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Christmas Traditions - Stockings or no? - Page 2

post #21 of 59

orange or other citrus; chocolates; candy cane or peppermints; crayons or colored pencils; sketch book, diary, or calendar; gift certificate/coupon for something special (age dependent, interest dependent). 

 

this year, i'm making peppermint drops, buying some nice chocolates (local), and getting some oranges. i have sketch books and colored pencils, and then a small gift for my aunt, a small gift for my son, and a small gift for my husband. i'm not sure what my gift will be, but i think it will be nice.

 

so, that is our plan. :D

 

post #22 of 59

I love stockings...  As a parent, they are great for buying you some time on Christmas morning.  Growing up, we didn't start opening gifts until everyone had gone to church and the turkey was in the oven.  It would be 2pm some years!  When I was older, I loved getting a book in my stocking so I'd have something to do while waiting.  For ds, I try to get him some things that will keep him a little busy.  Usually he gets a mini lego kit.  If we didn't have cousins spending the night (and thus helping to keep him busy), I'd do a game for his ds or a dvd since he's an only child and not big on reading independently, yet.  I'd consider a small craft project if he were into crafts.  When he was younger, I'd give him stickers, bubbles, hotwheels, wind-up toys, and other little novelties.  I've given him candy and treats like a juice box.  Stockings don't have to be huge and extravagant.  You can just use a pretty sock:)

post #23 of 59

I will ditto what others have said - orange in the toe, a tiny bit of chocolate, some sweet nuts and dried fruit that we only ever have at Xmas (candied pineapple, sugared peanuts, raisinets, that sort of thing)...also I always put crayons or art pencils, and a blank notebook, and a CD (story or music).  And one or two other small gifts - this year it's a little book light and a wooden balloon boat.

 

In past years they have gotten tights (for the girls), jackknives (for the older two), single Brio trains, small dolls or stuffed animals, rattles (for the babies), little puzzles, chapstick, flashlights, barrettes, gloves, DVDs (almost too big for our not-too-big stockings).  Not all in the same year!


DH and I have stockings, but I just put something token in them, mostly more of the edible goodies than the kids get, plus a chocolate bar or two.  And maybe one other thing, like a pillar candle or a mug or DVD or book or gloves.

 

Our stockings are smaller than mine was as a kid, and that is fine with me.  Growing up my mom's goal seemed to be to put as many wrapped things in as possible...she even wrapped up Lifesavers and gum.  We always got toothbrushes, my dad got razors, we got little packages of kleenex!, play jewelry, little figurines, underwear/socks, a tree ornament, little storage containers, change purses, little games or puzzles, and we usually each got a magazine sticking out of the top.

post #24 of 59

What I want to do with stockings is:  a new pack of underwear, socks, a toothbrush, lip balm, a yummy-smelling lotion or bubble bath mix, a small toy, a candy bar, and a bag of chips.  (mainly, it is things I'd get them anyhow--though I don't know about the candy bar and chips, otherwise I can kiss them eating breakfast (gluten-free cinnamon rolls) goodbye)  I'm usually up waiting for the kids to get up anyhow.

post #25 of 59

This thread has been very enlightening and amusing for me to read.....I am fascinated by the things people put in their stockings.

 

I have to admit I don't really 'get' it about putting everyday things in like toothbrushes, and even oranges, as those are always just available for people to eat in the house.

 

But this thread has given me lots of ideas for what to put in mine this year, and also I have decided to make a change this year and not wrap things that go in the stockings.

post #26 of 59

here is some information about the history of using oranges in the toes is based on the "Three Sisters" story related to St Nicholas. It is said that the old bishop heard of a poor family where the girls were to be sold into slavery because the family could not produce dowry's to marry them. St Nicholas wanted to help the family, but did not want anyone to know. Over three nights, he climbed to the chimney, and dropped money down into each girl's stocking, where they were hung to dry. On the first night, the first daughter's stocking was filled. On the second, the second daughter's stocking was filled. The father watned to know who was doing this, how it was happening, and so he stayed up all night guarding the house. He caught St Nicholas on the chimney, and the old bishop asked him not to tell anyone. Of course, the man--grateful for the bishop's help--told everyone, and so the story of the stocking filling (and the traditions surrounding) began. 

