Friday, December 19, 2008

Free For All Friday: Stockings Were Hung By the Chimney With Care

Announcements at the end, including voting for the next Secret Ingredient.

Recently Peggy, Maureen, and others exchanged memories (or lack thereof) of their Christmas stockings.  The exchange was particularly interesting to me, because my fire place growing up didn't have a mantle and consequently, stockings were never part of my family's holiday tradition.

Nonetheless, I am obsessed with Christmas Stockings.  If I could, our family's entire Christmas exchange would revolve around exchanging only gifts that fit in Christmas stockings.  Is it that I inherently want what I didn't have or is it the creativity required in finding meaningful treats that must fit within specified dimensions?  Whatever the reason... I love Christmas stockings!!!!!

For the many years I worked on college campuses, I would interrogate every student I could get my hands on about their Christmas stockings.  What was the best thing they ever got in their stocking?  Was there something they expected to find in their stocking every year?  When did they open their stockings?  Who filled their stockings - Santa, mom and dad, or various family members?  Coal or no coal?  Did they have one stocking they used their whole life or did stockings change with fashions?  Trust me, I could go on.  I love stockings.

So today, if it's ok with you, I would love to hear what you have to say.  What were/are you traditions around stockings?  Is there one thing in particular you love finding (or placing) in Christmas stockings?  I'll spend the rest of my life feeling like a "stocking-novice," because I grew up without the familiarity of them as a kid.  Help me get it "right," so my kids have sound Christmas stocking memories!    

Indulge me in a little story about our family's Christmas stockings.  
I'll try to be brief.
I spotted this Santa stocking in 1992 while living in Oxford, Ohio.  I LOVED it and (due to my compulsion with stockings) immediately decided to buy it for my boyfriend, Hunter.  He was living in North Carolina, so filling it with thoughtful treats would be the ultimate Christmas gift.

I bought his stocking in October.  In November I thought, "What if he's the one?  I love this stocking.  If he's "the one," I'll need the Mrs. Claus stocking too."  Off I went to the little boutique where I found it to buy Mrs. Claus.
I sent Hunter his stocking in December and in February we broke up.

Yikes, now I have Mrs. Claus, but no Santa.  Back to the boutique, where of course they have no more stockings.  I plead with the owner to help me track down another Santa, so when I get married, I can have (in my mind) the ultimate Christmas stockings.  In November of the following year I got my replacement Santa stocking.  In December I moved.

Eight years later, while living in Texas (the first time around), I meet Richard.  We went on our first date in November, got engaged in May, and got married in November. 

Finally I get to use the coveted Christmas stockings I've been lugging around the country with every move.

Oh no!  What about Ricky?  When I married Richard, I also became a mom.  Ricky was five turning six at the time.  He needs a stocking.  In July (just weeks after getting engaged) I contacted the talented mother of my friend Debbie to see if she would make me a Christmas stocking to match my Mr. and Mrs. Claus.
A walking angel on earth, Mrs. Barbara not only sent one stocking, she sent me THREE!  Three?  Is she crazy?  What the heck will I do with three (and all boy elfs, to boot)!?!

April 2004, elf #2 gets claimed.  Thankfully Matthew complied and was a boy.  A perfect match for his stocking.

July 2006, find out I am pregnant with Jack.  Contact Mrs. Barbara to put her on-call for a girl elf stocking - should it be necessary.

March 2007, Jack arrives and boy elf #3 gets claimed.

That's my great stocking story.  To the average eye, just a set of five stockings - no nicer than any other stockings.  To me... GOLD!  The only thing that could make this story better is a matching reindeer.  May Day, our dog, is patiently waiting.  Maybe I'll contact Mrs. Barbara in time for Christmas 2009.  Stay tuned until next year and see what happens.  

  • Super Bowl Snack Throw Down:   Today we start voting on the Playoffs - Tera vs. Richard.  What secret ingredient will they cook with this week?  Place your vote...
Cumin or Brown Sugar?
  • Winner of Ray's Ornament: I didn't forget about making this announcement, but I do try to limit the number of days we have a long list of housekeeping-related items.  Fridays seem appropriate.  The winner of Fun Family Story from Tuesday is Kristen and her fabulous rhyme.  The "mystery" reference is from his summer's Peanut and Shell game, where we learned that the peanut is a symbol of mystery and anticipation.  One more note about this.  This ornament was donated by a reader for the express purpose of sharing it with one of you.  Thank you all for your continued generosity and thoughtfulness.
  • Baker Ray is looking for his next destination: Baker Ray (or should we say Sugar Ray) has been hanging out in New York for the past couple of months.  He just finished spreading good cheer and is ready to move on.  Do we have another taker?  It means using all the supplies provided to bake a batch of Ray cookies to be shared with other people who we think might like learning about Highlowaha. Takers, takers?
Signing off until tomorrow...

No comments: