Hum­ble hosiery has evolved into a per­sonal decor state­ment.

Better Homes & Gardens - - Contents -

THE ORIG­I­NAL The rit­ual of hang­ing stock­ings at Christ­mas be­gan with tales of St. Nick slid­ing gold coins down the chim­ney and into the stock­ings of a fam­ily in need. The kids wait­ing fire­side in our De­cem­ber 1930 is­sue hung two ev­ery­day socks for Santa to fill, but flashy, ever-larger stock­ings soon be­came the norm.

THE UP­DATE Man­tels tend to sport one of two looks: to­tally co­or­di­nated or, thanks to new ad­di­tions as fam­i­lies grow, more of a hodge­podge. Ei­ther way, take stock­ings as an op­por­tu­nity to show off some per­son­al­ity with funky stitch­ing, whim­si­cal mo­tifs, and bold mono­grams.

Our picks will hold their own in a mix or look great mul­ti­ply­ing across the man­tel.

1 NORTH STARPATCH­WORK$50; pot­tery­barn.com2 FLOWER BOU­QUET Hand-felted by ar­ti­sans in In­dia. $79; ar­ca­di­a­home­inc.com3 FELTED WOOLTREES $25; world­mar­ket.com4 FELT SCRIB­BLE Each stock­ing pur­chase sup­ports fair-trade ar­ti­sans in Nepal. $29; west­elm.com5 WOOLEN TREE$38; shopter­rain.com6 MOD­ERN STRIPEDCOL­OR­BLOCK Up­date the tra­di­tional red, white, and green pal­ette with a mix of juicy brights. $28 each; good­wish­esquilts

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