 

Gold coins (often chocolate coins) are often put into the toes of stockings to honor this story. but, oranges and yellow apples are also used. 

 

another story i heard about it is that children were given three medicinals by St Nicholas: oranges to boost the immune system; peppermint as a folk cold remedy that not only works like menthol to aid in relieving congestion, but also in syrups to manage cough; and ginger bread cookies (instead of the more modern chocolate) in a depiction of the Saint (or in objects related to the child such as a tennis racket or animal the child loves or what have you). The ginger bread settles the stomach, aids in decreasing nausea, etc. So, all of these medicinals would be great for children during the cold months, when cold and flu season moves through a household.

 

i like these "health" aspects/elements. unfortunately, i'm actually unable to find a source for where i "learned" this particular material. :) I like to honor this as well.

 

it might also be noted that the candy-cane is the shape of the bishop's hook, that the gingerbread is often in the shape of the bishop-- again, to honor the saint's contribution and gift giving.

 

So while it might be "common" to have oranges around at all times, it wasn't always so--in northern europe, oranges were rare in the deep winter, and difficult to get, and so it would be a true gift to get an orange! 

post #27 of 59

We have stockings that I made, but I don't think we'll fill them.  I'll probably put mostly edible treats in them with maybe one or two little small things, and maybe something like crayons or markers or other art supplies.   Stuff that can be used up.  My boyfriend and I agreed we want to keep things simple, but it's hard not to go overboard with wanting to give her stuff!

post #28 of 59

We do them...an example of this years - new underpants ( she loves littlest pet shop undies, but only has so many ) If she were older that might be weird...in that case I would get some new fun socks (or maybe new slippers?), a new toothbrush/tooth paste, maybe some bath salts (kid version, they have fun animals on them and are natural, I saw them at whole foods), a new travel cup(we are stopping the use of reg sippy cups), and then I'll probably pick up some snack type stuff. 

post #29 of 59

Everybody already has some great ideas on WHAT to put in stockings... Really- I HATE stockings... I HATE buying for the stockings.  I am saving for presents and stockings end up being such a "money suck" to me- I have 4 girls and filling them is a big dread to me so DH usually does it- he loves it... I too hate the extra clutter from little things.  Clutter is just part of my world that I am continually fighting against! LOL  But really I'm sure there are some things you can put in there- I always think of candy or treats as a good thing for the stocking.  Even oranges- we read this one scratch and sniff book where the bear got a Christmas orange in his stocking.  It was cute and the girls thought it was great and I liked that it took up room in the stocking! HA HA!  Have fun! Merry Christmas! :)

post #30 of 59

I love filling stockings! Usually we do a lot of consumables though.. This year its going to be:

small nativity for each for them to play with

bubblebath

toothbrush (they get to pick their own, they love toothbrushes)

dried fruit and maybe a piece of chocolate (they don't get candy very often)

small toy each (plane for DD1, police car for DD2)

stuffed animal (cat for DD1, monkey for DD2)

playdough with a couple of cookie cutters (cars for DD2, princesses for DD1)

brush/mirror and hairties

hairties Im making for them (monkey for DD2, Minnie Mouse for DD1)

aprons (dogs/minnie for DD1, monkeys and monkeys for DD2.. they are reversible.. both girls have out grown their aprons and we cook/bake on a daily basis)

book (Curious George for DD2, Mickey's Clubhouse for DD1)

pictures of Christ book Im making them

nail polish for DD1

A necklace for DD1

some art supplies for each of them

I almost forgot, Im stensiling monkeys onto some undies for DD2. She recently decided she wanted to use the potty but really wants monkey undies. I can't find any within my price range (not paying 20.00 for 5 pairs) so I got some generic white ones Im stenciling monkeys on the front of for her. Im also tie dying some shirts for them to use as art shirts. They are in need of some new art smocks and I had the shirts leftover from another project.

