Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Stockings are Serious Business

As I mentioned in my last entry, one of the things that makes me happy is filling the Christmas stockings for my kids each year. I have been very fortunate that I have always been with my parents and my children at Christmas every year but one. Sometimes it has been a quick turn around trip but we always seem to be able to work things out. (It helps that the kids' dad's family do their big celebrating on Christmas Eve.)

And now, when my children are 25 and 28, I still make certain they get a specially filled stocking from Santa. In the toe of the stocking is an orange followed by a handful of nuts (in their shells of course). This is a tradition that has continued for four generations. Next I add Hershey's Kisses in the green, red and silver wrappers which have been a tradition for three generations. Absolutely nothing tastes better on Christmas morning when you are opening gifts than that simple bit of chocolate!

After the traditions, I am challenged to be as creative as possible and get as much as I can stuffed into the remaining space. My daughter typically gets a piece of jewelry and my son gets something with an Aggie theme (Texas A&M). There are giftcards from their favorite fast food places, a small book (usually with a religious theme), some form of music, the latest cleaning gadget (the Mr Clean Eraser is this years' pick), something different they would not buy themselves (like citrus flavored toothpaste), a Chick Fil A calendar and a funny stuffed critter coming out the top. I have been known to throw in staples they could use when they were in college, like makeup, contact solution, stamps and vitamins. If I go down the aisles of WalMart in the two weeks prior to Christmas, you can bet I will save my purchases for gifts. That is why I gave the kids batteries one year for their portable CD players. (I don't think they have recovered from that bit of creativity!!)

I have also given them talking picture frames, freeze dried food for camping and disposable cameras. They complained about the calendar so that's history and I have promised my son I will no longer buy Aggie crafts. Not sure why but he did not appreciate the Aggie flashlight I bought one year that was a stick with a match glued on the end. It even had spare batteries (box of matches) glued to the side. He did like the special pen I purchased made from the wood of a tree cut the year the Aggie bonfire fell. That was his sophomore year and it was an especially sentimental gift since he lost two friends in the accident. I am so pleased when I find something special like that!!

The Christmas stocking is also the place where I can place an heirloom being handed down. Like the pair of special scissors I gave my daughter that belonged to her great-grandmother.

You might think these are very large stockings but they aren't. I made them myself and they are 8" wide at the top and about 12 - 15" deep to the heel. My parents have no fireplace so the stockings always "sit" in a chair next to the tree. The calendar use to be what I used to give the stocking some body and keep it from flopping over. Hmmm ... not sure what I'll use this year. Maybe just more nuts!!


Tilly said...

Like you I always have so much fun filling the stockings with all the little things. Even when my children grow up, I can't imagine not filling stockings. We all have one, even my hubby.

Merry Christmas Donna.

Tilly x

Bon & Mal Mott said...

We had to think back about 50 years to remember the stockings of our youth. One of my favorites was a baseball-sized roll of crepe paper with little trinkets and pieces of candy hidden inside that would be revealed as one unraveled the paper strip.
Bon & Mal

TJ said...

talking picture frames...now that is so very cool! I love the stockings, it is such a big part of Christmas.
My grama made each and every family member up to 57 stocking every single year...I don't make them. I hang on to the originals and that is the kids forever.
merry christmas kiddo~
love TJ

Stacy-Lynn said...

Stockings are my favorite part of giving with my kids as well!

Hope you have fun stuffing them!


Gabreael said...

Awwww, a mom at heart! Our son is in the service, and even though we mail him a check, we make a point to that he has gifts to open as well while away from home.



betty said...

Brings back memories of what my mom used to stuff in our stockings; an orange and an apple, nuts and the odds and ends. My kids get little gifts; no candy or nuts. Last year Matt got his cell phone in his stocking; we had Jim (hubby) call it when he was going to open his stocking. No clue where the ringing was coming from. Stockings are so much fun to fill :)

Merry Christmas!

Jod{i} said...

I find the stocking part to be the best! Even as a kid that was my favorite of everything. Yet I have had to curb my stocking fetish(LOL) due to I try to cram so much in there...it would then become a present in itself. So taking creativity to realms!
I lOVE Mr clean magic thingy!!! Isnt it great!
Here's to stocking fun! hee hee

moltenhalo said...

Great stockings! We always spend a little extra time on stocking gifts. They are usually smaller, but not always less expensive. And we wrap them all, so it's as much fun to open the stocking gifts, which are all from Santa.

Jackie said...

Aw, this sounds great! I fill a stocking for a dear friend I visit every Christmas, but I also do a Sneaky Santa routine. I live in a big apartment building. There are always folks who decorate their doors. When they decorate their apartment door with a stocking, they find stuff in it which mysteriously appears overnight Christmas Eve. :-)

jennifer said...

Stockings are my favorite part. Always have been. But I still can't understand why your son scoffed at the flashlight. I think that is brilliant.

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