size may be less of an issue. If you place items such as small presents in them at holiday time, then make sure your stockings are large enough to accommodate your needs.

Longevity of Use

Although you may intend them to be heirlooms, the stockings you bought for your children when they were toddlers may not fit them when they are teenagers. Make sure your purchases will last not only from year to year, but also decade to decade.

Holiday on sale

Better Homes and Gardens
$29.99 $22.99

This pretty red satin Christmas stocking has poinsettia flowers with gold stitching and leaves. It will be a centerpiece of your h...oliday decorating.Satin exteriorBrand:; Better Homes & GardensSize:; Approximately 19 inches longBig enough to hold all of your holiday goodies! read more

Better Homes and Gardens
$36.99 $19.99

This gorgeous satin Christmas stocking is gold with festive embroidery and beads at top. Brand:; Better Homes and GardensColor:;; ...GoldMaterials:; Nylon and PolyesterApproximately 17;inches long; read more

Selections by Chaumont
$21.49 $18.27

Christmas Noel Stocking with Pom by Selections by Chaumont Dimensions: 21 inches long x 9 inches wide Design: Red crinkle poly sil...k with faux mink fur Red poly silk with faux mink fur cuff and pom-poms Edged with poly silk piping Noel Collection... read more

Sferra
$28.00 $21.00

Stocking hand stitched of wool yarn on cotton canvas and backed with cotton velveteen. Available styles: Girl at Window, Doll Unde...r Tree, Boy at Window, Santa, Angels, or Toy Soldier. Select style when ordering. Optional personalization is name (up to... read more

Caroline's Treasures
$32.00 $18.47

Christmas Stocking. Made in the USA. The stocking features your favorite breed with artwork from one of our artists. It has a sued...e feel to it and is machine washable. A hanging tab is sewn into the top of the stocking and the stocking measures... read more

Caroline's Treasures
$32.00 $18.47

Christmas Stocking. Made in the USA. The stocking features your favorite breed with artwork from one of our artists. It has a sued...e feel to it and is machine washable. A hanging tab is sewn into the top of the stocking and the stocking measures... read more

Kurt Adler
$38.99 $28.34

Officially licensed merchandise Festive stocking is decked out with fur trim and iridescent pom-poms and has a plush Hello Kitty h...ead peeking out from within The front of the stocking is accented with a Hello Kitty and Christmas tree applique, and... read more

Caroline's Treasures
$32.00 $18.47

Christmas Stocking. Made in the USA. The stocking features your favorite breed with artwork from one of our artists. It has a sued...e feel to it and is machine washable. A hanging tab is sewn into the top of the stocking and the stocking measures... read more

NORTHLIGHT
$14.99 $11.49

Fuzzy faux fur plush Christmas stocking with a red body and white cuff Comes ready-to-hang with a plush loop Care instructions: sp...ot clean only Dimensions: 35"H Materials: polyester read more

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