 

Most of this I bought on clearance because I knew they would appreciate it/use it. I don't buy anything for the sake of buying it and Id rather have a half empty stocking of things they like then it full with things they won't use. I think I spend about 35 per stocking over the course of the year. Most expensive thing this year was the aprons, I allowed each girl to pick out her fabric and the fabric probably came to 15-20 for the two. I do have extra of all of them though that will be used for other projects.


Edited by OkiMom - 12/5/10 at 2:15am
post #31 of 59

Zoebird, thanks for the background info, it's always interesting to learn the history behind traditions.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclamen View Post

We have stockings that I made, but I don't think we'll fill them.  I'll probably put mostly edible treats in them with maybe one or two little small things, and maybe something like crayons or markers or other art supplies.   Stuff that can be used up.  My boyfriend and I agreed we want to keep things simple, but it's hard not to go overboard with wanting to give her stuff!



So true cyclamen, I want to be more minimal this Christmas, but it is really hard to resist that urge to go overboard! But just as Kristen said, "Clutter is just part of my world that I am continually fighting against", so I want to give careful thought to what I do put into the stockings. 

post #32 of 59

I never heard that oranges were related to the St. Nicholas story...  We always do them, but more because it's a tradition/holdover from earlier times.  A couple of generations ago an orange at Christmas would have been a huge treat (at least where my grandparents lived). 

 

We always put at least some things in stockings that we need anyway (DD has already requested new underwear for hers!).  Socks, underwear, and toothbrushes are standard.  We also always add some candy and some reading material.

 

My mom and dad used to put in books, magazines, and puzzle books to keep us busy for a while so that they could sleep a little later on Christmas morning smile.gif

post #33 of 59

Oh--and we also always include thank you cards, so the kids are all set to write their thank you notes after Christmas.

post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lilsweetfoxes View Post

...otherwise I can kiss them eating breakfast (gluten-free cinnamon rolls) goodbye)...



Oh, I *need* your GF cinnamon rolls recipe!  We have cinnamon rolls as our Xmas am tradition, but have had poor success since going GF several years ago.  Please post or PM me!

post #35 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by *Lisa* View Post
magazines, and puzzle books to keep us busy for a while so that they could sleep a little later on Christmas morning smile.gif


Good one! thumb.gif

post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by clutterwarrior View Post

Toothbrushes? headscratch.gif

 

I have to admit I have never heard of giving toothbrushes at Christmas, it seems that many of you do....it must be an American thing?



Nope!  lol  We never got them (I grew up in the states)  but my kids get new toothbrushes every year in theirs... we do battery powered ones to make them fun :)  Some spiffy ideas here... totally stealing a few!
 

post #37 of 59

So I am not the only one who always puts in orange in the toe of the stockings.  My kids think it is the funniest thing but my mother always did it so I always do it.

post #38 of 59

haha my kids love getting toothbrushes because they get to pick whichever one they want instead of the "not fun ones" I usually get them during the year. Its the only time they get to pick out their own, otherwise I pick them out for them (its easier and quicker that way).

post #39 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by clutterwarrior View Post

This thread has been very enlightening and amusing for me to read.....I am fascinated by the things people put in their stockings.

 

I have to admit I don't really 'get' it about putting everyday things in like toothbrushes, and even oranges, as those are always just available for people to eat in the house.

 

But this thread has given me lots of ideas for what to put in mine this year, and also I have decided to make a change this year and not wrap things that go in the stockings.

 

The orange goes back in time as a tradition in my family. Once upon a time citrus fruit in the middle of winter in the middle of the country was an unheard of luxury.

 

post #40 of 59


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by JollyGG View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by clutterwarrior View Post

This thread has been very enlightening and amusing for me to read.....I am fascinated by the things people put in their stockings.

 

I have to admit I don't really 'get' it about putting everyday things in like toothbrushes, and even oranges, as those are always just available for people to eat in the house.

 

But this thread has given me lots of ideas for what to put in mine this year, and also I have decided to make a change this year and not wrap things that go in the stockings.

 

The orange goes back in time as a tradition in my family. Once upon a time citrus fruit in the middle of winter in the middle of the country was an unheard of luxury.

 



I'm thinking I will put an orange in their stockings this year just for a laugh...can't wait to see their bewildered faces!

 

I might even chuck a toothbrush in too...that will really confuse them...

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