Handle with Care

Jasper woman makes Christmas stockings for family

By JENNIFER COHRON, Daily Mountain Eagle
Posted 12/10/17

On Iron Bowl weekend, Helen Clement watched as her daughters hung 60 Christmas stockings on the windows of her living room, continuing a tradition that began over 50 years ago.

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Handle with Care

Jasper woman makes Christmas stockings for family

Posted

On Iron Bowl weekend, Helen Clement watched as her daughters hung 60 Christmas stockings on the windows of her living room, continuing a tradition that began over 50 years ago.

Clement made the first five stockings in 1965 when she and her husband, Ramon, lived in Harpersville with their five children – Ramona,9; Renee,8; Rhonda,5; Russell,2; and Reba, a newborn.

Their home, situated on a small farm, had a fireplace. It was the first time for the family to have a fireplace, and Clement wanted her children to know the thrill of having a stocking with their name on it displayed on the mantle.

“I sat down and drew out a foot. In my scrap material, I found some red felt, but I didn’t have enough. So I pieced the backs together,” Clement said.

As the children married, Clement made stockings for their spouses. When the first grandchildren were born, she returned to her sewing machine and had a new stocking ready for each child’s first Christmas.

When the time came to add stockings for the grandchildren’s spouses and the great-grandchildren, Clement began buying stockings to keep up with demand.

At various times, Clement has had great-grandchildren born on the same day or on consecutive days of the same month.

2009 saw the birth of four great-grandchildren – the most that Clement had ever had in a single year.

The newest stockings were added for William, who was born in May, and Silas, who is being adopted from Korea and is expected to arrive next summer.

“I’ve run out of room. I don’t know what I’m going to do. I imagine that this is going to be close to the end of it,” Clement said last week, looking around at 60 stockings stretched across three windows in the front of her Jasper home.

Though some of the stockings were used for years as a hiding place for Christmas goodies, their sole purpose is now decoration.

Last year, Clement contemplated retiring the stockings. She was concerned that her family didn’t enjoy the tradition as much as they once did. However, she soon learned otherwise.

“You find out when you try to stop something that it changes things,” she said.