My sisters and I each had a particular stone that our stocking hung from. We'd all jump up on the hearth, scramble to our sock, and pull it down, hoping it didn't spill out on top of us. We would scramble off to our own place in the living room with our light green gingham checked and red brick-a-bract adorned, homemade stockings. We'd sit on the floor and pull out each item from them - admiring each one! Our stockings had oranges, nuts, sugarless gum, socks, lip glosses, hair brushes and accessories, and just a few other miscellaneous toys. Every year, we knew what would be in them, but EVERY year we were so excited to find the treasures that were left for us.
Holiday stockings really add to the fun, but also to the stress and expense of the holidays. Electronic gadgets, headphones, large gift cards, watches, endless trinkets and toys, sugary treats in the latest animated or superhero theme - all those things that are advertised as stocking essentials, increase the strain on our busyness and a pocketbooks. We feel compelled to super stuff the stockings. For some reason moms think that by buying all of the latest stocking fads and out doing last year's stocking, we are being a better mom. Adding to the stress is that moms know that many of the trinkets in the stocking, no matter how well our intentions were, will be lost, tossed and forgotten.
The Christmas stockings are no measure of how much you love your kids, nor are they a snapshot of your parenting ability. It doesn't have to be an angst filled experience to fill a stocking - but it will be if you fill them with the heart of out-doing last year, instead of the heart of creating lasting memories.
In the rush and bustle of the season, it's already an overwhelming environment. Stockings can be great help in bringing back some calm, tradition and simplicity. Don't hesitate from stepping back from stocking extravagance. Go back to basic stuffers - oranges, bubble gum, fun socks, a fun new electric toothbrush, New PJs, activity books, a sprinkle in a few of the fun trinkets and candy. (Check the Quick Tip page for more back to basics stocking stuffers). If you think back to your childhood stockings, you probably will remember those things that you received every year - and used. Your children will remember the same. Those simple treasures hidden in the stocking will bring just as much joy, and create memories and traditions that your children may pass to their families
It's time to take it back to simplicity. Bringing it back to simple can be a wonderful change and stress reducer at this time of year.
What Do you remember from your own childhood Christmas stocking?