Friday, December 18, 2009

Advent Calendar - December 18 - Christmas Stockings

Did you have one? Where did you hang it? What did you get in it? Do you have any Christmas stockings used by your ancestors?

I had a very lovely Christmas stocking when I was growing, with my name [then spelled “Cindy” – I was grown when I changed the spelling of it] embroidered on it. It was an off-white stocking with a red cuff, and the printed decorations on the front of the stocking were all done in the same shade of red. There was a small village scene, as if seen from a distance down near the toe. Smoke was arising from one of the house’s chimney’s, and flying through the smoke and up into the clouds [climbing the upper part of the stocking] was Santa in his sleigh, being pulled by those eight magical reindeer. I loved that stocking!

Sad to say, but during my first year of marriage to my first husband, we moved several times. And on one of those moves, the box with all of my Christmas decorations, including that stocking, was left behind by accident.

Our Christmas stockings used to hang upon the wall, as we didn’t have a fireplace mantel to hang them on. That is until Mama purchased this adorable cardboard contraption one year, [it lasted for more than 10 years!]. It was a very cute cardboard fireplace. Brick print to the bottom, with an opening for the fire, and the top [mantel] was solid black. In the fire box was a cardboard flame, and behind that flickered an electric bulb that made it resemble a true fire. I know, sounds terribly cheap and corny now, but when I was little, we absolutely loved it! Mama told us how Santa was magical, and he could just as easily appear from the cardboard fireplace as from a real one! And so, for many year, our stockings were hung from that cardboard mantel. And once Santa filled them on Christmas Eve, he would leave them sitting on the floor leaning against the fireplace for us to find on Christmas morning!
We got everything imaginable in our stockings! But there were some things that we always got: oranges, apples, a peppermint candy cane [and I mean those GIANT ones that you still see at Christmas!], usually some Christmas chocolates, too. I remember getting brightly colored Christmas pencils and pens, one year I got a set of jacks [yes, that’s a game for you young folks!], I know that one of us got a set of tiddly-winks one year in our stocking [can’t remember if it was me or my sister – and yes, that’s another game invented long before Nintendo, or Wii, etc.] I received a Skipper one year [Barbie’s little sister]. Bracelets, necklaces, one year I got a diary, and as we got older we received makeup and cologne as well.

I don’t have any stockings that belonged to my ancestors. Although, over at my sisters house are a couple of little tiny stockings that belonged to our mother when she was a little girl [I’ve written about these before]. These are tiny little stockings that might actually fit an infant. But they are precious to me! And I am content to occasionally catch a glimpse of them decorating my sister’s tree or wall decoration she has made. Just knowing they are there means the world to me!

Today my mantel is decorated with 4 stockings. Plain ones for my dh and I. But then there are two that are decorated a bit, compared to ours. You’d think they were for children or grandchildren, right? You would be wrong! They hang there for Chica [our rather temperamental Chihuahua], and Fred [our very feminine, and finicky feline]. And yes, Santa visits the two of them every year! [See my post for yesterday!]

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without seeing the stockings hung in a row on the mantel!

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