My true love gave to me . . . a whole lot of ideas for stocking stuffers! (I won't even tell you how long I sat here trying to come up with a witty rhyme to start this off . . . I may or may not have had to go get the power cord to the laptop. Ahem.)
Growing up, digging into my stocking on Christmas morning was my most favorite part of the day. I know my mom spent a lot of time and put a lot of thought into everything that she and my dad put under the tree for my sister and I, but it always felt like she spent a little more time and put a little more thought into what went in our stockings - special little trinkets and gifts that would have been lost beneath the shadow of the tree and the mounds of wrapping paper that littered the floor. As my children get older and I start to establish the traditions that I hope we carry on each year, I find myself devoting a little more time to their stockings, hoping to give them the same memories that I now have.
Among my most favorite stocking tradition is the Hallmark ornament that my mom gave to us each year. She has always had a knack for finding the perfect ornament - the one that represents what we were interested in that year or what character we enjoyed the most. The best part about having gotten a new ornament each year? When I moved out of my parent's house, my mom boxed up all of the ornaments that I had amassed over the years and gifted them to me to use on my very first grown-up Christmas tree. This past weekend we decorated our tree and I was filled with smiles and memories looking at each one of those ornaments as they went on the branches.
Other stocking staples at our house? Lottery scratch tickets, gift cards, a bag of our favorite candy (Peanut Butter M & Ms, just in case you were wondering), mixed nuts, inexpensive earrings, hair ties and barrettes for my girls, and a Matchbox car or two for my son.
My husband's family has an entirely different take on stockings, opting instead to do what they call Socks. Contrary to the name, Socks are actually a pair of pantyhose that have an orange in each toe and that are STUFFED with just about everything under the sun - literally.
Shortly after the start of each year, my mother-in-law sets up a grocery sack for each member of the family, and as the year goes on, she adds little things that she finds as she goes about her day-to-day business, as well as all of the toiletries that we each use on a daily basis. To put it simple: opening you Sock is like going to the drug store on Christmas morning. Soap, deodorant, razor blades, shaving cream, toothpaste, nail files, magnetic tablets of paper for the refrigerator, sunscreen, small kitchen gadgets . . . you name it, it has a very good chance of being in there!
I have to admit that I initially thought that Socks were ridiculous, but over time they have grown on me, and my own family has now added elements of the Socks to our traditional stockings. Topping this list of my Sock hopefuls this year? Nivea Skin Firming Moisturizer, Bath and Body Works foot cream (which seems pricey, but is usually paired in a buy 2, get 1 free deal and is TOTALLY work it), Dove Winter Care Beauty Bar (because holy H-E-double-hockey-sticks is it dry in Colorado in December), John Frieda Frizz-Ease Hair Serum (which I just started using but which I LOVE and which has eliminated my fear that I am one day going to have to cut the hairbrush out of my hair because I have gotten it lodge in there), a bottle of my favorite nail polish in some flaming shade of red, and socks. Actual socks. No one should have to do laundry because they are out of socks. Underwear? Yes. Socks? No.
Now you tell me! Are stockings a big deal at your house? What would you like to see in your stocking this year? What sort of stocking or other Christmas-gift-related traditions do you have?
(P.S. I suppose I should take a minute to introduce myself since Michelle has been so gracious as to let me post on Mom's Sippy Cup . . . my name is Nicole, and I am a blog-a-holic - without a blog. I am currently on hiatus from my own blogging adventures, and am hoping that contributing a little to this space will help me get back into to the swing of things. I am a married stay-at-home-mom to a 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and 1-year-old. Michelle and I 'met' via the Internet when we were both members of an online pregnancy and parenting forum 3+ years ago, and MET in real-life 2+ years ago when she and her husband came out to Denver for a wedding.)