Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On The 1st Day Of Christmas . . .

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.)


  1. I'm with stocking has ALWAYS been my favorite part of opening gifts on Christmas morning! My mom always filled it with the best things:) My husband doesn't yet compare but he's getting better and better each year. I too, am trying to carry the tradition over with my children. I usually put a special ornament or two in there as well as odds and ends. I will put a few pairs of socks in there too but its mostly filled with good stuff......candy, a book, last year I did a wind up flash light, stickers, bubble bath, etc. etc. I just love this time of year! And I love that you are blogging again :)

  2. SO glad you are blogging again! You always had wise words and some great laughs! Keep me posted to your postings!!!

  3. Love stockings. They were always the best little things growing up. I do a blend of what your hubby calls socks and your stockings. Some nice drugstore items, some candy(peanut butter cups are a fave here), and a couple nice little things. I love the ornament idea and I may have to steal it.

  4. I do miss your blog woman! Stockings were always one of my favorite things too and still are. All the best things come in small packages...

  5. As kids, our stockings were filled with candy! Since my kids and candy don't mix well, I've struggled with what to do in their stockings and I've failed miserably... mostly because my husband's parents have SOCKS for the kids that are l-o-a-d-e-d with candy, gum, balloons (always appropriate for the newborn/toddler crowd), seventeen kinds of toys and gadgets. By the time Christmas morning rolls around, I'm loathe to give them more of any of that. BUT... I'm so going to steal your ideas for this year! I've tried over and over to justify buying each of my kids a cutesy ornament each year to go along with what they're interested in (tractors, ballerinas, etc) and always felt foolish. NOT THIS YEAR! Thanks for these fantastic ideas!

  6. We do a mix of both socks and stockings, full of both practical gifts that are special treats (that expensive tube of lip gloss) to fun things like lottery tickets, fake tattoos and candy.

  7. I missed reading what you write! Glad to have a glimpse back into your life!

    We don't do stockings. I mean at all. We have been trying since we only had ONE kid to figure how to do them and then we were waiting until we were done having kids to get "matching" ones. So far, we haven't found what we like. Thanks for the ideas!


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