The first stanza of Clement Clark Moore's classic holiday poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas, focuses on the tradition of hanging Christmas stockings:

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

Let's go over how to do exactly that in your home.

Christmas Stocking Hanging 101

As the poem states, the traditional spot for Christmas stockings in the house is from the mantel, the wooden, brick or stone frame around a fireplace opening. While you can certainly use a thumbtack or nail to secure a stocking in wood, or a double-sided tape hook on stone, there are two more decorative options:

Mantel Clips-These sturdy metal clips typically hold up to 10 lbs., allowing you to use them when the stockings are empty and full. As their name suggests, they clip onto the mantel. Be sure to choose clips with padded grippers to protect the finish if attaching to wood. Their simple, flat design allows you to hide them under other Christmas decorations.

Weighted Stocking Hangers-This option serves a dual purpose; it not only holds stockings but it also is a holiday decoration itself. You can choose from a variety of finishes to match other hardware in your home or a particular color scheme. Stocking hangers also feature padding to protect the mantle. Keep in mind, though, that these hangers simply sit on the mantel and are not secure. A child eager to see what is in his stocky can easily pull the stocking and hanger down.

Hanging Stockings Without a Mantel

Not every house has a fireplace, though, which means many a homeowner has come up with a creative alternative. Here are a few of our favorites:

Fireplace Grate-Consider investing in a grate and transforming it into a Christmas stocking rack. Not only does it give you a place to hang the stockings, but it also sits at eye level for kids in the home, getting them into the holiday spirit. If you have dogs, this may not be the best option as it will be at their level, too.

Open Stairwell-The previously mentioned clips can be secured to steps, one clip per, to create a climbing mantel of sorts. Add garland and other decorations just as you would if using the clips above a fireplace.

Bar or Other Kitchen Opening-Mantel clips and stocking hangers also work on the lip of a bar and can turn a typically plain area into a Christmas focal point. Of course, only take this route if the bar serves more as a decorative feature in your home than a practical one that gets used daily.

How to Hang Stockings on Brick or Granite Fireplace

If you would like a more permanent hook from which you can hang stockings at Christmas and other items throughout the rest of the year, there are several ways to do that. Simply drill into the mortar and follow up with a screw through a decorative hanger , such as a cup holder used in the kitchen. There also are brick hangers available at your local home improvement store that also gets clamped into the mortar.

With both of these methods, though, keep in mind that they will leave a hole behind if you remove the hardware. Also, you should know exactly where you want to hang the stockings so that you get it right the first time. If looking to hang stockings from a mortarless fireplace such as granite, consider using the clips mentioned above on the top lip.

Happy Holidays!

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