Friday, December 19, 2008

stocking stuffer spirits

My favorite Christmas tradition might just be stockings. Well, maybe a tie, because I couldn't go a Christmas season without my mom's nutmeg sour cream cutout cookies with all the little sprinkles either. (I can share that recipe if anyone wants it. Best sugar cookies ever.)

Our stocking tradition started when I lost a tooth early in one school year. By the time I got from the bus stop to the house I had learned way more than I wanted to learn about the Tooth Fairy and all her cousins- namely the Easter Bunny and Santa. It was all rolled into one for me. I headed into the house and confronted an unprepared mom with the famous question Virginia once asked. The answer, "What do you think?" put me on the spot myself. Was I grown up or was I a little kid? For ages I wished I'd gone for Little Kid instead.

And on Christmas eve, all that came together and I realized the injustice of it all. Here was my mom, providing all that candy that she usually didn't want us to have, but giving it to us anyway. And nothing for herself! My poor mom spent Christmas eve in our basement sewing two more stockings for herself and my dad. But, a new tradition was born.

As the youngest, I was the first Santa. I filled the stockings with small items or candies. Then my sister, then my dad, then the head of the elves herself. We'd put in candy or nuts, little toys, batteries or canisters of film, fun socks, etc. We'd ring the sleigh bells and each head upstairs to bed, leaving behind the temptation to peek. Hopefully the stockings were too full and heavy to hang by the fireplace and were snug on a chair in the morning.


Bug just reminded me that he wants to put nuts in all the stockings this year. I've had the boys participate in filling the stockings from the start. They know that everyone takes a turn, leaving them for Santa to complete. They certainly believe in the jolly red-coated, white bearded elf but I hope the transition to Christmas Spirit is simple for them.


  1. I love the idea of starting the boys with it from the start. I don't remember at which point we took over some of the stocking duty. I think it started first with a year when we did secret santas within our family (it wasn't too hard to figure out who had whom) and then after that, I made my brother a pocketed advent calendar and took charge of keeping it filled every year. The secret santa idea may have been a way to help us make that transition -- my brother hadn't yet lost the faith, but was just starting to question. Even though it's rare for us to spend Christmas together, I still always send stocking presents with our packages. It's my favorite part of Christmas shopping. Mr. Spy, however, did not do stockings at all growing up. He continues to grumble about them each year. Bah, humbug. And also, I would love that recipe. We love cutout cookies, but I haven't been terribly happy with our recipes.

  2. I too love the idea of kids participating in stocking "stuffing" from the start. We don't have kids, so I guess we can't do that, though. ;-) In my family, we didn't start all participating in this until we were grown. Now at least my poor mom gets a stocking too, though!

    Your post also reminded me of when my baby sister "grew up." I didn't witness it first hand, but my mom said that when Jaime was seven or eight, she walked up to my mom, put her hands on her hips, and said belligerently, "I don't believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny!" She thought my mom was going to be mad or argue with her!

    Have a lovely Christmas!

  3. I had an easy transition I think because all of my presents that were for me said from Santa in my mom's crazy handwriting, so I guess I always knew :) But believed in the spirit part:)