Monday, December 10, 2012


Christmas_stocking : closeup christmas sock hanging Stock PhotoI've always loved Christmas stockings - they were always full of such good things, packed tightly into my dad's woolen knee-high work socks - you know the kind? Grey and white wool, in a rib knit, so they were stretchy enough to hold lots of odd bumpy lumpy goodies!  I don't remember now when we shifted over to commercial Christmas stockings... must have been when I was in my teens.

On Christmas eve night, when we went to bed, the three of us carefully put out our stockings by the tree in the living room, and toddled off to bed.  Of course, we were told NOT to come back downstairs until Christmas morning - AFTER 6 a.m.!!

Almost every year, our stockings had the following items:

  • a mandarin orange or two down at the bottom, in the toe of the sock
  • a puzzle - hand-held ones where you have to put tiny balls into sockets, or you have to figure out how to un-hook two pieces of twisted metal pieces
  • a book - or a comic when we were young
  • a piece of candy and/or a candy cane
  • a piece of clothing: usually panties or socks;  nylons when we were older (with garter belt, of course); and the Christmas morning I got my first [whisper] bra - memorable!
  • maybe a piece of jewelry like a bracelet, or a pair of costume jewelry earrings
  • a pen and something to write in
  • a special present of some sort
As you can see we had something to eat, something to puzzle over, something to do, something to try on or wear, and something to read.  And with three of us kids in the family, we would share our books/comics and puzzles back and forth as we struggled to wait until it was time to go downstairs for breakfast.  I'm sure my parents only slept a couple of hours at most!  They would have been up late putting our stockings together, and wrapping all the "Santa" presents to put under the tree. 

My sister's birthday was just after New Year's, so we occasionally 'teased' her by giving her only half of her present (if it could be split in two, like a pair of pretty socks, or earrings etc.).  She must have been so frustrated by that, I'm sure!  But at the time, it was simply something we did - not every year, but sometimes... 

We left our Christmas tree up until after her birthday, so we only put it up the weekend before Christmas.  That way, we'd keep it moist so it would last without totally drying out.  

Ohhh, I remember my brother telling me that one year when he was staying at home for Christmas - he rushed downstairs with his stocking in hand, "Hey, Mom, Dad - Look!! I got a ... " oh yeah. Christmas stocking.  Filled by parents.  Surprise.  Yup.  He was about 20, but still a kid at heart!!  

Christmas Stockings - Weren't they fun?  Don't you wish "someone" would make you one for this Christmas?  


Susan Clark said...

We had such similar stockings, Celia. Daddy's dress socks filled with oranges, nuts, a chocolate or candy cane and some small toys or frills. There were "pretty" felt stockings from Europe handing on the mantle, but Santa never filled them - only the socks! What fun to remember!

Celia Lewis said...

Thanks for your comments, Susan. I did similar ones for my kids for years... then when they were adults, I filled pillow cases with their various gifts, some of them wrapped by Santa, some unwrapped. It was so much fun.

Jana Last said...

Very fun memories Celia!

Celia Lewis said...

Stockings were always good fun. We were very poor when I was growing up, and so our stockings were most of our presents some years.

Leita Stovman said...

You forgot the gold coins! Gold-foil wrapped chocolates! I, too followed the same traditions for my kids, mandarin orange, socks and/or underwear (after all, Santa was practical you know!), book, game or toy and the Gold Coins. And how about the tradition of gettng one new thing for the tree each year? Some years it was difficult to choose, either because of cost, size or selection. I started a tradition with my kids by getting them each a new ornament every year and when they moved out they had their own box of ornaments to decorate their tree - and they both are doing the same with their kids! Love it when traditions keep going and/or only make slight changes. It's still a drag that my b'day comes 10 days after Christmas, but now that I'm older (& wiser), I don't need the big celebrations that I desired when I was younger!

Celia Lewis said...

How could I forget the gold-wrapped chocolate coins!? Of course, I'm not big on chocolate... but it was nice!


Family, friends, and others - I hope you enjoy these pages about our ancestors and their lives. Genealogy has become somewhat of an obsession, more than a hobby, and definitely a wonderful mystery to dig into and discover. Enjoy my writing, and contact me at celia.winky at gmail dot com if you have anything to add to the stories. ... Celia Lewis