At least in one area, I am way ahead of the game -- stockings. I've been wanting to pull together some coordinated family stockings, but as is typical, I couldn't find anything store-bought that I really liked. So last August, I finally made some! Yes, August. I did NOT want to be doing Christmas sewing in December.
I used quilting cottons from Moda's "Lumiere de Noel" line by French General, which is a few years old and very hard to find. I finally found some yardage from a few small online quilting shops. I don't know how many more stockings we may need in future for more children, so I ordered some extra prints just in case! I have stripes and plaids for boys and florals for girls.
I made up my own pattern, which is just a simple and classic stocking shape, with a cuff for names. The stockings are lined with an off-white twill and the cuffs are made from a linen-like cotton, both from Walmart, of all places. I hand-embroidered the names onto the cuffs, using an alphabet lifted from one of my English embroidery books (it is copied from an alphabet on a sampler made by one of the Brontë sisters). The "linen" wasn't quite fine enough to do counted cross-stitch, so I traced each name onto freezer paper, centered and ironed it onto each cuff, and then embroidered over my guide. After 1/2 of the cross stitch was done (all the stitches on one diagonal), I carefully tore away the freezer paper with my fingers and tweezers, then finished the cross-stitches.
I really love the way they turned out, and I am THRILLED to have them done before the Christmas season started! They definitely pass my home decor test: "Is this something that would be found in an English country home?" ;-)